By Stephen Ashkin

Stephen Ashkin is president of The Ashkin Group, a nationally renowned consulting firm helping both contractors and building owners “green” the cleaning process.

This year’s ISSA/INTERCLEAN® North America show should be a terrific opportunity to start or improve your green cleaning program. With over 16,000 cleaning professionals to network with and more than 700 booths, there will be plenty to see and learn.

This year’s convention features green products from traditional suppliers, along with international exhibitors; governments, advocates and associations; and products from a number of specialized areas of cleaning that may stimulate ideas for new services.

Start looking for green during educational sessions. ISSA prides itself on its extensive offering of educational opportunities including a number on green cleaning. Pre-conference programs on Monday, Sept. 8 include:

  • Green Cleaning Fundamentals: Overcoming Confusion and Getting Down to Business by Steve Ashkin, The Ashkin Group
  • Beyond Clean: Advanced Environmental Discussion for Executives by Steve Ashkin
  • Sales Tips for Supporting Green Schools by Rochelle Davis, Healthy Schools Campaign
  • How to Sell Green Cleaning without Greenwashing by Scot Case, Environmental Choice
  • From Here to Sustainability: Profits & Pitfalls of the Green Economy by Joel Makower, Greener World Media

Other programs taking place during the trade show in ISSA’s Education Theatre include:

  • LEED-EB Update by Steve Ashkin
  • Status of Green in Schools by Rochelle Davis
  • Is Going Green the Best Choice for Your Business? by Joel Makower
  • Cause Related Marketing: Do Better by Doing Good by Deborah Sardone
  • Plus updates from both Environmental Choice and Green Seal.

Continue your green search on the show floor. Anticipate lots of exhibitors with green products and training programs. Some of what to look for includes:

  • Greener chemicals for specialty products such as polishes and spot removers, as well as biobased, bacteriological and enzymatic products
  • Greener floor-care products including more durable floor finishes, greener stripping solutions and floor pads that eliminate stripping solution altogether
  • Greener equipment including scrubbers, extractors and “no touch” machines that consume less water and chemicals; and steam-cleaning devices and autoscrubbers that use no cleaning chemicals at all
  • Greener recycled paper that reduces consumption through higher quality and paper made from rapidly renewable fibers
  • Greener plastic can liners with recycled contents and alternative resins
  • Greener trash cans, buckets, carts, mops and other tools and supplies that are better performing, more durable and include recycled content
  • Greener training programs and strategies to help meet the requirements of LEED and GS-42

Two final places to stop include ISSA’s Innovation Area where you can cast your vote for the best new “green” innovation and the Green Connections Exhibitors where you’ll find government agencies, nonprofits, certifiers and others who can assist you with green cleaning. It’s also where you’ll find the Ashkin Group at booth No. 4081.