On Jan. 12, 2006, New Jersey Governor Richard J. Codey signed an executive order requiring state agencies to purchase and use environmentally friendly cleaning products. This initiative is only the latest in a growing list of states and cities trying to improve the health of citizens, employees, and cleaning professionals through green cleaning product procurement and use. Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and New York have all implemented green cleaning purchase programs. Momentum is building as is awareness about the benefits to green cleaning.
Use of green cleaning products minimizes the negative impacts on the environment that are typically associated with hazardous cleaning products. “Today we can breathe easier knowing our workplaces will be safer and our environment will be cleaner,” Codey says. “These safer, more environmentally friendly products are available, affordable, and effective, so it makes sense to switch.”
A government task force dedicated to promoting sustainable environmental stewardship throughout the federal government, the Office of the Federal Environmental Executive (www.ofee.gov) notes the following as reasons to use green cleaners:
- Helps federal agencies meet green purchasing mandates.
- Promotes a healthier working environment.
- Improves safety for janitorial workers.
- Reduce your agency's environmental footprint.
- Green purchasing is an important element of an Environmental Management Systems (EMSs) now required for all federal facilities.
- Helps create a more sizable market for cost-effective, high-performance green products.
- Helps position your agency as a leader in the use of sustainable business practices.