The Federal Government and Green Cleaning

While green cleaning is a new concept and unfamiliar to many people in the cleaning business, a professional standard is evolving for the concept.  Elements of the new standards may find their roots in several federal government mandates.  Many federal agencies have already begun to evaluate and consider the use of environmentally preferable products and services.  Federal acquisitions and procurements now address environmental consequences.Executive Order 13101, entitled Greening the Government Through Waste Prevention, Recycling and Federal Acquisition mandates that federal procurement officers consider environmental factors in all purchasing and contracting decisions. The Executive Order also directs the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop guidance to address environmental purchasing.As a result, the EPA established the Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EOO) program.  EPP provides the guiding principles for applying environmentally preferable purchasing to the federal government.  EPP clauses are now standard with most federal contracts.  Additionally, many states have followed suit with comparable policies.Any building seeking the federal government as an occupant will have to comply with EPP.  The government has already demonstrated a preference for LEED certified tenancies so it is reasonable to believe that executing a lease with the government will require green cleaning.Furthermore, janitorial services bidding on federal government jobs will have to have their green team cleaning protocol in place.  Only green certified products, goods and services will be utilized by the federal government.  It is reasonable to expect that preference will be shown to environmentally aware vendors.The revised Federal Acquisition Regulation, section 23.703, requires the Executive agencies to consider environmental factors when purchasing products and services.  These agencies must consider the following factors:

  • Maximize the use of environmentally preferable products and services.
  • Maximize then use of energy-efficient products.
  • Eliminate or reduce the generation of hazardous waste.
  • Promote the use of non-hazardous and recovered materials.
  • Realize life-cycle cost savings.
  • Promote cost effective waste reduction.
  • Consider the use of bio-based products.

As the private side looks to standardize the green cleaning industry, they may well look to these federal programs for guidance.  The cleaning service that learns to meet the federal requirements is well poised for the future.

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