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Do Your Customers Want You to be Greener?

We recently attended ACRSI Hot Topic Tuesdays to find out if customers care about whether you’re using environmentally friendly products when cleaning their homes. Courtesy of Naturally It’s Clean, here’s what we learned:

Being environmentally friendly isn't just a trend

As people become more aware of the harsh ingredients that go into traditional cleaning products, there has been a push for cleaning businesses to use more environmentally friendly products. People with allergies, pets or small children are also more likely to want products that are chemical free.

Sales of environmentally friendly household cleaning products have made a huge leap to over $1 billion in just 7 years. Clearly the demand is there, and many cleaning companies have already started to integrate environmentally friendly cleaning products when cleaning peoples’ homes.

If you don’t currently use environmentally friendly cleaning methods, it can be an easy way to differentiate yourself from competitors!

It's not just about the ingredients

The demand for more environmentally friendly products isn’t just about having more natural ingredients. Consumers are also concerned about whether or not companies are implementing green practices such as using green packaging. Although natural non-toxic ingredients are prioritized by older consumers, consumers both old and young have a preference for green packaging.

Everyone cares about it

40 per cent of consumers report being concerned about the environment despite their age, income, or ethnicity. The majority of respondents of this particular study believed that their personal shopping decisions affect the environment and actively try to reduce waste and avoid chemicals.

At this point, it’s becoming pretty clear that people care about being green!

However, despite knowing that customers prefer green cleaning methods, there are still cleaning companies that don’t try to integrate environmentally friendly products when cleaning their customer’s homes or offices. The most common reason being that products without harmful chemicals don’t clean effectively compared to those that do.

Is it worth it?

Although environmentally friendly cleaning products do a good job of getting rid of messes, they’re not always sufficient. For the ugliest of messes, you may still need to whip out the products containing harsh chemicals. Although green products have a lot of cleaning power, they often can’t match products that contain chlorine or bleach.

Another downside to using environmentally friendly products is that they can cost more than those that contain chemicals and sometimes require a little more elbow grease to get the same results.

So what should you do as a cleaning company? Throw out all your products containing chemicals? That’s definitely not what we’re suggesting you do.

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Give your customer the ability to choose what kind of products they’d like to be used in their homes or offices.

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What we do suggest is to leave the decision up to your customers. Give your customer the ability to choose what kind of products they’d like to be used in their homes or offices. Clients can decide whether or not they want to be charged a little more for that extra green touch or if they would rather pay a little less and go with products that do contain chemicals.

So what are the first steps to making your company greener? Here are some things that Mike Wallrich, owner of Naturally It’s Clean, suggests:

  • Go for more natural and non-toxic cleaners
  • Pay attention to the labels: if a vendor isn’t listing all of the ingredients then the product probably isn’t green, even if the packaging suggests otherwise
  • Reuse product bottles

So how do you really know your cleaning products are really environmentally friendly or not? Here are the 3 different certifications you’ll need to pay attention to for the squeakiest, cleanest, greenest products possible:

  • Government DFE & Safer Choice: is considered the lowest standard for environmentally friendly products
  • Green Seal: higher standards than DFE, but these products can be more expensive
  • Eco-Scalewas created by Whole Foods and is the standard followed by the cleaning industry

Going green doesn’t have to be an all or nothing change. Implementing small changes that are more environmentally friendly is a step in the right direction and is something that your customers will appreciate.

Have you made your cleaning business greener? How have your customers responded? Let us know in the comments below.

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