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Ashkin Sees Change and Opportunity with New Administration

In a recent issue of DestinationGreen, the monthly newsletter published by The Ashkin Group, Stephen Ashkin addressed the fact that there may be uncertainty about the direction of Green Cleaning and the sustainability movement due to the recent election.

“While I do not take political stands, it is pretty clear that a number of things are likely to change in the coming years, with many of them applying to environmental issues, health care, job creation, the minimum wage, and tax policy.”

However, he indicates that if change does impact Green Cleaning and sustainability, it may evolve slowly.

This is because the General Services Administration and other procurement branches of the federal government have multiyear contracts with suppliers. These contracts include the purchasing of Green Cleaning products, along with products that promote sustainability.

“What may really be the determining factor when it comes to environmental issues is what the states do,” says Ashkin. “While the ‘Feds’ are the biggest single purchaser of goods and services, collectively the states and local governments are bigger.”

In his newsletter, Ashkin points out that New York State and California are forging ahead on health and environmental protection issues. In New York, a bill requiring more complete ingredient disclosure of household cleaning products will likely be considered this year.

And California has already implemented several new laws, with plans for more in the coming years, all to enhance protection of health and the environment.

“Considering that California is one of the top 10 economies in the world and New York is the third-largest economy in the U.S., what these and other states do will be critical,” says Ashkin.

“Their Green buying power may offset any changes at the federal level [because] most manufacturers and distributors view these and similar states as ‘opportunity centers.’”

However, Ashkin also believes the possibility of change will carry with it many opportunities for the industry, including the opportunity for more industry leaders to step up to the plate.

“I am encouraging distributors and cleaning contractors to become industry leaders, reminding customers of the health and economic value of Green Cleaning and sustainability, demonstrating how being environmentally responsible is simply good business.”

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