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Sustainability

The Sustainable Disconnect

September 19, 2010
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When it comes to environmental responsibility and the purchasing of green cleaning products, businesses aren''t so different from consumers: There''s often a disconnect between intentions and actions.

Sure, we all want to operate in a manner that minimizes our impact on the environment, but that is not always the case.

Theory and practice are two different things, and just because a concept sounds intriguing or worthy does not mean it will be acted upon or be feasible.

Many people, JanSan individuals included, enjoy the idea or concept of an action far more than they enjoy actually embarking in said idea or concept.

After all, it is human nature to want something for little to nothing.

Using green products and equipment and operating sustainably seems wonderful on paper, but many often become distressed when they realize that sustainability is an ongoing struggle with no definitive end.

A recent industry study focused on decision-makers'' perceptions, knowledge, attitudes and behaviors about environmental responsibility.

According to the research, nine out of 10 respondents said they believe that sustainability and environmental responsibility are important for their businesses overall.

However, less than one-quarter of their businesses or organizations have set sustainability guidelines.

And, when asked about the factors behind their cleaning-related purchases, the decision-makers'' top considerations were performance, price and ease of use, at 62 percent, 51 percent and 21 percent respectively.

The environmental impact of their purchasing decisions ranked number four on the list at 20 percent.

Unfortunately, this shows that a vast majority still hold the notion that operating sustainably is good only when it is convenient or cost effective.

While great strides have been made by our industry in promoting green purchasing and sustainable operation, the old adage that price is king still rings true.

Eventually, what we currently consider to be green products and equipment will become the baseline standard.

Until then, environmental stewards will continue the green push in hopes that everyone will realize the benefits of sustainable operation beyond the dollar signs.

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