Distributors of jan/san products are discovering that a growing number of their customers now demand that the cleaning products they buy must meet the strict demands of Green Seal, an environmental certification organization. Consequently, savvy distributors try to stay up on industry changes.

Green Seal recently revised some of its standards based on comments and suggestions from its manufacturing clients. The revisions, proposed late in 2016, affect the following certifications that concern cleaning products for industrial and institutional use: GS-34, GS-37, GS-40, GS-41, GS-51 and GS-53.

It’s important to note that these changes were not aimed at distributors or purchasers of green cleaning products, says Daniel Pedersen, Ph.D., vice president of science and standards for Green Seal, Inc., Washington, D.C. Instead, they are intended to improve clarity, consistency and readability of the standards. And, when necessary, they are meant to modify manufacturing requirements to ensure that they maintain current leadership levels of environmental and human health protection.

For example, changes are being made to primary packaging of the cleaning products.

“Manufacturers came to us and asked why in some cases they needed three different package requirements for the same product,” says Pedersen. “So, we’re updating the requirements for the packaging to make them consistent with more recent standards.”

The inconsistencies occurred when standards were updated at different times over the years. The idea is that what’s acceptable under one standard should be acceptable under the other cleaning product standards, too.

In the big picture, many changes have been made across a large number of standards in an effort to smooth things out for manufacturers. Although it isn’t essential for distributors to know about this round of revisions, it can be useful to stay informed. The more distributors know, the better they can position themselves to educate their customers. 

JoAnn Petaschnick is a freelance writer based in Milwaukee.

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