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Shopping Center Management Looks to BioBased Cleaning Products

The BioPreferred® Program, and Green Biobased Cleaning Products Shopping center managers and owners

who are trying to “Green” their properties, promote sustainability, help American farmers, lessen our dependence on foreign oil, reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions released into the atmosphere, and create jobs in rural communities might be interested in knowing more about the BioPreferred® program. This program--which was

created by the

Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 and expanded by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008- -is getting more and more attention in industries ranging from professional cleaning to food packaging to hand soap manufacturers. The goals of the program are two-

fold: 1.

ment” program for federal agencies 2.

To create a “preferred procure- To establish a voluntary prod-

uct labeling program for broad scale use for the consumer market Under the preferred procurement pro-

gram, federal agencies will be required to purchase products that have a mini- mum amount of biobased ingredients. As we will discuss later, this applies specifically to some cleaning products, including some that are environmen- tally preferable. The labeling part of the program is similar to other programs that label cer- tain products as Green certified, for ex- ample. In this case, biobased products that meet specific criteria established by the BioPreferred® program may carry a distinctive label for easier identification by the consumer. Such labeling indicates that the product is composed in whole or in significant part of such agricultural products as soybeans, corn, forestry ma- terials, etc.

The use of biobased products got an-

other push in 2009 when President Barack Obama signed Executive Order 13514. That order further encourages the use of some biobased products--including bio- based cleaning products--as part of the government’s goal of “leading by exam- ple” when it comes to sustainability. The History of Biobased Products Soy, one of the most common ingredi- ents used in biobased products, was intro- duced in the U.S. during the late 1700s. Now grown throughout the country, it was used mainly as a fertilizer for decades. However, an interesting turn of events

occurred during the 1930s. When Henry Ford was introduced to soy, he became convinced that it had considerable poten- tial for the future of automobile manufac- turing. He experimented with using soy to make paint, door panels, and even bum- pers. In fact, he was so impressed with the potential of soy that he invested the equivalent of $21 million into scientific research regarding this crop during the depths of the Great Depression. While biobased cleaning products have

been available since the end of World War II (mostly for the consumer market), they

became more popular during the “ecol- ogy” movement of the 1970s. However, like many environmentally friendly clean- ing products of that era, they tended to be considerably more expensive than their conventional counterparts and their per-

exactly a winning combination. One subcategory of biobased cleaning products is referred to as bioenzymatic. First patented back in 1932, these prod- ucts are also considered agricultural in- gredients but are formulated with specific types of enzymes designed to essentially “eat” certain types of soils and bacteria. An ef- fective bioenzymatic cleaner may be made of a mixture of enzymes and bacteria, as well as surfactant, to tackle a vari- ety of cleaning situations of the type encountered in a shopping center or similar property. A perfect example of a bio- enzymatic

product is drain BioBased Cleaning Products

formance was often lacking. Meanwhile, the professional cleaning

industry took little interest in biobased cleaners until recently. As with the prod- ucts available on the consumer market, those biobased cleaners that were available tended to be costly poor performers—not

cleaners. The enzymes break down the soils and organic matter in the drain helping to unclog the drain so water can once again flow freely. In food service and preparation areas, bioenzymatic cleaners are of- ten used to help keep grease traps flowing, reducing odors, clean grease-covered vents, and for floor care, helping to reduce soils, odors and make the floor less slippery. In fact, because they can help elimi- nate many types of odor-caus- ing bacteria, odor eradication is one of their prime uses and best features.

Working with Biobased Cleaners Biobased cleaning products can be used

for a variety of cleaning tasks in a shop- ping center or similar property, includ- ing cleaning floors, countertops, tile and grout, and even carpets. Similar to other cleaning products, following manufactur-

and breathes the cleaning industry used to say, “We are on the leading edge of low technology.” However, it’s amazing how this has changed in the last 10-15 years. At that time, an 800 number, fax on de-

mand, and electronic bulletin boards were considered techy. Now our industry has custom sales Apps; browser-based Apps for consulta- tive selling; completely online training and janitorial management systems; and a plethora of industry knowledge and re- lationship building going on in the social media world. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIN are THE online places to be to create and nurture relationships. Social Media allows instant access to

targeted markets. There is a definite cor- relation of Social Media Marketing and Relationship Marketing, and the majority of our industry media and associations are active in this realm. YES (Young Executive Society), ISSA, IEHA, APPA, CLEAN- LINK, Sanitary Maintenance, Contracting

Profits and more, offer LinkedIN Groups, TWITTER accounts, and facebook pages to keep their members, audience and cus- tomers informed. IN BRIEF: With a little practice, you can TWEET a lot of information in 250 characters or less. This serves as a wonderful tool for driving traffic to primary web sites to highlight product introductions, events, press releases and other timely online in- formation. Linkedin is focused on networking. Groups are targeted and very beneficial for peer-to- peer information sharing. I am personally a member of at least 15 indus- try specific professional groups and find this has provided me with a very targeted way to keep up to speed on topics relevant to the industry. Facebook can be a challenge for pro- fessionals. While no doubt it is the most popular, it is also the most personal. The best option is to create a Company page for facebook users to “LIKE”. Be wary of the danger of the overlap of personal so-

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


er’s instructions as to use, application, and especially dilution is essential. When using most bioenzymatic cleaners in locations such as public restrooms, for instance, the product must be applied onto the surface as wet as possible. For floors, using more solution is better as it allows the solution to flow into the grooves of the floor and cracks in the grout helping to eliminate soils in these areas.

Some other points managers and clean-

ing workers should be aware of when working with enzymatic cleaners include: •

They should not be used in com-

bination with bleach or disinfectant clean- ers. Using enzymatic cleaners along with such other products can reduce their clean- ing effectiveness significantly as well as the disinfectant. •

If bleach or a disinfectant has

been previously used on the surface, it is best to clean and rinse the surface before using a bioenzymatic cleaner.•

N o t

all bioenzymatic cleaners are the same or can tackle the same soil loads; an as- tute janitorial distributor should be able to make recommendations as to a quality bioenzymatic cleaner that will work on specific types of soils. •

Some bioenzymatic cleaners

have a higher quantity and greater quality of enzymes, bacteria and surfactants than others; this can impact there cleaning per- formance significantly. Are They Green?

While biobased and bioenzymatic cleaning products definitely help promote sustainability and often have a reduced impact on the user and the environment, it should be noted that they are not all Green certified. For managers/owners seeking to use only Green-certified cleaning chemi- cals in their properties, be sure to look for the “eco-label” of such recognized certi- fication organizations as GreenSeal®, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Design for the Environment (DfE) pro- gram,

and/or EcoLogo™. Certification means that a product has met specific cri- teria and standards that qualify the product as environmentally preferable. n

Improve Industry Relations with Social Media A good friend of mine who eats, sleeps

cializing into your professional realm. One cannot utilize social media for a

point-blank product sell… it is about vis- ibility and relationships. These tools allow you to generate vis- ibility for your brand and company; re- inforce relationships with your custom- ers and potential customers; enable UGC (user

generated content); and increase traffic to your websites.

Creating the pages, accounts, and pro- files is not enough. First drive traffic to them. Feature the sites on your print advertising and websites (hint, use QR codes!) Then keep them fresh with current information and perhaps fun activities. ZEP recently hosted a “State your Case” contest where they awarded cases of hand- sanitizer to a facility each week; Windsor frequently posts photos of in-services training sessions; and Spartan features customer events and photos. n

By Tina Serio, I.C.E.-GB COO & Marketing Technologies Consultant Seal 360 Consulting, Inc.

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