How Green Is Your Cleaner?
The poor economy may be hampering sales, but green offerings continue
to blossom in the industrial and institutional cleaning category.
ANKS MAY FAIL and budget deficits may soar, but all the
economic turmoil isn’t keeping marketers of industrial
and institutional (I&I) cleaners from rolling out an array
of novel formulas that get
their start in green chemistry. Today’s floor strippers,
hard surface cleaners and disinfectants
use less caustic materials, less water
and less packaging—all in an effort to
improve the environmental profile of
their products and customers.
Of course, the recession has forced
businesses to cut back travel budgets
and families to eat out less. On the flip
side, demand for health care continues
to soar, and with H1N1 now considered
a “national emergency” by the White
House, keeping public spaces and
places clean is at the forefront of everyone’s mind.
According to Kline & Co. estimates,
the U.S. I&I market is currently worth
$11 billion. Bruce Boynick, a senior
associate with Kline and president of
Boynick Consulting, noted that prior to
the recession, the I&I industry was
growing at a slow, but steady 2.5-3%
clip. Unfortunately, 2009 is shaping up
to be a no-growth year for the industry.
“On balance, 2009 has been a flat year,
but things are improving,” Mr. Boynick
told HAPPI. “The market will make a
gradual recovery that is tied to macroeconomic development.”
Macrotrends, too, play a pivotal role in
the success of individual companies and
green cleaning has become a driving
force in the I&I market.
I&I marketers that have embraced
the green movement and developed efficacious products with a reduced impact
on the environment continue to thrive.
At the same time, formulators with
innovative solutions to problems that
have nagged at the industry for years
are reporting phenomenal growth. All of
them were on display last month in
Chicago at ISSA/Interclean, the annual
tradeshow put on by the International
Sanitary Supply Association.
Spartan Chemical, for example, has
Spartan Chemical’s new SparClean warewashing line is said to be more environmentally-preferable than traditional warewashing products.
launched SparClean, a line of warewash products that do not contain phosphates, nonylphenol ethoxylates
(NPEs) or EDTA, making them more
environmentally preferable than most
traditional warewash products.
According to Spartan, each product has
unique benefits, and all were formulated and tested to superbly clean even the
toughest food residues with efficient
and economical results.
Not to be outdone, Earth Friendly
Products, Garden Grove, CA, has
expanded its green offerings at a rapid
rate. At ISSA, the company rolled out
Wave Autodish Free & Clear under its
Proline brand. The phosphate-free product works as good as Cascade, said
Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks, vice president,
Earth Friendly Products.
“Our business has quadrupled in the
past five years because customers are
looking for three things—value, efficacy
and green. We have all three.”
And now, with manufacturing facilities in Illinois, California, New Jersey,
Florida and, beginning Jan. 1 in Seattle,
the company has the facilities to keep
production costs lower than ever, said
Ms. Vlahakis-Hanks. (For more on phosphate-free autodish formulas, see p. 62
in this issue.)
Other new products include an orange
oil-based stainless steel cleaner and polish and a soy-based stainless steel
cleaner and polish. Both formulas have
Environmental Protection Agency Design for the Environment (DfE) recognition pending.
“Green is unlimited. Eventually,
everyone will have to go green,” said
But most executives who spoke to
HAPPI at ISSA insisted that their companies have been green for years.
One of them, Eco-Concepts, Las Vegas,
is rolling out Green Concept 300 Service
System products for the health care and
hospitality sectors. These concentrated
cleaners are five to 10 times more concentrated than other products on the
market. According to Jim Decker, tech-