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Standards and Certification

Standards and Certification or All About Green Backs?
I just read an article in the newspaper about a school district that decided not to seek LEED Green Certification ( for its new high school because doing so would have driven the cost up by $1.5 million. According to the article, approximately $700,000 of the cost was for certification audit services. Obviously there is a lot of money to be made in Green Certification.

Over the last year Green Seal has been accepting donations to put together its Green Cleaning Certification Program for Building Service Contractors. In a recent revote on the details of the program I noticed in the small print that Green Seal would also be requiring, and I assume providing for a fee, the audit services to verify that it’s approved contractors are meeting the requirements of its certification program.

The first vote failed to get consensus, as they call it, and I haven’t heard about the second vote yet. I found it interesting to note that a total of 38 people were voting on the Green Seal Certification Program and basically half voted against it. Some how it doesn’t seem right to me that 38 people can or should be speaking for an industry with over 40,000 contractors. Isn’t that less than 1/10th of one percent? Am I missing something here or is it that I just slept through math class in high school.

Next comes the ISSA, they have formed a committee to develop a Quality Standard for the cleaning industry. Here a select dozen or less individuals, brought together by an association that represents and is controlled by chemical and equipment manufacturers, have charged themselves with writing a standard for, in this case, millions of cleaning professionals. Again this just doesn’t seem right to me. I assume all these groups mean well, or are they simply driven by a desire for more Green backs $$$?

I think it’s time for a time out. No more biased, phony and profit driven standards by groups who don’t actually speak for an industry, but think they should or assume they can get away with it. It’s time to get some science into our industry and before we get all these standards. I’m suggesting we do scientific research via the Cleaning Industry Research Institute (CIRI) and/or the IICRC to determine what standards that we need, what they should contain (based on unbiased scientific research that is monitored by and with input from industry and the public) and then lets get at least half of the 40,000 contractors and maybe 25% of the 2 or 3 million people doing cleaning involved in the decision making process. Then and only then will we end up with meaningful and acceptable industry wide standards.

What do you think? Let me hear from the masses or is it just me? Is anybody out there? Does anybody care what these groups do to us or are we just going to let them run over us without a peep?

Personally I’m tired of this crap. It’s time we pull this industry together and this is a perfect opportunity to do it. But I can’t do it alone. I need your help. Here’s your chance to speak up. Let these people know what you think about a standards writing process that will have a major impact on how you clean and run your business.

Contact Green Seal:
A. Weissman, Executive Director
Ph: 202-872-6400

Contact the ISSA:
John P. Garfinkel, Executive Director
Ph: 847-982-0800

Contact the BSCAI:
Carol A. Dean, Executive Vice President/CEO
Ph: 703-359-7090

Contact the CIRI:
Frank Wiley, Executive Director
Ph: 513-856-7130

Contact the IICRC:
Carey Vermeulen, President and Chairman
Ph: 360-693-5675