20 Jun 2011

Community Gets Certified

I was recently notified by our friends at Green Seal, one of the nation’s leading green products and services certification organizations, that a retirement community in the DC area recently became the first in the nation to have its cleaning services certified as environmentally friendly by Green Seal. I applaud the willingness of the Knollwood Military Retirement Community to set itself up as a trend-setter in the field of homes and services for the aging by adhering to the standards and practices created by Green Seal. This example should serve as an inspiration to the many thousands of retirement communities across the country, proving that environmental impact is a necessary consideration of any community, and that those who act now will become known as leaders in the field.

A certified cleaning service can yield important health benefits to residents, as indoor air quality is of particular concern to older adults who may have asthma or other respiratory conditions. It also improves working conditions for staff.

Third-party standards and practices can be important tools as any business or organization, including retirement communities, look for ways to take their sustainability programs to the next level. Green Seal, the US Green Building Council (which developed the LEED standards for buildings), the Marine Stewardship Council (certifying seafood) and others put exhaustive amounts of research and thought into their guidelines, well beyond what the average business could ever do themselves. These standards cover are huge variety of topics; Green Seal alone has standards for more that 250 products and services. Even better, the standards they develop are freely available to anyone who is interested, more often than not.

The long-term goal of these standards organizations is to create public recognition of their seals-of-approval, so that consumers can feel confident that their purchases and choices are truly better for the environment and, if interested, can find and understand the exact standards that the products meet. In cases like Knollwood, the Green Seal certification has set them apart from all others retirement communities, and will be usable in their efforts to attract new residents.

Read the full press-release from Knollwood, and learn more about the Green Seal GS-42 environmental standard for cleaning services.