Green Seal's new standard, GS-51 Laundry Care Products for Industrial and Institutional Use, is designed to address the environmental impacts of laundry care products used in hotel, hospital, restaurant, institutional, and industrial settings.

It is proving to be the right standard at the right time for the commercial and institutional laundry industry, according to Arthur Weissman, president and CEO for Green Seal.

"The commercial laundry industry continues to be under pressure to 'go green,' to reduce its environmental footprint, and to adopt more sustainable practices," says Weissman. "GS-51 was created to help this industry accomplish those goals and to facilitate the shift to healthier, safer laundry products."
The standard covers more than 20 product categories for conventional laundry and dry cleaning products used in scores of facilities every day. These include detergents, prewash products, spot removers, laundry additives, fabric care products, and others.

Along with helping facilities green their laundry operations and make them more sustainable, the new standard should also help in the following ways:
• Protect workers' health. To receive certification under GS-51, laundry products can not contain any components that are carcinogens, reproductive toxins, mutagens, neurotoxins/systemic toxins, endocrine disruptors, asthmagens, respiratory sensitizers, and skin sensitizers. Certified products must not cause skin corrosion or eye damage.
• Meet performance requirements. The standard is designed to ensure that all GS-51-certified laundry care products deliver, if not exceed, the performance expected of comparable non-green laundry care products. This is critically important in commercial laundry areas.
• Reduce fuel, transportation, and storage needs. GS-51 requires that certified detergents and fabric softeners be sold in concentrated (2X) and/or ultraconcentrated (4X) forms. "This leads to fewer trucks on the road, saving fuel and reducing greenhouse emissions," Weissman explains. "And, concentrated products use less packaging material and contain less water, so they have less impact on our natural resources."

It is possible this higher concentration of laundry care products may also prove to be a cost savings for end-users.