A recent survey sent to approximately 5,000 subscribers of DestinationGreen, the monthly newsletter of The Ashkin Group, indicates the prospect of a recession will not pose a serious blow to the “Greening” of the professional cleaning industry.
Based in Bloomington, IN, the Ashkin Group is an international consulting firm working to green the professional cleaning industry, as well as schools, medical facilities, offices, and other facilities.
Although the majority of respondents reported a cooling economy will cause some end customers to be more concerned about the cost of products rather than whether they are green, the majority do not believe the slowing of the U.S. economy will have an adverse impact.
“Perhaps it’s because most end customers now know that green cleaning ultimately translates into increased value and benefits for consumers,” says Stephen Ashkin, president of The Ashkin Group and executive director of the Green Cleaning Network. “This in turn can lower operating costs and has helped lessen the respondents’ concerns.”
The results bode well for those advocating green cleaning. Some of the findings include:
- If the slowing U.S. economy does in fact make end customers more hesitant to select green items, most of the manufacturers surveyed say they will take steps to “push” the sales of green products—more specifically, clarify, and promote the message that green products are healthier for the environment and building occupants.
- In yet another response that would suggest the unwillingness of some manufacturers to recoil amid economic woes, about half of the manufacturers surveyed reported that a slowing U.S. economy will not impact the amount of resources, engineering, and time committed by their companies to develop green cleaning products.
- The survey also reported that the majority of the manufacturers will not stop having products green certified by certification organizations attributable to costs incurred in the process. Distributors responded favorably in the survey as well. If faced with a slowing U.S. economy, more than 54% of the distributors indicated they would promote the benefits of green products over conventional products when marketing green cleaning products.
- Additionally, more than 50% of the distributors indicated a slowing U.S. economy would lead them to increase their green value added services.
“It is important to note that just over 62% of respondents indicated their belief that private businesses might become the most hesitant to select green cleaning products in an economic downturn,” says Ashkin. “But many of the respondents also indicated that government, education, and health care sectors—all large sectors served by jansan distributors—will actually increase their purchasing of green cleaning products regardless of the state of the economy.”