To meet the growing demand for “green” and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, ISSA is expanding its popular Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) and certification program. The expansion includes a new designation based on environmental-preferability criteria that is expected to be focused primarily on the specific green cleaning requirements of the LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance (LEED-EB: O&M) Green Building Rating System.

Intended to be implemented as the sixth dimension of CIMS, this new designation, CIMS-GB, will offer cleaning organizations an optional certification that is closely tailored to provide their customers with precisely what they need to secure LEED-EB: O&M points while greening their operations overall.

“The response to our initial market research was unanimous: Adding an optional green section to the Standard is the natural next step in the evolution of the CIMS program and answers a specific market demand,” said ISSA Director of Facility Service Programs Dan Wagner. “Many organizations, including those that have achieved CIMS certification, have been asked to validate their ability to assist customers in achieving LEED certification, yet no such program currently exists that speaks directly to the LEED criteria. Ultimately, this new dimension of CIMS will help organizations fulfill their desire for both an effective management standard and green-services certification.”

Development of the CIMS-GB program is underway. A nine-member primary technical committee, including representatives of all industry segments, has been assembled to develop criteria through a consensus-based process. All criteria will then be subject to public review, which will take place during the month of August 2009. Criteria will be based primarily on those elements of LEED-EB: O&M that allow a facility to achieve points toward certification for green cleaning activities. Individuals interested in participating in the public review should visit in August to view the preliminary draft criteria.

“Although the consensus-based process will have the final say regarding the criteria, our expectation is that it will be closely aligned with the specific requirements of LEED,” noted Wagner. “That is certainly not to say that the criteria will mirror exactly what is specified in LEED. One of the goals of CIMS-GB development is to raise the bar and encourage cleaning organizations to take steps to offer more environmentally preferable and sustainable options, which will likely necessitate that the criteria differ from LEED in some instances.”

ISSA intends for the final CIMS-GB criteria to be published at ISSA/INTERCLEAN North America 2009, in Chicago, IL, October 6-9, 2009. Organizations will then be able to certify to the CIMS-GB designation following publication.