Sustainable Cleaning

Following the publication by the European Commission (EC) in 2004 of a handbook to give guidance to the public sector on procuring "green" products and services, BACS and the UK Cleaning Products Industry Association (UKCPI) established a joint Public Procurement task force to develop guidance for public sector procurement of cleaning products and services. Initial work resulted in the publication in 2006 of guidance on ingredient selection for industrial and institutional (I&I) cleaning products - "Guidance for Responsible Public Procurement of Cleaning Products". Encouraged by the UK Chemicals Stakeholder Forum and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the task force carried out further work relating to the overall sustainability of cleaning and published in 2008 "Sustainable Cleaning - A guide for users of professional cleaning products". This guidance considers impacts at each stage of the life cycle of cleaning products from product design, to raw materials selection, to product manufacture, to use and to disposal. A web-based version of the 2008 guidance, which provides links to the published risk assessments and opinions on safety to which it refers, may be found at http://www.sustainablecleaning.org.uk

The guidance on Sustainable Cleaning has been welcomed by Defra as part of its commitment to support sustainable public procurement in the UK in line with its strategy for promoting sustainable development and is referenced on the Defra website under Government Buying Standards for the procurement of cleaning products and services.

At the European level, following submission by the task force to Defra of a paper assessing EC proposals, the EC amended proposed criteria for Green Public Procurement (GPP) of I&I cleaning products and services - a success for the task force.

The published guidance documents are attached and printed copies are available from the BACS office at enquiries@bacsnet.org