ISSA Approves Measure To Allow Contractor Members
Members of the International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA), Lincolnwood, Ill., have voted to create a new membership class for building service contractors and other facility-service providers (FSPs).

Many FSPs already are familiar with ISSA, having attended the annual ISSA/INTERCLEAN™ trade show and educational conference in the United States in addition to shows held in Mexico, Asia, the Netherlands and Poland. In fact, the U.S. show draws an average of more than 16,000 attendees annually, and since it was opened to end users in 1999, they have accounted for an increasingly large percentage of the show’s repeat attendees. Contracting Profits is a regular sponsor of ISSA/INTERCLEAN-USA’s educational sessions for building service contractors.

“The primary goal of ISSA is — and always will be — to help members with their business needs,” said executive director John Garfinkel in a press release. “We will continue to forge a path to help all members meet their business objectives and to lead the industry in the 21st century.”

Green Seal To Certify BSCs
Building service contractors will soon be able to apply for green-cleaning certification by the Washington, D.C.-based Green Seal.

The Green Seal standard will certify cleaning services as opposed to products, said Arthur Weissman, president and CEO, in a news release.

Once the standard is completed — which is estimated to be within six to nine months of obtaining the necessary funding — both residential and commercial cleaning services that apply for certification and meet the standard will be able to become “Green Seal certified.”

“This certification will enable these cleaning companies to validate and market their green procedures and protocols based on meaningful criteria, and capitalize on the growing demand for green products and services,” said Weissman.

Green Seal is seeking five sponsors to provide the funding necessary for developing and finalizing the standard’s environmental criteria; however, due to the potential for conflicts of interest, BSCs will be unable to become sponsors.

To the Editor:
I feel compelled to respond to the article in your January 2005 issue titled “Rethinking Green”.

The article should put contractors on the alert for suppliers who are using green cleaning only as a sales slogan. A true green-cleaning program looks at all products, procedures, workloading, recycling, resource management, pollution, pest management, occupant issues, etc., in an effort to create healthy, high performance buildings while minimizing environmental impacts.

But, I disagree with the notion that the products don’t matter. The members of the green building and green- cleaning movements believe that:

• It matters to workers and unions if cleaning products are carcinogenic, reproductive toxins, neurotoxins, readily absorbed through the skin, etc., even if they are not wasted.

• It matters to building occupants, parents of school children and health advocates if products are respiratory irritants, developmental toxins, asthmagens, even if they are not wasted.

• It matters to environmentalists if cleaning products are derived from non-renewable resources, contain no recycled content, pollute air, are toxic to aquatic life, accumulate in the environment, even if they are not wasted.

• It matters to governments and the green-building community in general if cleaning products used by their custodial contractors violate their green initiatives, even if they are not wasted.

Again, I agree that products, labor, and resources of all kinds (including money) should NOT be wasted. But to diminish the importance of the products themselves is just plain wrong!

Stephen Ashkin, President
The Ashkin Group, LLC