Stephen Ashkin, President of The Ashkin Group and the jansan industry’s leading advocate for Green Cleaning, has been invited by Wal-Mart to be a part of what the retailer refers to as their “network.”
The goal of the network is to help the company evaluate cleaning products for use and for sale in the company’s more than 4,100 locations around the globe as to their impact on the environment.
“This analysis is for not only [cleaning] products used to clean Wal-Mart stores but the types of professional and household cleaning products actually sold in the stores,” says Ashkin.
To help identify products that have a reduced impact on the environment, manufacturers and suppliers must answer questions about their products such as these:
What are the product’s ingredients, suspected contaminants, physiochemical data, and flash point and boiling point?
How is the product transported? What is the weight? What packaging materials are used?
How is the product eventually disposed of? What is the impact of that disposal on the environment?
“Based on their answers, the program ‘scores’ a product,” says Ashkin. “If it meets certain criteria, it will score well and can be used and sold in the store. If not, the supplier will have a time period to meet the new guidelines or else lose vendor status with Wal-Mart.”
According to Ashkin, the “scorecard” system, as it is commonly referred to, is having considerable influence on the ways products are made in a variety of different businesses.
“Wal-Mart now has the size and [buying] power to influence entire industries,” he says. “Fortunately, these and other Green and sustainable programs the company has implemented are major steps in helping to promote sustainability and protect our planet.”