Helping You Create Sustainable Change for the Environment and Your Business
Regional Distributors, Inc. is devoted to helping you develop and promote sustainable practices to preserve the environment, reduce health risks, and advance your business by reducing costs, labor, and resources. We help you balance today’s economic, health, and environmental climate while maintaining the highest standard of cleanliness, healthiness, and freshness.
Our following green services, products, and programs will assist you in creating sustainable change for the environment, your occupants, and your business.
Regional's Green Cleaning Assessment – What It Means For You
Sustainability is a continuous process - a journey, not a destination. The key to success is to efficiently conserve resources and protect the environment while maintaining the highest level of health and satisfaction.
As such, Regional Distributors, Inc. is certified in the Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS), the first consensus-based management standard that outlines the primary characteristics of a successful, quality cleaning organization. Our Equipment Sales & Training Manager Michael Whitfield is a certified CIMS Green Building Expert (CIMS-GB) and CITS Accredited Certified Trainer (ACT) who uses his expertise to conduct a Green Cleaning Assessment of your facility. These certifications and accreditations demonstrate that Regional Distributors, Inc. is prepared to deliver quality, customer-focused services and ensures an organization is capable of delivering a comprehensive green cleaning program based on LEED: EB O&M green-cleaning criteria.
Our signature Green Cleaning Assessment & Greenprint Plan is a free customized support and training program designed to help our customers navigate their sustainability journey. Our comprehensive Green Cleaning Assessment evaluates the full impact that your current janitorial products have on the health of your facility, environment, and occupants. The assessment targets cleaning chemicals, paper products, and janitorial equipment, and then outlines a customized cleaning process that has an environmentally sound strategy. Once the process is in place, our team trains your staff to use the customized Greenprint Plan that acts as a blueprint to protect the ongoing health of your facility, occupants, and the environment.
Two additional targets of the Green Cleaning Assessment & Greenprint Plan are the efficient and effective removal of soil and dust contamination using specific floorcare and janitorial equipment. We evaluate your specific floorcare needs and recommend the appropriate Green Cleaning tools, such as matting, floor scrubbers, and vacuums with high-efficiency filters proven to improve air quality.
Contact us to schedule your free Green Cleaning Assessment to protect the health of your facility and occupants.
VIDEO: The Value of Clean. See how cleaning impacts both green (the environment) and green (your bottom line). Also see the Small Choices, Big Impact - Purchasing with a Positive Impact video that shows the environmental impact and long-term benefits of buying green products.
Why Green Cleaning Products?
Cleaning products are necessary for maintaining attractive, healthy, and sanitary conditions in the workplace and home. In addition to the aesthetic benefits of cleaning, the removal of dust, allergens, and infectious agents is crucial to maintaining a healthy indoor environment. But cleaning products can present several health and environmental concerns. They may contain chemicals associated with eye, skin, or respiratory irritation, or other human health issues. Additionally, the concentrated forms of some commercial cleaning products are classified as hazardous, creating potential handling, storage, and disposal issues for users.
Reducing human health and environmental concerns is an important incentive for purchasing green cleaning products and implementing green cleaning practices. Many product recommendations are based on the fundamental pollution prevention principles of reducing the quantity and hazards of materials used.
Learn more about Green Seal (also see Green Seal's 2015 Annual Report), EcoLogo, and EPA Safer Choice certified products and how they protect both environmental and human health.
Benefits of Buying Green Cleaning Products
VIDEO: Small Choices, Big Impact - Purchasing with a Positive Impact. This great video created by RIT's Golisano Institute for Sustainability shows the environmental impact and long-term benefits of procuring and buying green products. Also see ISSA's Value of Clean video that shows the cost-saving and health benefits of buying green cleaning products.
Choosing less harmful products that have positive environmental attributes (e.g., biodegradability, low toxicity, low volatile organic compound (VOC) content, reduced packaging, low life cycle energy use) and taking steps to reduce exposure can:
all while still ensuring the effectiveness of cleaning in removing biological and other contaminants from the building's interior.
Buying cleaners in concentrates with appropriate handling safeguards, and reusable, reduced, or recyclable packaging, reduces your carbon footprint by limiting packaging waste and transportation energy.
Buying less harmful cleaners may reduce costs when it comes time to properly dispose of any leftover cleaners.
Buying products with low toxicity may reduce human health and facility maintenance costs by limiting exposure to possibly harmful and abrasive chemicals.
Read Green Seal's 2015 Annual Report and view our green products and services to learn more about the cost-saving, customer satisfaction, and environmental benefits of purchasing products and promoting practices that are environmentally preferable.
5 Guiding Principles When Purchasing Green Cleaning Products
To help purchasers incorporate environmental considerations into purchasing decisions, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed five guiding principles. The guiding principles provide a framework purchasers can use to make environmentally preferable purchases. The five principles are:
- Environment + Price + Performance = EPP: Include environmental and health factors as well as traditional considerations of price and performance as part of the normal purchasing process.
- Pollution Prevention: Emphasize pollution prevention as part of the purchasing process.
- Life Cycle Perspective/Multiple Attributes: Examine multiple environmental attributes throughout the product and service's life cycle.
- Comparison of Environmental Impacts: Compare environmental and health impacts when selecting products and services.
- Environmental Performance Information: Collect accurate and meaningful environmental information about environmental performance of products and services.
Additionally, purchasers may also consider the following list of attributes when selecting environmentally preferable cleaning products. Many organizations incorporate some of these attributes into their cleaning service contract specifications.
Product Content and Use
- Minimal presence of or exposure to potentially harmful chemicals that affect public health, such as:
- Corrosive or strongly irritating substances
- Substances classified as known or likely human carcinogens or reproductive toxicants
- Ozone-depleting compounds
- Regulated hazardous materials (e.g. products classified as hazardous waste; products that trigger OSHA hazard communication requirements)
- Use of renewable resources, such as bio-based solvents from citrus, seed, vegetable, and pine oils.
- Low VOC content.
- Biodegradable and Ready Biodegradable products. Ready Biodegradability is a definition meant to ensure that a material degrades relatively quickly in an aquatic aerobic environment.
- Low toxicity in aquatic species such as fish or aquatic invertebrates, reported on MSDS or other product literature.
- Low flammability.
- Designed for use in cold water in order to conserve energy.
- Limit use of disinfectants to areas where people are likely to come into contact with contaminated surfaces (e.g., bathroom fixtures, doorknobs, other high-touch surfaces). Many general purpose cleaning tasks do not typically require the use of disinfectants (e.g., walls, floors, other surfaces with minimal hand contact).
- Conduct training on proper use of products.
Product Packaging and Shipping
- Concentrated formulas with appropriate handling safeguards
- Efficient packaging (e.g. light weight, reduced volume)
- Recyclable packaging
- Recycled-content packaging
- Refillable bottles
- Pump sprays rather than aerosols
- Packaging and dilution systems designed to reduce exposure to the product
- Products shipped in bulk
- Clear labeling and information on use and disposal
Contact us to schedule your free Green Cleaning Assessment and how to incorporate green cleaning products into your maintenance programs.
Green Seal Certified Products
Green Seal is a national non-profit labeling organization that identifies products that are environmentally responsible. Products that receive the “Green Seal of Approval” have been thoroughly tested to meet strict environmental standards and are certified to be environmentally sound. Every product that is Green Seal certified includes information about how it meets stringent guidelines and details about the environmental attributes of Green Seal products and packaging.
Rest assured that the Green Seal mark is applied only to products that will help reduce air and water pollution, limit energy consumption and the effects of global warming, and protect fragile fish and wildlife habitats.
Look for the Green Seal logo when you shop or procure products and contact us to assess how your business can benefit from Green Seal certified products.
VIDEO: The Benefits of Buying Green Seal Certified Products
EcoLogo Certified Products
The EcoLogo is an environmental standard and certification mark recognized world-wide that guarantees the product has been manufactured in a sustainable way. The EcoLogo mark ensures that products have met a stringent standards of environmental leadership and will have minimal impact on the environment throughout its entire life cycle.
The EcoLogo Program is a Type I eco-label, as defined by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). This means that the program compares products and services with others in the same category, develops rigorous and scientifically relevant criteria that reflect the entire lifecycle of the product, and awards the EcoLogo to those that are verified by an independent third party as complying with the criteria.
Look for the EcoLogo mark when you shop or procure products and contact us for EcoLogo product recommendations.
EPA Safer Choice Products (formerly Design for the Environment (DfE))
Same Program, New Label: EPA Design for the Environment (DfE) is Now Safer Choice.
Products with the EPA Safer Choice label help consumers and commercial buyers identify and select products with safer chemical ingredients that are less toxic, without sacrificing quality or performance. More than 2,000 products currently qualify to carry the Safer Choice label including all purpose cleaners, floor cleaners, restroom cleaners, dish soaps, and laundry products.
When you see a product with the Safer Choice label, it means that every ingredient in the product has been reviewed by EPA scientists. Only products that meet the Safer Choice Standard, which includes stringent human health and environmental criteria, are allowed to carry the label. In addition to safer ingredients, EPA's Safer Choice Standard also includes requirements for performance, packaging, pH, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
In addition to the Safer Choice label, EPA created two additional label options:
- Safer Choice Business Label for product manufacturers to use on products designated for businesses, office buildings, sports venues, and schools. Meeting the Safer Choice Standard is voluntary. Companies who manufacture Safer Choice products ensure that their ingredients and finished product line up on the green end of the health and environmental spectrum. These companies are leaders in safer products and sustainability.
- Safer Choice Fragrance-Free Label to help consumers who prefer products without fragrance.
Look for the Safer Choice logo when you shop or procure products and contact us to learn how you can protect the health of your facility and occupants.
Environmentally Preferred Purchasing: What Can You Do?
Spending millions of dollars annually on a large quantity and wide variety of products and services, small and medium size businesses (SMBs) leave a large environmental "footprint." However, by purchasing environmentally preferable products and services, SMBs can wield their spending power to increase national demand for greener products, as well as to help meet environmental goals through markets rather than mandates.
When purchasing cleaning products, the overall best value takes into account performance, price, availability, regulatory requirements, environmental impact, and health impact. Purchasers should examine as many relevant product attributes as possible, recognizing that tradeoffs are inevitable. For example, one product may be made with renewable resources (a preferable characteristic), while another product has a lower VOC content (also a preferable characteristic).
Learn more about Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP).
10 Steps to a Greener Facility
Janitorial and maintenance teams are key to creating and maintaining a healthy and sustainable environment within and around a facility. Simple practices such as purchasing environmentally responsible products and communicating green cleaning practices with occupants can significantly help businesses create sustainable change. Below are 10 common steps typically practiced by maintenance and janitorial teams that can be easily implemented within a facility to promote sustainability.
- Buy green cleaning products certified by Green Seal, EcoLogo, and EPA Safer Choice products, as well as recyclable and environmentally-friendly paper (Rapidly Renewable Fiber (RRF)) and plastic products.
- Dispose of recyclable products and cleaning waste properly and responsibly.
- Use energy-efficient equipment, such as ENERGY STAR® appliances and vacuums with high-efficiency filters that are proven to improve air quality. Train staff how to safely and efficiently use equipment and always follow manufacturer instructions.
- Practice green cleaning processes, such as using cold water, spraying cleaning chemicals on cloths, and practicing integrated pest management. When possible, reduce the need to use cleansing chemicals and investigate new cleaning technologies, such as microfiber cloths and HEPA filters.
- Educate staff and occupants on how to create an environmentally-healthy facility, and commit to creating and maintaining a healthy space for both people and the environment.
- Clean and maintain the facility as one unit, not individual components.
- Plan and record routine maintenance to increase efficiency and effectiveness.
- Keep occupants minimally exposed to cleaning chemicals and harsh contaminants.
- Prevent pollutants from entering and being used within the facility.
- Create an emergency response plan to handle accidents and incidents, such as spills, weather-related problems, water leaks, and other emergency situations.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
The simple and well-known mantra – reduce, reuse, recycle – provides easy and significantly effective methods to develop a healthier cleaning and sustainability program for your business, building, and workforce.
Reduce – Reduce through controlled consumption of water, energy, and goods used. By reducing consumption of goods and resources, you can limit the amount of products that hit waste and water streams, minimize your overall environmental impact and carbon footprint, and lower product and production costs. Regional Distributors’ team of green experts can offer resource reduction and controlled consumption practices, as well as recommend a variety of green products that are certified to have minimal impact on the environment.
Tip: Switching to a higher quality brand such as Filmop may help you significantly reduce floor mop usage. Staff at a leading local hospital made the switch and went from seven pads per patient room to only two pads! Contact us today for an evaluation.
Reuse – Paper, smallwares, and other reusable products can be used multiple times. Be sure to consider reusable and environmentally-friendly products and materials when choosing the best products and exact quantities for your needs. The most effective way to reduce waste is to not create it in the first place. Reduction and reuse are the most effective ways to save natural resources, protect the environment, and save money.
Tip: Reuse pump-top dispensers and fill with hand soap, dish soap, or hand sanitizer. Bring reusable water bottles to work and when you travel. Use microfiber cloths in lieu of paper towels.
Recycle – More and more materials today can be recycled and are made from recyclable materials. When placing orders for existing or new products, be sure to inquiry about green alternatives. For example, Regional Distributors equips our customers with a wide range of reusable and recyclable products made from various recycled materials including paper, fiber, plastics, post-consumer content, and other alternative materials.
Tip: Educate yourself on what can and cannot be recycled, and how and where to recycle products such as batteries and food waste. Visit the USEPA's Reduce, Reuse, Recycle website for useful recycling information and locations.
Protect the Health of Your Facility & Occupants - Schedule Your Free Green Cleaning Assessment Today
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After cleaning, use a disinfectant only if necessary. Also, use products that minimize soil residue and do not require a rinse step, such as Betco's Green Earth No Rinse Floor Cleaner. Contact us to find the right products for your green cleaning needs.
Creating Exceptional Customer Service Experiences
"In addition to excellent customer service, Regional Distributors has worked diligently to ensure that our operating expenses are kept in line. Since we started working with Regional, we have reduced our costs 12%, without sacrificing quality or results. In fact, in many cases we have been able to improve quality and overall results at a lower cost. In today’s environment, it is reassuring to have a partnership with a company who is always there for your and looking out for your best interests."
Dawn Richenberg, General Manager, Quality Inn Airport, Rochester, NY