Green Cleaning applies environmentally responsible practices to achieve clean, healthy, safe living and work environments. Objectives include lowering or eliminating exposure to irritating toxins and allergens inside buildings, significant to those with compromise immune systems, chemical sensitivities and allergies. Once considered corporate budget busters, offering little additional health benefits, we are seeing greater demand for verifiable, certified green products and services.
Driven by increased awareness, costs are dropping. In part due to government policies and initiatives promoting the economic benefits of investing in a healthier workforce and sustainable ecosystems, green cleaning is now a viable option by more small businesses, many already committed to recycling and energy conservation programs.
Arodal chooses an industry leader
Established in 1958, Swish is a leader in sustainable production across a number of markets, including cleaning products. A Canadian company, they develop and market an extensive range of innovative, EcoLogo and Green Seal certified products across Canada and the US. These include, cleaning chemicals and formulas, hand hygiene, can liners, towel and tissue products, the majority with recyclable packaging. We're excited about their range of low impact, ordourless disinfectants to help combat flu season. Cleared for use in hospitals and nursing homes they fight a wide range of bacteria, fungi and viruses, perfect for wiping down door hardware, desks and high traffic surfaces.
To date, their strategic partnerships have resulted in 81 certified products. They also offer resource efficient tools and maintenance equipment, ensuring health and ecological integrity without sacrificing performance. Their consumer product descriptions, recommended uses, ingredients and dilutions ratios are clear and helpful. If a product is missing phosphates, ETD's and nitrates found in similar products or considered a consumer game changer, it's noted.
Governments legislate safe practices and standards for cleaning products, third party certification programs strive to surpass them. Simply put, a 'safe 'irritant is still an irritant to those with sensitive or compromised immune or respiratory systems. The objective is to leave the lightest ecological footprint possible without compromising health and safety.
Founded on the principal of sustainability, certification incorporates the sum resources and impact of moving through a life cycle - the true cost to humans, animals, food chain and environment of our decisions. This includes everything from resources required to find, extract and process raw materials to the impact of extraction, processing, shipping, manufacturing, delivery, marketing, consumer use and disposal on health and ecosystems.
EcoLogo is North America's oldest environmental standard and certification program. Initiated by the Canadian Government in 1988, the program is now run by TerraChoice Environmental Marketing. Recognized internationally, EcoLogo identifies products and services that have been independently certified to meet strict environmental standards that reflect their entire life cycle - their impact of human health and ecosystems. Only 20% of products earn certification.
EcoLogo is the only North American standard accredited by the Global Ecolabelling Network as meeting the international ISO 14024 standard for environmental labels - manufacturer transparency and comprehensible list of ingredients are a cornerstone of their mission plan. Sustainable building programs (such as LEED) require companies to adopt sustainable cleaning practices, using third party certified products and equipment. EcoLogo and Green Seal are two of their preferred programs.
Sources and links
A third party, nonprofit environmental certification program. Founded in 1989, Green Seal is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to safeguarding the environment and transforming the marketplace by promoting the manufacture, purchase, and use of environmentally responsible products and services. They contend that credible, transparent standards assist manufacturers, assist purchasers, and consumers make responsible choices. Their standard based certification program is reviewed every three years. Only top performing products in each category earn certification.
Sources and further reading
Walking the Talk - University of British Columbia (UBC)