Green Seal To Certify Cleaning Organizations
As SM reported in March, Green Seal, an organization that certifies environmentally preferable products, announced plans in February to go a step beyond product certification: Green Seal plans to establish criteria to certify “environmentally preferable” cleaning service providers — the organizations that clean buildings — by the end of 2005.
“The environmental standard will define an environmentally responsible cleaning service and provide a basis for certifying services that meet that standard,” according to a recent Green Seal press release.
The certification classification, called “The Green Seal Standard for Green Cleaning Services,” will help the increasing number of facility managers interested in “green” recognize — and choose — environmentally responsible cleaning service providers. “Such certification will provide a market incentive to service providers to offer environmentally responsible cleaning services and a clear, reliable signal to purchasers about what services have been verified to be environmentally responsible,” according to the release.
Green Seal’s GS-37 is already widely considered the industry standard for certification of environmentally responsible industrial and institutional cleaners. Green Seal will soon release certification categories for carpet cleaners and floor finishes and strippers, as well. These, along with established equipment standards (such as the Carpet & Rug Institute’s Green Label vacuum cleaner certification), leave one remaining gap — environmental leadership among cleaning services themselves, according to Green Seal.
Cleaning organizations will likely be required to use certified chemicals to meet the guidelines, but what will the standard include? Because it addresses cleaning service providers — contractors, in-house staffs and residential cleaning firms — environmentally preferable cleaning techniques will likely be covered in the standard. “Cleaning procedures will most likely be included, as well as chemicals and equipment,” said Arthur Weissman, Green Seal’s president and CEO. Which ones, however, remains to be seen; they will be identified as the standard is developed. Also likely is the creation of “green” criteria for key types of equipment that don’t fall under other certification guidelines — dust cloths or mops, for example.
For jan/san distributors, the development of this standard could mean an increase in the number of end users requesting green products. “Distributors will be asked by cleaning services interested in getting certified to provide chemicals and equipment that meet these criteria. Distributors that stock a green line of chemicals and equipment will obviously be at an advantage,” Weissman said.
The development of the standard, which is now seeking funding, will include input from various stakeholders including cleaning service providers, users of cleaning services, trade associations, suppliers, government agencies, academic experts, consultants, etc.
And how much will certification cost? That, too, remains to be seen. “Fees will be determined once the standard is completed and we can see how involved it will be to evaluate/audit a service to its criteria. We will also try to take into consideration the type and size of the service provider,” Weissman added.
K-C Spin-Off Sees 2004 Profits Fall
According to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, Neenah Paper, an Alpharetta, Ga.-based spin-off of Kimberly-Clark, recently reported a net loss of $26.4 million on $772.1 million in 2004 sales. In 2003, the net income was $38.9 million on $710.3 million in sales.
ASHES to Analyze Environmental Services
The American Society of Health Care Environmental Services (ASHES) recently announced its effort to establish best practices for environmental services managers. The National Environmental Services Performance Indicators (NESPI) project would guide managers in ensuring a clean and safe health-care environment. NESPI will compile, analyze and report performance indicators for ES disciplines for areas such as staffing, waste management and compensation, among others.
Tennant Director Resigns
According to Market Watch, Will Miller has resigned from the board of directors for Tennant Co., a manufacturer of floor-care equipment. The company stated that Miller resigned due to scheduling conflicts.
Salt Lake City Distributor Causes Evacuations
According to Salt Lake City news outlets, Executive Janitorial Supply, a jan/san distributor, recently caused several neighboring stores and shops to be evacuated after an employee of a coffee shop located below Executive Janitorial Supply noticed fumes and leaking chemicals coming from the shop’s ceiling. The Salt Lake City Fire Department was called to the scene, patrons were evacuated, and a Hazmat crew disposed of the the distributor’s chemical mixture, which had been stored improperly. Legal action is pending.
|LETTER TO THE EDITOR |
Two articles printed in SM’s February Newsworthy section, “Jan/San Industry Left Out of IAQ Policy Planning,” and “New York Governor Signs Green-Product Mandate,” elicited the following reader response:
Clyde L. Hunt Jr.
P.S. Because the City of New York or Chicago, or the State of California decide to require “green” approval does not necessarily require the total country to follow suit! Again, much more data/research confirming the assumptions should be presented prior to “acceptance,” etc.
MERGERS & ACQUISITIONSInternational Paper, Stamford, Conn., recently announced that it has signed an agreement to sell its industrial paper business to Kohlberg and Company LLC for approximately $180 million. The industrial paper business includes lightweight packaging paper and pressure-sensitive paper segments.
The companies expect to close on the sale in the second quarter of 2005. Included in the sale agreement are paper mills in DePere and Kaukauna, Wis.; the Akrosil business with paper converting facilities in Menasha, Wis., Lancaster, Ohio, and Heerlen, Netherlands; and Thilmany Packaging located at the Kaukauna Mill. These operations employ approximately 1,400 people.
Access Group Southern California, Azusa, Calif., and Sales Plus Inc., Irvine, Calif., recently announced the merger of their companies. Access Group, formerly known as Orfila Sales Co., established in 1962, is a manufacturer’s representative agency that specializes in the food service, paper, plastic and disposable industries. Sales Plus, established in 1984, is a manufacturer’s representative agency specializing in the sanitary supply, chemical, industrial, service and safety industries.
President Bush’s recently released budget for the fiscal year 2006 is already troubling legislative analysts for the sanitary supply industry. The International Sanitary Supply Association’s (ISSA) legislative department calls the $46 million in proposed pesticide fees “staggering.” The figure includes $26 million in new registration fees and $20 million in tolerance fees. ISSA points out that the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA) “expressly prohibits the imposition of new pesticide registration fees,” such as those contained in the Administration’s 2006 budget. However, the Bush Administration seeks legislation that would remove the current obstacles to new fees in PRIA.
Maryland lawmakers recently approved legislation that will require companies with more than 10,000 employees to spend at least 8 percent of their payroll on health benefits — or put the money directly into Maryland’s health program for low-income residents.
Although the new law has been dubbed the “Wal-Mart bill,” state legislators said that they were not trying to single out any one particular company. “We’re looking for responsible businesses to ante up...and provide adequate health care,” Sen. Thomas M. Middleton, the Finance Committee chairman, recently told The Washington Post. The measure passed with a wide enough majority to survive a veto by Maryland’s governor.
ISSA Approves FSP Membership
Following a vote that is sure to change the face of the International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA), end users — also known as facility service providers (FSPs) — will now have their own membership category within the organization.
As SM reported in March, a recent ISSA member vote paves the way for FSP individuals and organizations to join ISSA’s current membership of 4,700 distributors, manufacturers, wholesalers, manufacturer representatives and international providers of cleaning services.
Out of the 793 votes cast on the issue, 573 ISSA members (72.25 percent) voted in favor of opening up membership to FSPs, and 220 (27.75 percent) voted against it.
While the provision will help the association increase membership, some distributors aren’t convinced that change will be good. “From an ISSA perspective, membership is dropping and they need more members,” says Shelley Riha, president of AmSan’s Nogg Chemical Branch, headquartered in Omaha, Neb. “From the standpoint of distributors, I don’t believe it really helps. It could encourage end users to just buy direct from manufacturers.”
Many FSPs already are familiar with ISSA, having attended the annual ISSA/INTERCLEAN trade show and educational conference in the United States, in addition to shows held in Mexico, Asia, the Netherlands and Poland.
The majority of members who voted did so in favor of the new membership in order to strengthen the association, says Bill Balek, legislative director for ISSA. “Our open membership policy will help ensure ISSA’s long-term survival and growth, which is crucial to the continuation and improvement of ISSA services and programs for its membership, and the industry in general,” he told SM.
Report Cards Help Restrooms Make the Grade
A recent survey of 1,024 adults from across the United States was conducted via telephone by Opinion Research Corp. on behalf of Kimberly-Clark, Roswell, Ga., a national manufacturer of jan/san products, including tissue and towel products.
Survey participants were asked about their perceptions of most public restrooms. Only 21 percent said that public restrooms were generally clean and in good condition. Twice as many described a visit to a public restroom as “A 50-50 gamble. Some are OK, others are a disaster.”
Not surprisingly, toilet paper was selected over other restroom supplies as having the biggest impact on a positive or negative restroom experience. A clean appearance with good lighting, freshly painted walls and graffiti-free stalls was the overwhelming choice for making a public restroom visit “more pleasant.”
In a question about how to make a public restroom visit as “hassle-free” as possible, 58 percent mentioned touch-free dispensing systems. However, a five-star restroom-rating system like those used for hotels was named the best way to improve overall restroom hygiene by more than 50 percent of respondents.
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