Let me begin by wishing you a happy New Year! Frankly I think it is going to be a terrific year — and like you, I plan to make it so. And together, let’s do something great as our organizations, families and future generations are counting on us.
Whether you are a Republican, Democrat or Independent; with the election of Donald Trump and a solid Republican majority in both houses of Congress – things are going to change. This is true whether we are considering healthcare, job creation and the minimum wage, security and foreign relations, tax policy, crime, immigration and most certainly environmental regulations.
Please know that this newsletter is not intended to make a political statement. Rather I simply believe that sweeping change is going to take place at the federal level, along with significant changes at the state level perhaps in response to what the feds do or don’t do.
For example, the federal government may reduce requirements that could affect the demand for Green Cleaning products and services from the General Services Administration (GSA) and other agencies.
However, with multi-year contracts already in place, we may have to wait and see how the demand for Green Cleaning will actually be affected.
These changes could also affect some federal programs including EPA’s Safer Choice Program and USDA’s BioPreferred Program. Again, we will have to wait to see what happens, but if these programs are important to your organization, encouraging your elected officials to support these voluntary programs is critical.
But in response to anticipated federal changes, one of the key things that may change in 2017 is how the states respond.
While the federal government is the single largest purchaser of goods and services, collectively the states and local governments are actually bigger than the feds. So paying attention to state-based action is important.
For example, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2017 agenda states that New York will implement a household cleaning product ingredient disclosure law. So regardless of what is done by the feds, requirements will change in New York.
So as New York changes its requirements, your organization will have an opportunity to take advantage of this change. Are you prepared?
In addition, I think we should expect actions in California which has the largest state economy in the U.S. and the sixth-largest economy in the world.
While many of their efforts have been criticized and made fun of, they must be doing some things right as their economy is growing at about 4 percent per year which is the highest in the country, twice the rate of other states.
And to further illustrate their success, in the past few years, the state has turned a $26 billion deficit into an $8 billion surplus.
In 2017 we should expect California to continue their various health and environmental initiatives.
Thus if your organization sells products or services in California, regardless of what the federal government does, there will be tremendous opportunities for growth and financial success.
You may not realize it, but we (the professional cleaning industry) really are among the most progressive in the country when it comes to these issues. As the proud “father of Green Cleaning,” I know very well that this did not take place overnight nor was it an easy task.
But when our industry decided that protecting our environment and health was necessary; we embraced this change, seized the opportunity and provided leadership.
In 2017 I am encouraging product distributors to provide leadership by expanding efforts to educate/remind customers of the value of cleaning and the opportunity to further protect health and the environment.
I am encouraging cleaning contractors to promote Green Cleaning and sustainability not only for your customers, but also in your own business operations.
Finally, as we move into 2017, I want to express my gratitude to the leadership role ISSA has played in helping to make our industry Green, as well as helping our distributors and manufacturers to reduce energy and water consumption, and otherwise operate more efficiently and cost-effectively.
So let’s look ahead with excitement because in this time of change there will be great opportunity for those who are prepared. Let’s help others appreciate how important cleaning is to protect health.
Let’s demonstrate how being environmentally responsible is simply good business by reducing waste in every way possible. And together, let’s be leaders and make a real difference in our country, our states and around the world.