by Sue Minichiello
Things are getting “greener” in New York City.
On June 17, the City adopted amendments to the rules guiding its Environmentally Preferable Purchase Program. The new regulations effect construction, renovation and maintenance practices in public buildings throughout the city (not including schools) and, given the typical progression of such matters, will likely be incorporated by the private sector in the near future. As government agencies and private industry adopt and enforce greener practices, AffinEco is poised to effectively and efficiently help clients meet the new standards.
(Image courtesy of inhabitat.com)
According to the official Notice of Adoption issued by the Office of Contract Services/Procurement Policy Board, one of the main objectives of the new rules is to “improve indoor air quality and advance environmental health by establishing green cleaning product purchasing standards.” Other goals include reducing the purchase and use of hazardous substances, conserving energy and water, and increasing the use of recycled and reused materials.
“These new regulations signal New York City’s goal of promoting greener indoor environments. We already go beyond these requirements with practices like using microfiber cloths, paper and plastic with higher recycled content and backpack vacuums with better filtration systems,” said Paul Senecal, President of United Services. “Our commitment — and the commitment of our existing clients — to a greener indoors exceed the level of environmental friendliness supported by the new regulations. So we believe we are uniquely suited to help new clients adhere to the rules.”
AffinEco is well ahead of the curve because of its years of experience and expertise in the following areas (all part of the NYC’s new regulations):
- green cleaning products
- energy and water efficiency
- recycled materials (wet and dry)
- green air freshener products/standards
- green disinfectant/sanitizer products/standards
(Image courtesy of thevividedge.com)
In addition, NYC’s new rules specify strict limits on “volatile organic compounds and other airborne hazards” connected to paints, architectural coatings and carpets (including adhesives and cushions). When United Services and Premier Maintenance personnel are involved in construction and renovation projects, they are able to advise contractors about which products emit the least fumes and minimize off-gassing.
Building and facility managers might believe green cleaning products are more expensive, but Senecal says that as the cleaning industry overall has shifted towards more green products, increased demand has lowered the costs. He also is quick to point out that while related health benefits to building workers, occupants and visitors are hard to quantify, there is no doubt they exist. Over time, fumes from traditional cleaning products and chemicals adversely affect the lungs and other tissues. Using cleaning agents that meet Green Seal, CIMS-GB and other third-party environmental standards decreases the likelihood people will develop asthma and other conditions.
“The benefits of greener cleaning, construction and remodeling practices are immense,” said Senecal. “We want to help clients not just follow the rules, but achieve every advantage along the way.”