Green Cleaning – Alphabet soup

While there are 100’s of certifications for commercial cleaning chemicals, here are some the primary ones:

1) ASTM = American Society for Testing and Materials. This has nothing per se to do with green cleaning. Rather it is the standards for effectiveness of cleaning agents. Various green cleaning certifications will however reference it as one of several ways to verify that their green certified cleaning agents actually work. Their standards predate green cleaning, but are incorporated in various green certifications. This is relevant only in that in the early days of green chemicals 15 years ago we couldn’t get the darn stuff to clean. Modern certification requires efficacy as well as environmental friendliness.
2) CGSB = Same concept – the Canadian General Standards Board awards CGSB certifications of effectiveness that are also generally acceptable as demonstrating the efficacy of green certified cleaners.
3) DfE = Design for the the Environment. This is the Environmental Protection Agency’s green certification. Probably the gold standard of certifications – more so than Ecologic or Green Seal (below). Will require one of the above certifications of efficacy in addition to requiring low environmental impact.
4) Ecologic CCD’s = Usually people will refer to Ecologic directly but the underlying standards are “Certification Criteria Documents” issued by the Canadian Government since 1988. We are usually 20 years behind the Europeans and 15 years behind the Canadians in many areas of culture (ex TV and Hollywood) and this has been around since 1988. Europe – in particular Germany – have been aggressively “green” for decades – we are only now catching up.
5) GS37, GS40, etc = Green Seal. Probably the most common currently. GS37 is pretty innocuous stuff – not quite drinkable, but pretty harmless to the environment. GS40 are a little harsher – disinfectants can be certified as GS40 – but still a much less environmentally active formulation than the stuff from 20 years ago.
6) CCR = California Code of Regulations certifications. Also acceptable in lieu of GS## certification in LEED certification applications. Our P and G partner products are CCR certified but not – last time I looked – Green Seal or Ecologic certified.
7) CRI = Carpet and Rug Institute certification for vacuum cleaners and carpet cleaning chemicals. Generally under 70 decibels with hepa filters. Out Pro -Team partner vacuums meet these standards.
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