Cleaning products

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Certifications and standards

Not only can cleaning products negatively impact the environment, but they also impact personal health. Changing office cleaning supplies can lessen both water and air pollution as well as make a safer environment. The following certifications and standards can help guide sustainable procurement options:

Green Guard is a third-party certifying body that aims to protect human health and improve quality of life by enhancing air quality.

Green Seal is non-profit environmental standard that uses a lifecycle approach to assess environmental impact, providing certification for a variety of products and services including paper and cleaning products.

From the Environmental Protection Agency, Safer Choice is a certification and labeling program that shows consumers which products perform well and are safe for human health and the environment.

Things to consider

Before making a purchasing decision, consider these guiding principles of sustainable procurement:

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Buy credibly certified products

  • Make sure to request options that are third-party certified such as Green Guard, Green Seal, and Safer Choice.
  • Look for statements that the product has eliminated toxic or harmful materials/ingredients (chloroform, chlorine, formaldehyde, etc.). Sources such as EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning can help educate these decisions.
  • Look for statements that the product or service produces low/no VOCs or other pollutive emissions. If it does, are there alternative settings or products with a lower emissions impact? Learn more about VOCs in cleaning products.
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Buy circular

  • Can the product and/or packaging be disposed of through existing campus recycling programs? Refer to the Shift:Zero Sorting Guide if unsure.