There is a new flag waver in the IPM world: NPMA QualityPro Green. This program has the opportunity to extend the reach of the green movement into a place of respectability in the industry. It could also end up being a whitewash of poor practices.
Companies are now acquiring the NPMA QP Green certification at a very quick pace, but there are questions about the quality of QualityPro Green due to the ease in acquiring the certification and the organizations (both NPMA and PCOC) that jointly administer and own the certification. There is no outside audit done of certification holders. It is rather an after-thought.
In the most recent issue of PCOC magazine it is stated that there will be a need for a outside auditor. If so, why was the certification put in place without that process established. The article goes on to imply that by acquiring the right alliances and associations, that perhaps a third-party auditor won’t be necessary. My experience is that auditing pest control companies is the antithesis of want pest control companies are looking for. Pest control companies are going for this certification precisely because they don’t want outside auditors involved in their business and because they don’t want to be judged by environmentalists.
Two other certification programs have existed for a few years and have developed meaningful programs that teach technique, help raise awareness and provide significant audit mechanisms such that consumers can take comfort in the services provided by EcoWise Certified and Green Shield Certified professionals. This is not to say the QP Green can’t rise to the challenge, but they are not there yet and have not proven the desire to go in that direction.
My own feeling is that you need to pay to play. If you want of be recognized as having green processes, procedures and trained IPM professionals both in technique and attitude, you should be willing to open house to environmentalists gladly and be transparent about it.