It is our mission to provide the necessary gravitas, which has been lacking regarding green marketing and greenwashing in the dry cleaning industry. We afford consumers a verifiable mechanism for judging how GREEN their cleaner is, while giving professional cleaners a vehicle to herald their genuine environmental accomplishments and strategies to help them achieve their green goals for the future.
The Council is composed of a broad cross-section of disciplines with an interest in environmental sustainability in the dry cleaning industry. Among those represented are dry cleaning customers, attorneys, engineers, and waste management experts, as well as the National Cleaners Association, who in cooperation with concerned consumers, was instrumental in its formation
Green Cleaners Council Rating System
The members of the Green Cleaners Council Board independently review and score each applicant’s blind (reviewer do not know cleaner’s name or location) six-page questionnaire detailing their operation with regard to:
- Wet cleaning capabilities,
- recycling programs (hangers, plastic, water, etc.),
- investment in technology, goods or services that exceed regulatory requirements
(for example, investments in non-hap cleaning technologies, use of biodegradable plastics, manifested non-haz waste disposal, “green” printing, carpooling of employees, etc. Note: No points are rewarded for simply complying with existing government regulations, no matter how stringent those regulations may be.)
- water and energy conservation, the use of alternative energy programs, carbon offset programs, energy efficient and hybrid vehicles, etc.
- education and training in environmental regulations, compliance, and in the case of wet cleaning technical training.
The individual reviewers’ scores are tallied, and leaves are awarded based on the total points received. A maximum of five leaves can be earned.
The Council is proud to report that as a result of this program, cleaners are going greener. For instance, in an effort to earn additional points one cleaner invested thousands of dollars in equipment and training for an entire wet cleaning department! Another cleaner switched all their promotional printing to recycled paper and non-toxic inks, and yet another bought all new energy star-rated office equipment and installed new low-volume flush toilets.
Achieving environmental sustainability is an important goal and an ongoing process. We are pleased that we are not only recognizing the significant contributions to an eco-friendly world that so many cleaners are making but helping them to become greener in areas they might not have considered without us.