Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Green cleaning and the economy

September 19, 2010
A recent survey sent to approximately 5,000 people who receive DestinationGreen, a monthly newsletter of The Ashkin Group, an internationally recognized consulting firm working to green the cleaning industry, indicates the prospect of a recession will not pose a serious blow to the greening of the professional cleaning industry.

Although there was some concern, the majority of respondents do not believe that the slowing economy will have an adverse impact.

“Perhaps it’s because most end customers now know that green cleaning ultimately translates into increased value and benefits for consumers,” says Stephen Ashkin, president of The Ashkin Group and executive director of the Green Cleaning Network. “This in turn can lower operating costs and has helped lessen the respondents’ concerns.”

Survey results
The results bode well for those advocating green cleaning.

If end customers are more hesitant to select green cleaning products, most of the manufacturers surveyed report that they will take steps to push the sales of green products.

About half of the manufacturers surveyed report that a slowing U.S. economy will not impact the amount of resources, engineering, and time committed by their companies to develop green cleaning products.

The survey also shows that the majority of manufacturers will not stop having products green-certified by certification organizations because of costs incurred in the process.

Distributors responded favorably in the survey as well.

If faced with a slowing U.S. economy, more than 54 percent of the distributors indicated they would promote the benefits of green products over conventional products in marketing.

Additionally, more than 50 percent of the distributors indicated a slowing U.S. economy would lead them to increase their green value-added services.

“It is important to note that just over 62 percent of respondents indicated their belief that private businesses might become the most hesitant to select green cleaning products in an economic downturn,” says Ashkin. “But, many of the respondents also indicated that government, education, and health care sectors, all large sectors served by JanSan distributors, will actually increase their purchasing of green cleaning products regardless of the state of the economy.”