Green Business Bureau Blog
How to Green the Cleaning Industry?
An Argument for Proactive Self Regulation As the developed world starts to look more and more at various green initiatives, the idea of greening the cleaning industry is moving to the forefront. While the idea of cleaning our clothing, floors, cars, air and more may seem synonymous with green, the chemicals too often used in cleaning products actually make modern cleaning anything but environmentally friendly. Sadly, to remove dirt, dust and odors, the cleaning industry has amassed an army of chemicals that can be toxic to human skin, human breathing and the environment at large. Thus, encouraging the cleaning industry to go green is of paramount importance to every human on earth.
Fortunately, there are a variety of advantages to the cleaning industry inherent in going green. While green cleaning products may cost a bit more in the short term, as this technology comes of age it will likely result in a cost savings to the producers of cleaning products. Additionally, the positive public relations and good will with customers that a company’s green efforts can generate can equate to an increased customer base and thus improved profit margin. Finally, by going green cleaning product manufacturers can get ahead of the curve of government regulation, something that is likely to come down the wire at some point in the future, as the lists of controlled toxic chemicals lengthens and citizens demand more and more government regulation of their health safety.
Saving Money and Increasing the Customer Base While green efforts are relatively new in the world of big business and manufacturing, we are already starting to see the cost savings and increased profits that a proactive, mature green initiative can bring to a company. Yes, redesigning cleaning products to use less toxic, more natural ingredients presents a challenge that will cost an initial financial outlay in development. However, many of the ingredients that are being successfully tested (including things such as citric acids) are actually quite inexpensive to buy and process, and require less specialized equipment and fewer safety regulations to work with. This means that after an initial investment, cleaning product manufacturers may eventually see a decrease in their production costs.
These improved green cleaners also give a company a new marketing campaign built right in. Once a company has green cleaning products they can reach an entirely new population of consumers, widening their customer base, taking customers away from other less proactive companies that have not yet made the inevitable move to green, and putting more money into the pockets of owners and investors.
Staying Ahead of the Competition and the Regulations In today’s political climate we live in a strange dichotomy where people seem to demand autonomy from the government, yet request governmental regulation for their safety and protection all at the same time. A number of industries have seen consumers lobby for laws to protect their rights, which have soon resulted in governmental regulations on the industry.
To avoid this type of forced regulation, many companies and even industries choose to self-regulate ahead of time, ensuring that their products are safe and consumer friendly, in an effort to avoid costly governmental regulations or sanctions. This is a path that the cleaning industry should seriously consider as consumers become more and more concerned about the health of themselves, their family and the Earth at large. And the trends certainly do show a leaning towards regulation.
Examples of cleaning regulation can be seen in a number of states. Specifically, Connecticut, New York, Maryland and Illinois have all passed laws that require the use of environmentally friendly cleaning products throughout the public school system. Taking this even further, Illinois has recently expanded their law to require such green cleaning in all government owned buildings. Certainly office buildings and public facilities cannot be far behind, and as happens with most progress, more and more states are likely to follow this lead. Thus, proactive cleaning developers and manufacturers should already be anticipating this trend and preparing for a future where green is not only desirable, but the law.
Making a Better World
The greening of the cleaning industry is one part of a larger solution to make our world healthier for everyone. By making cleaning products more eco-friendly, cleaning manufacturers can decrease their manufacturing costs, increase their customer base and profits, stay ahead of governmental regulations and the competition, and become part of the solution to helping us all live longer, healthier lives. Read more about cleaning companies