Organizations seeking accreditation must meet ROWSC-established standards. These Accreditation Standards for Assessing IVM Excellence are based on a set of 10 principles and 35 criteria points that codify IVM.
Accreditation includes a formal application process, gap analysis and program review, and enlists third-party auditors to ensure compliance with standards. Third-party recognition ensures an independent, proven process to convey credibility and bring recognition to IVM practices.
ROWSC accreditation provides IVM practitioners direct and indirect benefits realized with a systems approach to cost-effective vegetation management. Through this approach, utility companies demonstrate their commitment to environmental stewardship, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance, and improved relationships with regulatory agencies, stakeholders, and the communities they serve.
IVM promotes desirable, stable, low-growing plant communities that resist invasion by tall growing tree species through the use of appropriate, environmentally sound, and cost-effective control methods. These methods can include a combination of chemical, biological, cultural, mechanical, and manual treatments.
An ROW is a type of easement or agreement that grants the right to use, access, or transit a piece of property according to the terms of the easement. For example, a ROW easement is typically granted by property owners to an electric utility for the purpose of constructing, operating, and maintaining power lines and other equipment.
Sustainable ROW vegetation management requires that the long-term right of use of the land for the intended purposes is clearly defined and documented. IVM practitioners consider primary operational objectives of reliability, access, safety, and regulatory compliance in the context of socioeconomic and environmental concerns.
The ROWSC is the only accreditation program that has established standards for responsible right-of-way (ROW) vegetation management. The program promotes integrated vegetation management (IVM) and best management practices (BMPs) to the utility vegetation management industry to maintain power system reliability and address ecological concerns.
The ROW Stewardship Council is comprised of volunteer representatives from non-governmental environmental organizations, academia, the utility vegetation management industry, utilities, government, and the public at large.
Information about the ROWSC team can be found on our Council page.
To date, seven utilities are fully accredited by the ROWSC as "A Right-of-Way Steward Utility.”