Green Seal is celebrating the 15th Anniversary of the GS-37 Standard for Cleaning Products for Industrial and Institutional Use—a standard that helped usher in a new era for sustainable and safer cleaning products.

“GS-37 set the foundation for what a safer, sustainable and performing green cleaning product could be,” said Arthur Weissman, president and CEO of Green Seal “Thanks in large part to the standards set by third-party certification bodies, manufacturers know that the products they are making are what the marketplace demands in terms of sustainability. Standards also take the pressure off purchasers like building managers, who might be questioned from time to time concerning their requirements for sustainable products.”

GS-37 includes product performance requirements and environmental and health considerations for vulnerable populations in institutional settings such as schools, daycare facilities, nursing homes and other facilities. To be certified under the GS-37 standard products must fulfill criteria including conservation of natural resources, protection of human and environmental health and reduction of waste while delivering the performance customers expect.

According to Weissman, Green Seal has certified more than 575 products under GS-37 since its inception. Green Seal client, Rochester Midland, a manufacturer of specialty chemicals that has manufactured its Enviro Care line of environmentally preferable products since the 1980s, was the first to have a product certified under GS-37 and now has 30 products certified by Green Seal under the standard, according to the company.

“We needed something to prove that what we were doing was right,” said Paul Ferruzza, vice president of U.S. sales for Rochester Midland’s facility supply division. “GS-37 verified for us as well as our customers that we were meeting the standard and we were going in the right direction.”

In 2002, Massachusetts was the first state to include GS-37 in an RFP for janitorial products, according to Weissman. Other states soon followed suit with more than half citing GS-37 (and other Green Seal standards) for the janitorial cleaning products they purchase. In 2005, New York became the first state to require the use of green cleaning products in K-12 schools, and the GS-37 standard became one of the key standards used in approving products. Today, 10 states and the District of Columbia have enacted legislation around green cleaning in K-12 schools, and products certified to GS-37 figure prominently.

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