Awards, Sports, LEED, and More

The past several weeks have been a whirlwind, and I have lots of interesting things to share with you—from updating the LEED-EBOM cleaning policy to Green Sports Alliance workshops to our Partner of the Year Award from the U.S. EPA’s Safer Choice program. So lots to cover and lots to get done.

ISSA Initiative for Warehouse Distributors. This past Earth Day (April 22) was perhaps my best yet! We put together a signing ceremony for ISSA’s 2,400 warehouse distribution members and the EPA’s Energy Star and SmartWay Transport programs. The goal is to help the distributors save money by reducing their consumption of energy to light, heat, and cool their buildings and the fuel consumed by their delivery trucks.

Based on what we’ve learned from EPA’s Energy Star, SmartWay Transport, and other programs such as LEED, ISSA’s distributor members can save $42 million annually on energy, fuel, and other operating expenses. From an environmental perspective, these savings equate to removing 34,000 cars from the road or planting four million trees. Thus this program is truly a win for ISSA members and a win for the future.

My thanks to ISSA’s new executive director, John Barrett, for his leadership and the entire ISSA staff for their efforts to truly help their distributor members, many of which are small family-owned businesses, where the savings can truly help them in an ever-increasing competitive marketplace. If you would like more info, please let me know or contact Dan Wagner at ISSA.

USGBC Policy on Green Cleaning. As mentioned in last month’s newsletter, beginning in November 2016, LEED version 4 goes into full effect, and the USGBC has posted a template to help LEED-EBOM projects with their green cleaning policy and is giving us the opportunity to submit improvements to the policy template.

While we have received dozens of comments already, because this issue is so important we want to hear from everyone that has a concern or idea. As a side note, adding new requirements that LEED projects must adhere to is part of the rating system and would need to be done through the LEED addenda process. Thus, for example, we cannot change the requirements for cleaning products or equipment, so you can ignore commenting on the product sections of the draft policy.

But there is plenty of other information that could be provided to truly help create a meaningful policy and guidance that is easy to apply and will truly lead to healthier, more productive buildings.

Click here to download the policy document and send comments to me at steveashkin@ashkingroup.com. by May 30, 2016. Please send as a Word document and use the “track changes” feature so I can more easily see your recommendations. Comments can also be added using the “new comment” feature.

The Green Sports Alliance. By now I think you know that I love sports, as they can truly highlight elite performers and illustrate what it takes to succeed in a competitive environment—whether on a sports field or in a meeting room.

Since our last newsletter we have completed two Green Sports Alliance workshops on greener cleaning in sports facilities; the first was hosted by the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and the second by the MLB’s St. Louis Cardinals.

Both workshops were well attended, including representatives from local pro and collegiate teams as well as a number of K–12 schools. The goal of the workshops was to help the attendees with green cleaning of their athletic facilities. In addition, there were a number of members of the cleaning industry involved. And everyone was invited to a back-of-the-house tour of the two stadiums, and we had the pleasure of being joined by some former pro players. It was educational and fun!

For those of you on the West Coast, our next Green Sports Alliance workshop will be hosted by the MLB’s L.A. Dodgers on June 1. We have additional programs scheduled for the fall, including one coinciding with the ISSA Convention in Chicago this October and another in the Denver area (likely hosted by the University of Colorado in Boulder). And we are looking for additional sites, so please let me know if you’d consider hosting or sponsoring one or more workshops.

Also, if you believe that sports can be a good sector for you to get involved with, you should consider attending the Green Sports Alliance’s annual summit, which will be held in Houston and hosted by the MLB’s Astros from June 28 to 30. It should be interesting, stimulating, educational, and just plain fun! More info can be found by clicking here.

EPA Partner of the Year Award. Recently, The Ashkin Group was one of 24 organizations honored to receive the U.S. EPA’s Safer Choice Partner of the Year Award. The award is given to those organizations that have supported and furthered the safer chemistry goals of the Safer Choice program.

It was an honor to receive the award, and I appreciated the opportunity to meet EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. And my congratulations to all the other award winners from our industry. I would like to see more jansan organizations get involved with this program. So many industry manufacturers and related organizations have already made a tremendous commitment to the health and safety of cleaning workers, building users, and the planet that I am sure they can be considered for the program and honored with this award in future years.

Hope all is well, and let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Steve