Third-party certifications are incredibly important for a building owner, especially those considering LEED certification, says Teresa Farmer, LEED-AP and educational/business development manager for Kelsan Inc., Knoxville, Tennessee.

“I tell our customers to look for products that are third-party certified,” she says. “Then they don’t have to look at ingredients and be concerned with whether or not it’s environmentally friendly. If it’s already gone through third-party certification, they know it’s a green product and that it meets the standards.”

Distributors can help their clients by asking manufacturers for information on products that outlines why they are environmentally preferred.

“With LEED, you have to send in documentation,” Farmer says. “You can’t just say it’s EcoLogo or Green Seal certified. They need documentation that explains why it’s a green product.”

Distributors also need to let building owners know that adding green chemicals to their laundry operations isn’t enough, says Ashkin. They also need to work to reduce water and energy consumption.

“It’s not just the chemicals,” he says. “They have to make sure they are being dosed properly. The greenest chemical in the world isn’t green if you’re using twice as much as you are supposed to. Their laundry washing equipment also needs to be maintained.”

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