Cleaning Products

Cleaning Products | Credit: The Creative Exchange on Unsplash

Includes: automotive products that are not fuel or fuel additives; odor control products; pest control products, both inside and outside; residential, business, industrial.

Company

Required:

  • Business core purpose includes a “green” business function.
  • Social and environmental mission and vision statement for your business on website.

Materials Used

Required:

  • Biodegradable ingredients– best if certified by Scientific Certification Systems or Biodegradable.
  • Scented with natural essential oils or clear indication of synthetic fragrances at minimum.
  • Chlorine-free.
  • No animal testing.
  • If plant based surfactants used, explanation of what plants they are derived from in ingredients.
  • Plant based surfactants may not be derived from GMO feedstocks, e.g. corn, beet sugar or soy.
  • Non-toxic ingredients used, the following ingredients are not allowed:
    • Ammonium Hydroxide (corrosive, irritant)
    • Chlorine bleach (potentially fatal if ingested, number one cause of poisonings in children)
    • Formaldehyde (highly toxic; known carcinogen)
    • Hydrochloric acid (corrosive, eye and skin irritant)
    • Hydrochloric bleach (eye, skin and respiratory tract irritant)
    • Propylene Glycol (immunogen; main ingredient in antifreeze)
    • List all ingredients on packaging and website; if proprietary, at least MSD sheets offered
    • Offer unscented or fragrance-free, essential oil options

Manufacturing Of Cleaning Products

Required

  •  Commitment to sustainable labor practices and continuous improvement and transparency in the process.
  • Country of manufacture(s) disclosed on all products unless everything comes from one country and it is stated clearly on the front page of the website.
  • Code of conduct in place that addresses social and environmental factory conditions with enforcement mechanism.
  • Owned factories have an established worker representation mechanism.
  •  Owned factories pay a wage that ensures workers well-being.
  • Commitment to a transparent supply chain including sub-contracting.
  • Long-term contracts with contracted manufacturers.

Preferred:

  • Owned and/or contracted factories are certified fair labor or fair trade.
  • Owned/contracted factories are unionized.
  • Disclosed factory list publicly available.
  • Factory labor is paid a living a wage.

Product Packaging:

Required:

  • Environmentally and socially positive packaging.
  • Packaging is recyclable or compostable.
  • Packaging components are from recycled sources and used at minimum.

Preferred:

  • Packaging can be taken back for reuse.

Product Shipping & Company Transportation:

Required:

  • Program in place to reduce emissions from company vehicles.
  • Works with distributors that take steps to reduce emissions from vehicles and shipping.

Preferred:

  • Company is an EPA SmartWay partner or affiliate.
  • Company Works with distributors who are EPA SmartWay partners or affiliates.

Company Employment:

Required:

  • Employees have access to family friendly benefits including high-quality health insurance, sick days, paid parental leave and childcare help.
  • Offer a flexible workplace culture that encourages work/life balance and makes reasonable accommodations for telecommuting and flex schedules.
  • Pays a wage that ensures employees well-being.
  • Has an established non-discrimination policy and procedure, and ensures an inclusive workplace culture.
  • Governs fairly and in a transparent manner. Is open to employee input. Has a whistle blower protection policy in place.

Preferred:

  • Living wage is paid.
  • Has an established program that invests in employee growth and development.

Education:

Required:

  • Educates consumers on how to properly dispose of product at end of life-cycle.
  • Use transparent and truthful marketing.
  • Advocate for green business practices in your industry.
  • Established program for receiving input from both internal and external stakeholders.

Preferred:

  • Established take back program for end of product life-cycle.
  • Actively seeks feedback from industry peers and participates in industry associations and mentor programs.

Green Office/Facility

Required:

  • HVAC system well-maintained, building well-insulated, and smart and efficient climate control employed.
  • System in place for reducing electricity consumption from lighting and electronics.
  •  Use of Energy Star rated appliances and CFL/LED light bulbs in office.
  • Use of 100% post-consumer recycled, Chlorine Free paper in the office and in all envelopes, marketing, and print materials.
  • Systems in place for reducing paper use such as electronic processes, printers set with double sided printing as the default, and more.
  • Use of only non-toxic cleaning and pest control products.
  • Maximum amount of waste is reused or recycled including paper, plastic, metals, glass, electronics, and printer ink cartridges.
  • Action on clean energy such as purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) or use of on-site clean energy.
  • Compost all food waste.
  • Landscaping done with sustainability in mind, especially considering runoff and stormwater management.
  • Only fair trade and USDA certified organic coffee and tea served in the office.
  • Use of green or local caterers for events.
  • Use of a certified E-Steward for electronics recycling.