In mid-April, the city and county of Racine, Wis., became the first community in the nation to embrace a cost-efficient and effective, community wide green cleaning campaign.

The campaign, “Green Racine,” is the first step in creating an on-going, coordinated effort to improve the impact that facilities have on health and environment in the city and county of Racine.

“Green Racine will be an annual event aimed at continually improving the health of people in the Racine community and our natural environment,” said Gary Becker, mayor of Racine. “We hope that by being the first community to make this degree of concerted effort to green cleaning operations we can inspire other communities to do the same.”

More than 20 institutions and businesses have already pledged to implement green cleaning in their facilities, starting with the adoption of green cleaning processes and related products.

“It was just a common sense thing to do,” said Bill McReynolds, Racine County Executive. “Every little bit that we can do to help provide a safe environment for our customers, our staff and our cleaning personnel is our goal, and we just felt it was the right thing to do.”

Participating “Green Racine” institutions include governments, schools and universities, major local businesses, medical facilities, environmental groups and churches.

“We were very impressed by the number of institutions that jumped on board,” said McReynolds. “This is just the start of how you’ll see this continually grow.”

Becker said the campaign will track and report the effect that facilities have on the environment in Racine County.

In the first year, participating institutions will be able to measure impacts such as the use of paper products, improvements in indoor environmental quality, as well as occupant satisfaction.

“We feel that here in Racine County, we take the lead in a lot of things,” said McReynolds. “It’s nice that we’re out in front on this, and we’re proud of it. It’s a movement that is starting and I hope that other municipalities and governmental units catch on.”

JohnsonDiversey, based in Racine County along with neighboring Kranz Inc., a jan/san distributor, were key players in jumpstarting the campaign.

Both sponsored a green cleaning/green building symposium at the launch of the campaign at which national experts provided insight into what it means to operate a green building.

Experts also detailed what a green cleaning program entails, including products, tools and procedures that maintenance teams of participating organizations will be trained to use in coming months.


Green For Dummies
ISSA recently released Green Cleaning for Dummies, a special industry specific edition on green cleaning, written by industry experts Steve Ashkin and David Holly.

The book, released in April, is aimed at commercial and institutional cleaning executives and offers valuable information to building owners and facility managers as well as cleaning product manufacturers, distributors and service providers. It also provides specific coverage on several types of organizations, including schools and universities, health care facilities and office buildings.

Distributors Believe Net Incomes Will Rise In 2007
An April poll found that nearly 75 percent of the 100 jan/san distributors surveyed believe that their net incomes will rise in 2007, while 63 percent indicated that they expect profit margins to remain the same over the next few years.

Increased net incomes are expected to rise with territory expansion. Additionally, more than 62 percent of respondents surveyed by Tornado Industries Inc., Chicago, indicate they will examine their current product line and eliminate products with small profit margins.

Cleaning Products Safe When Used As Directed
According to a recent survey released by the Soap and Detergent Association (SDA), nearly nine out of 10 Americans say the cleaning products they purchase are safe when used as directed.

Of the 946 adults surveyed, 40 percent of respondents found cleaning products to be “very safe,” while 48 percent said they were “somewhat safe.” Eight percent said these products are “somewhat unsafe,” and less than 1 percent said cleaning products are “not safe at all,” when used as directed.