By Jon Adkins
Following the recent debut of its GBAC STAR™ facility accreditation program, the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a Division of ISSA, announced that additional organizations have committed to accredit their facilities. GBAC STAR is designed for any size facility—including schools, offices, hotels, airports, assisted care facilities, stadiums and other public venues—to establish a comprehensive system of cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention.
Recently committed facilities include:
• Lincoln Financial Field, home to the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles
• Staples Center in Los Angeles, home to the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers, the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings and the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks
• Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.
• Georgia World Congress Center Authority: Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta and Savannah Convention Center
• New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
• San Diego Convention Center
• Christ Fellowship Church and its locations throughout South Florida
• The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd., which represents more than 400 hotels in over 80 countries.
In addition to these large-scale facilities, small businesses like Puffy’s Tavern in New York City and La Coutoure Salon in Palos Park, Ill., have committed to pursue accreditation for their facilities, illustrating the broad appeal of GBAC STAR in the marketplace. GBAC STAR also has garnered additional support from leading industry organizations, including:
• Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO) and its more than 195 members that produce over 3,500 events globally
• Freeman + Go LIVE Together, a coalition of leaders from the live events industry that represent more than 4,000 companies with U.S. operations and 112 other countries
• The Infection Prevention Strategy (TIPS), a nonprofit that extends to 30-plus countries and advances innovations, ideas and processes in global health
• Unique Venues and its 1,100 members throughout the United States and Canada.
“We’re absolutely thrilled with the response that the GBAC STAR program has received and are excited to welcome a new group of dedicated participants,” said GBAC Executive Director Patricia Olinger. “With more and more organizations committing to follow the GBAC STAR framework, we can create a world that values cleanliness and implements it to the highest degree.”
The industry’s only outbreak prevention, response and recovery accreditation, GBAC STAR helps organizations establish protocols and procedures, offers expert-led training and assesses a facility’s preparedness for biorisk situations. The program ensures facilities use best practices to limit future outbreaks, empowers cleaning staff to do their jobs safety and effectively and gives customers greater peace of mind.
“Now is the time for businesses of every size to be transparent about the measures they’re taking to protect customers and employees, including proper cleaning and disinfection,” said ISSA Executive Director John Barrett. “GBAC STAR program participants demonstrate their commitment to going the extra mile by implementing prevention and response best practices that support health and safety.”
“Since the onset of this pandemic we have been committed to ensuring our facilities are safe for the return of our customers, show attendees, and team members,” said Frank Poe, Executive Director, Georgia World Congress Center Authority. “Working with GBAC to achieve GBAC STAR accreditation will ensure the highest cleaning and disinfection standards are being implemented at the Georgia World Congress Center and Savannah Convention Center. We would expect nothing less of ourselves and for our facilities.”
Facilities that previously announced they are pursuing GBAC STAR accreditation include: Hard Rock Stadium in Miami; Hyatt Hotels & Resorts; VisitDallas, the Dallas Tourism & Public Improvement District and Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas; McCormick Place in Chicago; the Las Vegas Convention Center; and Harry Caray’s Restaurant Group.
“When our fans, players and staff are able to return to Hard Rock Stadium, we want them to have peace of mind that we’re doing everything we can to create the safest and healthiest environment possible,” said Tom Garfinkel, Vice Chairman and CEO of the Miami Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium. “We didn’t want to create our own standard, we wanted to be accountable to the most credible third-party standard that exists. Working with GBAC ensures compliance with critical guidelines for the highest standard of cleanliness and it is our hope that other venues will follow suit as we navigate through these unprecedented times.”
Additional industry groups that previously announced their support of GBAC STAR with their constituents include: International Association of Venue Managers; International Facility Management Association; the Global Market Development Center; Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association; Informa Markets; International Association of Exhibitions and Events; Professional Beauty Association; Media Edge Communications; and Trade Show Executive Media.
To learn more, watch GBAC’s video here.
For accreditation criteria and facility applications, visit www.gbac.org.
Jon Adkins is Vice President of Marketing for ISSA, The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association.