Green Seal Launches Revised Standard For Commercial And Institutional Cleaning Services

Posted by Heidi Schwartz

Example of commercial or institutional green cleaning hallway.
Photo: Brightway Commercial Cleaning.

Green Seal has introduced a revised version of GS-42, its standard for Commercial and Institutional Cleaning Services. The revised standard has been reorganized to make the requirements needed for certification clearer and more streamlined. General criteria and leadership levels for the standard, however, have not changed. Any service currently certified does not need to meet additional requirements to maintain certification.

Green Seal revised the standard to clarify requirements and ensure that they are consistent for all applicants, while upholding current leadership and protection levels. Additionally, criteria have been refined to reduce the need for interpretation and modified where necessary so they are practical to review. Criteria are also consolidated by purchasing, use, maintenance, training, and communication.

“Since its inception, GS-42 has played a significant role in helping building management take necessary steps to advance protection of the environment and human health and safety,” says Arthur B. Weissman, Ph.D., President and CEO of Green Seal. “This revision of GS-42 will further facilitate that goal.”

Introduced in 2006, GS-42 certification has been granted to more than 50 leading companies in 26 states, the District of Columbia, and three Canadian provinces. Thousands of properties, including universities, public schools, stadiums, and airports, are cleaned according to the GS-42 standard.

Certification means that a cleaning service has been evaluated according to Green Seal’s, without bias or conflict of interest. Cleaning services qualifying for certification must meet environmental and health requirements for cleaning operations, cleaning techniques, waste reduction, and environmentally responsible procurement, as well as requirements for communications and training.

Green Seal’s certification process involves an in-depth review of the cleaning service’s processes, procedures, and purchasing records. It also includes an on-site audit of facilities cleaned by the service. Periodic monitoring is required to maintain certification.

The original “Green Seal of Approval” was founded in 1989 to help safeguard the health of people and the planet. As an independent, science-based standards developer and certification body, Green Seal identifies products and services that are environmentally responsible, and provides public education for creating a more sustainable world.