Stephen P. Ashkin, president of Bloomington, IN-based The Ashkin Group – and a Green cleaning expert – applauded outgoing New Jersey Governor Richard J. Codey’s executive order mandating the purchasing of environmentally friendly cleaning products by all state agencies. Commenting on Executive Order No. 76, Ashkin called the move part of a growing trend for state agencies to implement green cleaning programs.
“The executive order requires the State of New Jersey to figure out what is Green,” said Ashkin. “Obviously, we would like it to be consistent with the work that has already been done on the issue so that it does not create barriers for our industry or add unnecessary costs for public agencies.”
Executive Order No. 76, effective immediately, allows for the exhaustion of existing cleaning inventories and provides for the training of cleaning staff.
It directs the New Jersey departments of Treasury, Health, Senior Services, and Environmental Protection to establish guidelines to implement the program; the Department of Treasury will provide the governor and legislature with a report assessing the program within one year.
The order states that, “All state departments, authorities, and instrumentalities with purchasing responsibility shall procure and use cleaning products having properties that minimize potential impacts to human health and the environment, consistent with maintaining the effectiveness of these products for the protection of the public health and safety.”
“It also encourages county, municipal governments, and school districts not expressly subject to the requirements of the order to review their purchasing and use of cleaning products,” says Ashkin. “This is very significant and reflects the apparently unstoppable trend toward healthier, green cleaning.”