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Partnership to streamline solutions in COVID-19 battle

ISSA, GBAC and IWBI align to deliver streamlined solutions in fight against COVID-19

The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) and the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a division of ISSA, have announced a joint strategic initiative.

The initiative is designed to accelerate the uptake of best practices that strengthen the role of buildings in the fight against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and other infections.

The GBAC STAR Facility Accreditation Program will become a recognised path of partial compliance for cleaning and sanitisation criteria within IWBI’s holistic WELL Health-Safety Rating for Facility Operations and Management. A GBAC STAR accreditation will count towards five of the 15 points necessary to achieve the WELL Health-Safety Rating overall.

IWBI President and CEO, Rachel Gutter, said: “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. We share a common commitment to deploy the places and spaces where we spend our lives as a first line of defence in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As cleaning and sanitisation 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.”

ISSA Executive Director, John Barrett, added: “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. 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.

Sarah noted that this is just the beginning. Future collaborative efforts may include joint education on the critical role of buildings in advancing human health and wellbeing, 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 trainings and certificate programs.

Sarah concluded: “Through this partnership, we’re doubling down on our considerable shared efforts to help companies respond to this global public health crisis, bridge what has become a pervasive confidence gap for re-entry, and get back to business. They have access to both the 100+ year bedrock that ISSA has established in the development of state-of-the-art cleaning and disinfection practices, and IWBI’s global leadership in advancing better buildings, more vibrant communities and stronger organizations that help people thrive.”

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