BS 8900 | Certification for Sustainability | NQA

BS 8900 is the British Standard for Managing Sustainable Development.

Helps you with

Corporate Responsibility, Culture Change, Strategic Planning, Policy, Innovation,Inclusivity, Integrity, Stewardship, Transparency, Triple-Bottom-Line

WHAT IS BS 8900?

BS 8900 is a strategic management scheme that helps you holistically direct policy and organisational culture to enable long-term success (i.e. sustainable development). It is a framework for managing People, Planet and Profit. 

The scheme utilises the concept of Triple Bottom Line:

  • People (societal responsibility, good neighbour, employee welfare, fair deal)
  • Profit (long term prosperity, employment, financial security)
  • Planet (environmental management, responsible consumption of resources, carbon reduction)

“NQA helped to develop BS 8900-2 in recognition of the challenges many of us face in delivering against multiple CR objectives. We’ll be on hand to facilitate the process andanswer your queries in support of your organisation’s path to asustainable future.” Neil Rotheroe, Sector Manager CR and Sustainability, NQA


  • Proven business credentials. Independent verification against BS 8900 speaks volumes and enhances your brand.
  • Effective use of senior management time. Focusing leaders’ energies on setting strategic level objectives.
  • Focus on opportunities. Shifts culture from risk control to business opportunity.
  • Improved performance. The scheme helps to align different initiatives, get the most out of them and reduce duplication.
  • Proven commitment. Senior management and strategic engagement leads by example and ensures success.
  • Improved stakeholder relationships. By openly addressing the needs of different stakeholders’, people will respond positively to your organisation.
  • Culture change. Adopting the principles of sustainability can change attitudes and behaviours for the better.
  • Customer satisfaction. By demonstrating consistency in meeting public concerns on pertinent sustainable development matters.
  • Ability to win more business. Gaining certification opens doors to new opportunities.
  • Legal compliance. Stay ahead of legislation and on the right side of the law.

“BS 8900 certification sits perfectly with our core values,ethical stance, and the way in which we approach our design work. Having certification from NQA, a well-respected certification body, has provided tangible evidence of the good work we do and endorsed our commitment to sustainable development.” Denovo Design


Application - Application for assessment is made by completing the NQA BS 8900 Quote Request Form. This enables us to understand the context of your organisation and calculate the assessment duration.

Portfolio of evidence - The certification process is designed to examine how your organisation demonstrates that it meets the guidance given in BS 8900-1 (guidelines) as expressed in the specific requirements of BS 8900-2 (requirements). As part of this scheme a Portfolio of Evidence is required; whilst there is no specified format, the Portfolio should:

  • Describe the scope of the activities and operations of the organisation
  • Be presented in a suitable structure such as a scheme manual or gap analysis which address each section of the standard
  • Reference the key evidence which must be available to the assessment process, including relevant supporting qualitative and quantitative data

The assessment phases - The three-step assessment process comprises offsite and onsite assessment techniques including document reviews, interviews, inspection and observation.

The process includes:

  • Offsite review of the Portfolio of Evidence.
  • Stage 1 onsite visit to establish the organisation’s understanding and status in relation to the requirements of BS 8900-2 and that each element of the standard is addressed. A report will be provided to generate the focus for the Stage 2 visit and to raise any matters that need to be addressed prior to this.
  • Stage 2 onsite visit to establish that the organisation isadhering to its own principles of sustainable developmentand that its sustainable development managementscheme is fully implemented.

The assessment process will include a report whichwill recommend certification and/or report any nonconformances. In the event of any non-conformances the organisation cannot be certified until corrective action has been taken and verified.

Re-Assessment - Annual re-assessment includes a review of the updated Portfolio of Evidence followed by a site visit equivalent toa Stage 2 Assessment.


Client Success Stories - We've helped thousands of clients to improve performance with standards certification – read their success stories here, including:

Free Advisory Visit - We provide a free advisory visit to help you understand the requirements and process of BS 8900 certification.

Consultancy - We don't provide consultancy but we can help you choose a reputable consultant from the NQA Associate Consultant Register.

Get a Quote - We'll give you a clear indication of the costs of gaining and maintaining certification.


We can advise you on how to achieve certification, related training, useful resources and finding a reputable consultant.

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