The Illinois Green Cleaning Schools Workshop was held Wednesday, April 16 as jan/san distributors and manufacturers anticipate rising demand for Green products and services in response to the Illinois Green Cleaning Schools Act.

The act requires all Illinois schools - public and private, kindergarten through twelfth grade - to purchase and use Green cleaning products effective May 9.

The workshop was designed to equip ISSA members to meet market demand as schools search for Green Cleaning products and services.

More specifically, the workshop addressed the following:
• Identifying exactly what the legislation covers including why Green Cleaning is important for kids and schools, exemption options for schools, differentiating product categories “required” by the law from those that are “recommended”, and more.

• Learning how to assist schools in implementing the new Green cleaning regulations while also securing business opportunities.

• Getting expert insight into how to work with schools, including the practical and financial aspects of school district purchasing; and discovering how business will be affected by the Green Cleaning Schools Act.

Stephen Ashkin, President of The Ashkin Group and Executive Director of the Green Cleaning Network, Bloomington, IN., was a speaker at the event.

In his estimation, many of those who attended the event view Green Cleaning as a business opportunity.

“They see Green cleaning as a way to build and solidify their customer relationships,” he said, “and they realize Green Cleaning is not only good for health and the environment, but good for our industry and their bottom line.”

A good deal of Ashkin’s presentation focused on how to implement a Green Cleaning program in a school, emphasizing the importance of conducting an initial assessment of current cleaning products, procedures, exterior factors such as construction work, bus and auto pollution, and dust that can impact the cleanliness of a building.

“This assessment becomes the benchmark,” explained Ashkin.  “It tells the facility managers exactly where they are now and the steps necessary to Green the facility.”

The workshop was hosted by Bill Balek, Director of Legislative Affairs for ISSA, the largest cleaning association in the world headquartered in Lincolnwood, IL, the Healthy Schools Campaign, Chicago, and the Illinois Office of the Lt. Governor.