A recent survey of nearly 200 jan/san distributors indicates that none of their end user customers are “very well educated” on green cleaning. Only about half of distributor customers know something about green cleaning, while the other half think their customers know “very little” about it. Possible conclusions: A) Distributors are underestimating the savviness of building service contractors, or B) BSCs are underestimating the popularity and significance of green cleaning.

Either way, the contract-cleaning industry has its work cut out for it. Love it or hate it, green cleaning is here to stay. As we reported last month, New York requires green cleaning in all public schools. Similarly, New Jersey requires green cleaning in all state agencies. And as Steve Ashkin points out in his column this month, 56 cities, 16 states and nine federal agencies have buildings complying with the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards.

If green cleaning is not on your radar, now is a good time to start familiarizing yourself with terms, products and certifications. As Ashkin also points out, you can find plenty of information by reading articles or attending seminars. Or, consult your distributor; according to the survey, nearly 65 percent of them say they are “very well educated” in green cleaning.

It’s a “pay-me-now” or “pay-me-later” market scenario. I suggest being proactive when it comes to green.