BranchPattern Encourages Industry to be JUST

JUSTSM is a voluntary program and tool that rates an organization’s social justice and equity, and acts as a ‘nutrition label’. Many organizations around the world incorporate the JUSTSM label in their Human Resources planning and use it as a gauge for improvement.

Recently, Pete Jefferson, principal at BranchPattern, was invited to speak on what it means to be a JUSTSM company with the AIA-National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) – Pittsburgh chapter.

“As one of the only AEC industry firms in Pittsburgh, PA with a label, we were delighted to be asked to discuss the JUSTSM program with our local AIA-NOMA chapter. Through this discussion, we were able to share our experience with the process of obtaining a JUSTSM label and how that effort has helped BranchPattern to become a more socially and equitably transparent organization. But more importantly, we hope this discussion was a way for us to provide support to members of NOMA who are advocating for these types of initiatives within their own firms,” said Pete.

As a transparency platform, JUSTSM includes how companies treat their employees and where they make financial and community investments. BranchPattern’s ability to be transparent is essential to aligning ourselves with like-minded businesses and partners.

Debbie Swanson, principal and BranchPattern’s JUSTSM lead advocate, joined Pete in spreading the word about the program. “We encourage all companies to become familiar with JUSTSM and to work with the International Living Future Institute to determine where they fall in the categories of Diversity & Inclusion, Equity, Employee Health, Employee Benefits, Stewardship, and Purchasing & Supply Chain,” said Debbie. “BranchPattern received our first label in 2018, and after making improvements in a few categories, received our second in 2021. We’re on a journey of continuous improvement and appreciate the transparency that the JUSTSM label creates. It’s a great way to see progress.”