If you are looking to make your facility’s cleaning and maintenance program more sustainable, there are a number of best practices you can follow to better protect the planet. This may entail finding ways to reduce water consumption tied to floor care, selecting safer and greener chemicals, or improving the lifespan of key assets to reduce landfill waste.
For some facility managers, trusted certifications can serve as a guiding light for being more environmentally responsible. Green Seal® is a well-regarded environmental standard development and certification organization that verifies the sustainability and efficacy claims of many products and services. Read on to learn more about Green Seal certification and other key designations that can help guide your cleaning program, including carpet care.
Understanding Green Seal Certification
What does it mean for a product to be Green Seal certified? Green Seal reserves its mark for “products that are guaranteed to meet the strictest standards for performance, health and environmental safety.” There are numerous stages of the process, including application, review, and a site visit. To date, more than 33,000 products have earned the mark. As a result, Green Seal separates its certified products and services into specific categories. These include construction materials and building equipment, sanitary paper products, industrial and institutional cleaning products and more.
Facility managers can easily search for and learn more about Green Seal-certified cleaning products via Green Seal’s comprehensive online directory. There are several Whittaker carpet cleaning chemistries that make the list. These include CRYSTAL SPOTTER® for treating stains, CRYSTAL DRY® EXTRA for removing soils through low-moisture encapsulation, and CRYSTAL® QUICK RESTORE™, for restoring heavily soiled areas.
There are many benefits associated with incorporating Green Seal products into your operations, including improving indoor air quality (IAQ), reducing water and energy use, and reducing toxicity. In addition to better protecting the health and safety of building occupants and the environment, using Green Seal-certified products can actually help facilities achieve points through the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. LEED is a prestigious and sought-after designation for commercial buildings, so facilities that incorporate Green Seal products set themselves up for success with this program as well.
The Seal of Approval for Carpet Care
Aside from Green Seal, there is another important certification that you should understand when acquiring products and equipment for cleaning and maintenance in your facility. For example, the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI), the trade association for the North American carpet industry, offers guidance for selecting solutions that support carpet care and occupant wellbeing. It is well known that proper carpet maintenance enhances indoor air quality and in turn has a positive impact on those who live in, work in, and visit facilities with soft flooring.
The Carpet and Rug Institute Seal of Approval (SOA) program takes a closer look at seven key characteristics tied to product performance. These are soil removal efficacy, resoiling, residual moisture, surface appearance change, colorfastness, pH level and optical brighteners. The goal of the program is to ensure “cleaner, healthier and long-lasting carpet” in residential and commercial environments.
There are many carpet cleaning products on the market but not all take sustainability into consideration. For facilities with a lot of carpet, like airports and convention centers, regular carpet care is essential for maintaining its appearance and lengthening its lifespan.
To simplify the process of choosing the right solutions for your carpet care program, start by reviewing the list of CRI approved carpet cleaning solutions. Again, several Whittaker chemistries are approved. These include CRYSTAL SPOTTER®, CRYSTAL® ODOR & PROTEIN for addressing organic stains, and CRYSTAL® QUICK RESTORE™ for deep cleaning. Incorporating these solutions into your routine not only ensures your carpet remains clean, but that you are not negatively contributing to the environment through the use of chemistries.
Greening your Approach to Facility Management
Increasingly, building owners and facility managers are looking for ways to make their sites more sustainable. For some, this comes in the form of overhauling their approach to waste management, recycling, and composting, or being more mindful of energy use during non-peak hours. For others, approaching cleaning from a green perspective is the key to being more environmentally responsible.
Green cleaning enables commercial facilities to drastically reduce water, chemical and energy consumption, while also reducing unnecessary waste. Using products that are certified by organizations like Green Seal and the Carpet and Rug Institute is an important first step in greening your cleaning operations. With trusted solutions on hand, you can rest assured that you are doing your part to protect the planet by prolonging the life of carpet and keeping it from ending up in landfills prematurely.