The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) and ISSA’s Global Biorisk Advisory Council™ (GBAC), are joining forces to launch a strategic initiative to accelerate the uptake of best practices that strengthen the role of buildings in the fight against COVID-19 and other infections.
The GBAC STAR™ Facility Accreditation Program will now become a recognized path of partial compliance for cleaning and sanitization criteria within IWBI’s holistic WELL Health-Safety Rating for Facility Operations and Management. Specifically, GBAC STAR accreditation will count towards 5 of the 15 points necessary to achieve the WELL Health-Safety Rating. Furthermore, ISSA members and GBAC STAR-accredited projects are eligible for a 25% discount when enrolling to pursue the WELL Health-Safety Rating.
“We could not be more excited about this joint initiative and the opportunity to partner with the world’s leading association for the cleaning industry worldwide,” said IWBI president and CEO Rachel Gutter. “We share a common commitment to deploy the places and spaces where we spend our lives as the first line of defence in combating the COVID-19 pandemic. As cleaning and sanitization are critical components in the defence against the spread of pathogens, we are confident that our work with ISSA will lead to an acceleration of the industry’s uptake of best practices. In working together, we make it easier for shared customers to pursue dual designations and most importantly, help guests, employees, and the communities they serve get back to business with confidence.”
“Facilities using GBAC STAR as guidance know they are using proper cleaning protocols, disinfection techniques and infection prevention practices that are critical in the age of COVID-19 and beyond,” said ISSA Executive Director John Barrett. “Leveraging the power of partnership to ensure that GBAC STAR is fully supported as a critical compliance path within the third-party verified WELL Health-Safety Rating is a home run, not only for every market leader in health and safety, but also for every person who walks through the door that bears WELL Health-Safety Rated and GBAC STAR-accredited seals.”
The WELL Health-Safety Rating is the world’s leading evidence-based, third-party verified rating for all facility types and is holistically focused on operational policies, maintenance protocols, emergency plans, and stakeholder education. GBAC STAR accredits facilities that follow a rigorous set of proper cleaning protocols, disinfection techniques, and infection prevention practices to combat biohazards and prevent the spread of infectious disease. More than 3,500 facilities in 81 countries have committed to GBAC STAR accreditation since the program launched in May.
This announcement is just the latest move by GBAC to further facilitate its GBAC STAR accreditation. It comes days after ISSA and GBAC partnered with GP PRO, a division of Georgia-Pacific and a leading provider of advanced dispensing solutions for commercial facilities, to launch a GBAC STAR grant program for certain facilities.
Meanwhile, Gutter noted that this is just the beginning of the alignment between IWBI and ISSA. Future collaborative efforts may include joint education on the critical role of buildings in advancing human health and well-being, partnering on key advocacy efforts, exchange of expertise between the IWBI community and ISSA and GBAC’s biorisk and cleaning professionals, along with the expansion of professional training and certificate programs.