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Green Seal: Certifier Launches Revised Standard for Commercial and Institutional Cleaning Services


Washington, D.C. — May 19, 2015 — Green Seal, the nation’s first independent nonprofit certifier of sustainable products and services, 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 are refined to reduce the need for interpretation and modified where necessary so that 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,” said Arthur B. Weissman, 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 3 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 science-based standard, 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. 

More information on the revised GS-42 standard can be found here.


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