The NCA’s Green Cleaners Council and its five-level rating system rolls out this month, covering everything from solvents to delivery vehicles to insulated pipes.
“It’s what you are doing in your store, whether you are recycling hangers, whether you’re using recyclable bags,” said Ann Hargrove, director of special projects for the NCA. “How do you handle everything from the front of the store to the back of the store?”
The Green Cleaners Council, which includes groups and members outside of the NCA, provides dry cleaners with a questionnaire asking about products, water use, electricity, delivery vehicles, alternative energy, pipe insulation and more. “Just on and on and on,” Hargrove said. “We want them to be very, very conscious about everything.”
After the cleaners fill out the questionnaire, the Council verifies the information in it, adds up the points associated with each issue and gives the cleaner a rating of one to five leaves. Very few, Hargrove said, can or will receive level five.
Since announcing the initiative to cleaners, the Council was inundated with an “overwhelming” amount of applicants, Hargrove said. For many, the questionnaires brought up topics or issues they were not previously aware of or did not know that with simple changes they could save energy and money. “A lot of times we are finding people want to do the right thing but they don’t know how to do the right thing,” Hargrove said.
The Council’s website, www.greencleanerscouncil.com, is set to go live this month. The site will provide a listing of participating cleaners and the requirements to receive the different ratings.