Green Shield Certified Launches Sustainable Landscaping Standards

GSC for Landscapes expands sustainable pest control certification and evaluation services to outdoor spaces

Madison, Wisconsin, May 3, 2022 – This May, the sustainable standard for premium pest protection, Green Shield Certified (GSC), will introduce GSC for Landscapes that identifies and promotes safer greenspaces for:

  1. Pollinators-Habitat destruction and overuse of pesticides has triggered an unsustainable population decrease of pollinators which collectively contribute $24 billion to the US economy.[i] GSC for Landscapes participants reintroduce native plants to attract pollinators and/or avoid products that imperil pollinators such as neonicotinoid insecticides.
  2. Pets- Multiple peer-reviewed studies have measured higher canine malignant lymphoma risk in dogs exposed to lawns treated with 2,4-D, the active ingredient in many commercially available lawn herbicides.[ii][iii] GSC participants cannot use 2,4-D and other chemicals known to harm pets to retain certification.
  3. People- Pound-for-pound, children consume more food and water and inhale more air compared to adults, which increases their relative exposure to pesticides and to health consequences such as difficulties concentrating, higher levels of ADHD, asthma and certain cancers. GSC for Landscapes participants can only apply weed and pest control products scientifically proven to have limited health risks to children.

GSC for Landscapes offers certification and evaluation services for landscapes, landscape designers and landscape management providers. GSC programs use Integrated Pest Management (IPM), a proven, cost-effective strategy to combat pest and weed problems without unnecessary pesticide or fertilizer use.

“We are delighted to bring the many benefits of IPM to people looking to improve the outdoor spaces they manage,” said Dr. Tom Green, president of the IPM Institute of North America, the non-profit that administers GSC.

GSC for Landscapes can cut management costs for lawns, landscapes and parks, while also reducing exposure to synthetic lawn pesticides and fertilizers. Services and landscapes must pass a rigorous on-site evaluation every three years to attain GSC recognition. These evaluations provide external validation of a company’s environmental and community efforts and allow for continued improvements in pest and weed control practices. 

IPM Institute’s sustainable landscaping initiative, Midwest Grows Green (MGG), will host two webinars to further detail GSC for Landscapes and help companies, park districts, schools and municipalities achieve the standards.  First, representatives from the non-profits of The Conservation Foundation and Herbicide Free Campus will join MGG to detail their technical support programs during Tuesday, May 10th’s “Securing support for your sustainable landscaping project” webinar (RSVP at Second, MGG’s Ryan Anderson will share pest and weed management practices and strategies that demonstrate proficiency in IPM, sustainable landscaping or organic landscaping during Thursday, May 12th’s “Design, installation and maintenance characteristics of a GSC service or landscape” (RSVP at 

To start the certification process, interested parties should contact IPM Institute’s Ryan Anderson at 773-878-8245 or

About GSC and IPM Institute of North America

Green Shield Certified is operated by the IPM Institute of North America, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its expertise and accomplishments in promoting integrated pest management. The Institute’s Community IPM programs promote and implement sustainable and safer pest & weed management practices where people live, learn and play. Green Shield Certified accredits providers of effective, prevention-based pest control while minimizing the use of pesticides in commercial buildings & residential homes and on college campuses. The Midwest Grows Green program promotes best practices in pesticide and synthetic fertilizer reduction at private & public green spaces.

[i] White House Blog: New steps to protect pollinators, critical contributors to our nation’s economy

[ii] Takashima-Uebelhoer, B. et al. 2012. Household chemical exposures and the risk of canine malignant lymphoma, a model for human non-hodgkin’s lymphoma. Environmental Restoration 112: 171-176.

[iii] Hayes, H. et al. 1991. Case-control study of canine malignant lymphoma: positive association with dog owner’s use of 2, 4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid herbicides. Journal of National Cancer Institute 83, 17: 1226-1231. 

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