The Green Cleaning Network was launched at the U.S. Green Building Council's GreenBuild Conference, currening taking place in Denver.

"We are excited to be part of the launch of this important initiative. The green cleaning Network will play an important role in advancing the green building movement" stated Doug Gatlin, the US Green Building Council’s program manager for LEED for Existing Buildings.

“The rapid growth of the green cleaning movement over the past decade has created an urgent need for the establishment of a nonprofit group to serve as an umbrella organization for all the players involved with greening the cleaning industry,” stated Stephen Ashkin who will serve as the executive director.

The Green Cleaning Network will bring together and facilitate the sharing of information among a wide spectrum including schools and universities, healthcare facilities, government and commercial office buildings, hospitality and lodging facilities, as well as cleaning professionals, facility and property managers, policy makers, advocates, third-party certifiers, and many more.

Rochelle Davis, executive director of the Healthy Schools Campaign, one of the founding members of the Green Cleaning Network, accentuated this need. “We believe there is enormous value in learning from others and moving towards a common definition of ‘green’ across various market sectors,” she said.

Another goal of the Green Cleaning Network is to tear down barriers and to eliminate confusion about green cleaning and to better educate the marketplace. “There are a growing number of definitions for green cleaning today,” Ashkin said. “The message is becoming confused because each industry sector defines green cleaning a little differently and is setting requirements for programs that are unique to that sector.”

“We firmly believe in the power of the marketplace and believe that education and eliminating confusion and competing definitions will help everyone implement greener cleaning practices faster, easier and more cost competitively” says Ashkin. “Not only will this be good for facility managers and industry, but the real winners will be building occupants and future generations through the adoption of healthier and more sustainable cleaning practices.”

The founding members of the Green Cleaning Network include the Healthy Schools Campaign, Hospitals for a Healthy Environment, International Executive Housekeepers Association, Responsible Purchasing Network and the U.S. Green Building Council. The Green Cleaning Network is being set up as a 501 c 3 not-for-profit educational organization with a goal of having 100,000 buildings in the Network.

According to Ashkin, “Author and anthropologist Margaret Mead once said, ‘never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.’ Our goal is to make this a very large group and to rapidly accelerate our ability to truly make a difference.”