Icograda's Sustainability Standard to Create Global Certification

Canadian Juror Appointed

In May 2011, Icograda announced its commitment to creating an Icograda Sustainability Standard. The Standard's goal is to create a global system to certify sustainable communication design. That's great news for designers looking to pursue sustainability especially since it will be the only international standard of its kind.

David Berman R.G.D., FGDC and Icograda Sustainability Chair explains that this process will be purely voluntary. Each time a designer has a project they will register its sustainable goals in meeting social, cultural, financial and environmental attributes. The project will then receive a number, which in turn will become the certification number. This number can then be sourced online by anyone who wants to see it—clients, purchasers, etc.

GDC's National Sustainability Committee (NSC) Chair, Valerie Elliott CGD has accepted an invitation to serve as an expert subject matter juror in building the criteria upon which these projects will be vetted. One juror from each continent at a minimum will be invited with a minimum of 18 jurors to serve a two year term. David Berman has worked on developing the sustainability standard for four years and now continues to see it to fruition. "The Standard will certainly have positive implications for GDC members." says Elliott. "A tool like this will help GDC members articulate their commitment to sustainability in a credible way." Once a project receive certification, the project details will be available to anyone who wants to see how the project has met the standards providing accountability and transparency.

The jury will work to establish the inaugural set of rated elements of Icograda’s International Sustainability Standard, and then determine how many points each will get. These criteria will be reviewed and renewed every two years. Jurors will have expertise relevant to environmental sustainability (both globally and specific to their region) and an understanding of the other three aspects of quadruple-bottom-line sustainability.

The objectives of the Icograda Sustainability Standard are to:
• Be the only international standard to certify sustainable communication design
• Include metrics for the four facets of sustainability: social, cultural, financial and environmental
• Be a simple system that informs, measures and celebrates
• Be administered through the Icograda Secretariat or the commitment of an Icograda member organisation or partner
• Be evergreened every 2 years

The initiative was developed with the input of Icograda member organisations and interested stakeholders through online consultation and meetings throughout the 2009–2011 term. Individuals and organisations have contributed to lay this important foundation for Icograda’s first comprehensive sustainability initiative. While the initiative will result in an Icograda certification, it relies on an open–source pool of knowledge to inform the standard. Initiatives such as Living Principles, Designers’ Accord and Sustainable Design Auditing Project (SDAP) are example of communities of knowledge that will inform the standard.