SPI Certification Process

A Roadmap To Truly Green Practice

SPI provides companies who design, build and manage the built environment with a roadmap to truly green practice. The Certification program validates the capability of these companies to deliver consistent, high quality sustainability services as core to profitability. Companies in the Certification program generally fall into one of two camps:
  1. Companies seeking to validate their existing capability and to be recognized for their leadership.
  2. Companies aiming to accelerate the transformation of their practice to make sustainability service delivery a competitive advantage.

Accountability Without The Bureaucracy

The SPI Certification process generally follows 4 steps: 1) Registration , 2) Assessment, 3) Fill Gaps, and 4) Audit and Certification.
  1. Company Registration: Understanding of your company’s scope and services: Registering your company with SPI enables us to get an understanding of your company profile, scope of services and geographic range. This basic information helps us prepare appropriately for an initial assessment to understand the qualitative aspects of your company’s sustainability commitment.
  2. Assessment: Establishing a baseline, identifying gaps and defining a path forward: How green are you, really? How consistent is the perception within your company? Doing an assessment is extremely valuable to formulate a cohesive picture of what characteristics define how green you really are, what systems, processes and capabilities are key to continuous improvement and what gaps you might have. SPI facilitates the assessment process and helps company leadership get an accurate picture of the status quo – as well as the path forward to greater success.
  3. Fill Gaps: Planning and Preparation: Once we’ve done the assessment, we may find that there are gaps in your processes, use of technology or implementation of systems that compromise performance or profitability. We share our findings with you and make recommendations about what you can do to improve. These gaps frequently exist in corporate policies, clarity of expectations across different part of the company, internal processes for managing quality control, and key resources such as templates or standard operating procedures. Any gaps that we identify are ones that impact your company’s success. If your company has already institutionalized best practices, this step focuses on identifying the best evidence of that so you can most effectively tell your sustainability story to your stakeholders.
  4. Verification: Audit and Certification: Once a company has addressed its critical performance gaps and has put systems and processes in place to institutionalize sustainability, it is then ready to be audited for final Certification. SPI’s audit is streamlined, focusing on existing materials, resources and systems. It is not a documentation exercise or burdensome bureaucratic process. The two-day audit process is a combination of short interviews (taking 30 minutes of any single person’s time) and a review of existing materials (this step can also be done virtually). Once the audit is complete, SPI provides the company with a set of key performance indicators to track for continuous improvement. Then you are officially Certified and designated as such on the SPI Company Directory and your ability to use the SPI Certification seal on your marketing materials.

Companies in the program will fall into one of three status categories

  • Registered: a company has officially joined the program to initiate their process, can receive support and assistance from SPI, and will achieve certification once audited.
  • Provisional: a company has fulfilled the critical and substantive requirements of the program, has demonstrated institutional capability to deliver consistent, high quality sustainability services, but may require more time to put new policies and procedures in place or collect evidence of the impact of new policies. This status may be skipped if a company demonstrates that they already comply with all aspects of the Certification program.
  • Certified: a company has fulfilled all requirements to demonstrate that sustainability is institutionalized and fully integrated into all aspects of management, operations and project delivery, and the effectiveness of these efforts is evident.
For companies who have already fully institutionalized sustainability, the remaining three-step process is streamlined. For those who need more support and assistance, the process can include support services including education or consulting as needed.