To help educate facility executives on what products are green, BSCs typically refer to third-party certifications such as Green Seal, ECOLOGO, Safer Choice or others. However, unfortunately, green-certified products aren’t that important to facility executives. Just 49 percent of survey respondents believe that the products used by their building service contractors need to be certified by a third-party organization.

The facility executive quoted previously had this to say: “My major issue with green cleaning products is the labeling,” he says. “Which authority decides if the products are green, or what percentage of the product has to be green to [earn the certification]? Shouldn’t the manufacturing process also be green before labeling a product green? Kind of like health supplements, there is no regulating body that makes these decisions, and that’s a concern.”

It is true that anyone can come up with their own version of green certification. That is why recognized third-party certifications can help purchasers navigate the marketplace and weed out products that simply claim to be green from those products that actually are.

“Most people who buy green cleaning products or services are not technical experts on these products,” says Ashkin. “Third-party certification makes it so much easier to know that they are meeting requirements.”

Facility executives familiar with the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program should at least be aware of some of the cleaning certifications, because using certified products is a LEED requirement. For others, BSCs should educate their customers not only the products, but what the certification means.

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