Cleaning: Green Cleaning & Sustainability Cleaning: Sustainability
Green Certifications Help Reduce Greenwashing
There are countless green products in the market today, but not all live up to their environmentally friendly claims. Greenwashing, or making misleading or false claims about green products, is a serious problem in the cleaning industry. To help limit confusion, distributors and end users can look for certifications and approval from third-party organizations. Green Seal is one of the more common certifications in the United States. Those in the cleaning industry may be familiar with GS-37 for chemicals, GS-40 for floor-care products, GS-41 for soaps and hand cleaners, GS-9 for towels and napkins and GS-1 for tissue products. Another organization is EcoLogo. Founded by the Canadian government, EcoLogo is now recognized in all of North America and offers certifications for cleaning chemicals, soaps, towel and tissue and odor control products, among others. Products that improve indoor air quality are able to earn certification from GreenGuard. Look for the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Seal of Approval certification on green vacuums, carpet extractors, carpet chemicals and full carpet-care systems. Finally, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offers the Design for the Environment or DfE. This actually is not a certification, but rather a partnership with companies that voluntarily commit to incorporating environmental considerations into their design process.