Green Seal Celebrates 15 Years of GS-37 Contributions to Making Industrial and Institutional Cleaning Products Safer and More Sustainable
Washington, D.C., – Green Seal, Inc., the nation’s first independent nonprofit certifier of sustainable products and services and the original “green seal of approval,” is celebrating the 15th Anniversary of the GS-37 Standard for Cleaning Products for Industrial and Institutional Use – a standard that helped usher in a new era for sustainable and safer cleaning products.
GS-37 at its introduction was the first independent, third-party standard to establish stringent requirements for industrial and institutional general-purpose, restroom, glass, carpet cleaners, and biologically-active cleaning products (enzymatic and microbial products for routine cleaning).
“GS-37 set the foundation for what a safer, sustainable and performing green cleaning product could be,” said Arthur B. Weissman, Ph.D., President and CEO of Green. “Thanks in large part to the standards set by third-party certification bodies, manufacturers know that the products they are making are what the marketplace demands in terms of sustainability. Standards also take the pressure off purchasers like building managers, who might be questioned from time to time concerning their requirements for sustainable products.”
GS-37 includes product performance requirements and environmental and health considerations for vulnerable populations in institutional settings such as schools, day-care facilities, nursing homes, and other facilities. To be certified under the GS-37 standard products must fulfill criteria including conservation of natural resources, protection of human and environmental health, and reduction of waste while delivering the performance customers expect.
Green Seal has certified more than 575 products under GS-37 since its inception. Green Seal client Rochester Midland Corp., a leading manufacturer of specialty chemicals that has manufactured its Enviro Care® line of environmentally preferable products since the 1980s, was the first to have a product certified under GS-37 and now has 30 products certified by Green Seal under the standard. Today, most cleaners for Industrial and Institutional use have certification under GS-37.
“We needed something to prove that what we were doing was right,” said Paul Ferruzza, vice president of U.S. sales for Rochester Midland’s Facility Supply Division. “GS-37 verified for us as well as our customers that we were meeting the standard and we were going in the right direction.”
In 2002, Massachusetts was the first state to include GS-37 in an RFP for janitorial products. Other states soon followed suit with more than half citing GS-37 (and other Green Seal standards) for the janitorial cleaning products they purchase. In 2005, New York became the first state to require the use of green cleaning products in K-12 schools, and the GS-37 standard became one of the key standards used in approving products. Today, 10 states and the District of Columbia have enacted legislation around green cleaning in K-12 schools, and products certified to GS-37 figure prominently.
The GS-37 standard can be downloaded and applications for certification can be made on-line at www.greenseal.org.