Green Seal Certification
8/26/13 9:49 AM
When you're looking for products that are environmentally friendly to add to your cleaning business, start by looking for the Green Seal Certification label. These are products that have met rigorous scientific standards that indicate they are not only easier on the environment, but also on the people using them. Adding Green Seal products to your cleaning services will give you an edge in offering something valuable and unique to your customers.
What's Behind the Green Seal Mark
Founded in 1989, the Green Seal organization started with a mission to offer truth in labeling for environmentally friendly products and services. It operates under international standards and guidelines (ISO 14020 and 14024) set by the International Organization for Standardization. They are also founding members of the Global Ecolabeling Network.
Green Seal is an entirely non-profit operation that is funded through grants, certification and monitoring fees, contracts, and special projects. They receive no compensation through licensing or share-of-sale of the products and services they certify.
Green Seal has areas of certification for everything from office paper to lodging facilities. Even though they adhere to international standards of eco-labeling, the Green Seal is a certification mark most commonly found in the United States. Most foreign markets have their own certification process and official mark, but will recognize the Green Seal under some circumstances.
What's Behind National Green Week?
Starting in 2008 the Green Education Foundation began a campaign in schools across the nation to promote green living and environmental awareness. National Green Week occurs every year in the first week of February. Programs for school kids include lessons to reinforce the "Three R's" of good environmental stewardship:
- Reduce: Seek to significantly reduce your waste. Kids are encouraged to question if they really need certain material things in their lives, from convenience lunch items to electronic gear. The challenge is to reduce acquiring material things in the first place that will later be discarded.
- Reuse: Can things in your life be reused, even once? Buying items that can be used over and over, like reusable food containers and coffee mugs, help eliminate the need for one-time-use things that end up in the trash.
- Recycle: Can the things you use be recycled instead of throwing them away? Paper, plastic, and metals are the usual things that can be recycled into new raw materials. But, can other things be donated or "repurposed" into a new life? Growing out of your clothes? Donate to the thrift store or make into craft items. Don't need that old pair of glasses anymore? Donate it to an organization that will send it overseas to someone who can't afford any glasses in the first place.
National Green Week is a great way to encourage not only children in schools, but everyone to become more aware of things we can all do to live lighter on the Earth.
What it Means for Your Business
With more and more consumers becoming aware of "green" and ecological living, you will sooner or later come across someone asking about your "green" cleaning services. By using products that are Green Seal certified you put your business in a unique place to capture that market.
And for those clients who are unaware of green cleaning products, educating them (through your website or company brochure) will let them know your cleaning business is of a high caliber than most. Leading your clients to feeling good about saving the environment through hiring your green cleaning service will keep them coming back.
Green Seal Certification Standards
Getting a product or service Green Seal certified is not just a one time process. The certification process takes into consideration the entire lifecycle of a product/service. How is it manufactured? Is there waste from manufacturing? What is the effect on the health of workers using the product or performing the service? These are just the beginning of the evaluation process.
Once a product/service receives the Green Seal mark there is an ongoing relationship to monitor continued compliance. Green Seal also partners with businesses and government agencies to encourage on going process and product improvement to align with long term sustainable business, governmental, and environmental practices.
Visit GreenSeal.org to find out more about their organization and certification process.