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Getting 'in' on the action

September 19, 2010
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Cleaning products are Green Seal certified — but, people?

Within the next year, cleaning contractors (BSCs) can bear the same title.

The recently proposed Green Seal Certification for building service contractors (BSCs) and residential and contracted-out (commercial) cleaning services is slated for completion by the start of 2006. Certification is slated to allow contractors to bid with a more competitive edge, and offer clients assurance that their facilities are certifiably clean, provided there is an auditing process. (See cover story, page 34.)

What about in-house operations? For the sake of being fair, Green Seal won’t say that in-house services are being alienated from certification, but in the beginning stages of scoping criteria to develop a standard, there is no provision in the proposal.

During a recent interview, Green Seal President/CEO Arthur Weissman told CM/Cleaning & Maintenance Management magazine that, while at this point, Green Seal certification is being targeted toward BSCs, in-house personnel can apply for certification if it becomes part of the scope.

Tipping the scales
The scoping process that defines the certification standards will determine whether those standards include in-house operations; Weissman said if Green Seal gets comments from people saying there is no way certification could apply to both in-house and BSCs and back up the comments with compelling reasons, Green Seal officials and stakeholders will decide to what group the standards apply to — and chances are, it would go to BSCs.

Why? Because, Weissman said, BSCs are ubiquitous in the industry.

In a time when institutions that historically employed in-house cleaning operations are outsourcing their cleaning needs, often displacing custodial workers, contractors will soon have another pitch — Green Seal certification. It carries weight, it carries credibility.

If you’re cleaning with green chemicals and want to complement your program, become educated about what certification will entail by following the standard through the scoping process. Log onto Green Seal at, or call (202) 872-6400.

The onus may be on you — the in-house cleaner.

You may not be selling your cleaning program to your facilities, but you are “selling” your quality.

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