A recent press release from a manufacturer outlined what the company believed to be the top 10 jan/san accomplishments of 2004. Industry acceptance of environmentally preferable products and chemicals was among the achievements.

Columnist John Walker says green chemicals are a good start, but only that. And I agree. For instance, the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB) is now out of the pilot stage, and buildings are signing up at a rapid pace. LEED-EB goes far beyond products, and into programs such as recycling, grounds care, lighting and water management. It brings together all members of a building’s team — from architects and engineers to maintenance managers and building service contractors — to ensure the building’s indoor environment is healthy, and its impact on the outdoor environment is minimal.

To help contractors navigate this green new world, we’ve brought aboard two new Contracting Profits columnists who will be writing our new “Green Guide” section. This month features Joe Jimenez, who readers might remember played an integral part in the intensive clean-up of the Washington State Ecology Building, which we profiled in October 2003. Next month, Rona Fried, president and founder of SustainableBusiness.com., will offer her insights.

Stacie H. Whitacre, Editor