Steve Ashkin Talks Sustainability at ISSA Show North America

November 18, 2021

Steve Ashkin at ISSA Show North America

Sustainability and green cleaning pioneer Steve Ashkin said sustainability in the cleaning industry is not about the green products we use, but about our organizations’ impact on the environment—and cleaning suppliers should be prepared to show their impacts going forward.

“It’s not about how we make, sell, or use green cleaning products, it’s about your organization. Don’t focus on the products but focus on the organization itself,” he told attendees during his presentation Sustainability: What You Need To Know at the Solve for X Theater on the trade show floor at ISSA Show North America in Las Vegas Tuesday, November 16.

Ashkin said as the country moves beyond COVID-19, major corporations, universities, health care systems, and governments are turning their attention to sustainability and requiring more sustainability reporting from suppliers.

While customers will require reporting across their entire supply chain, the cleaning industry has unique issues, especially when considering the needs of small- and medium-sized companies, Ashkin said.  “Understanding customer needs and being prepared to address these requests will give you a competitive advantage to win their business—and at the same time, sustainability will help reduce your own operating costs.”

Ashkin discussed what companies need to do to prepare for requests from customers in both the immediate- and long-term and how they should be prepared to disclose data relating to their organization’s environmental, social and governance performance, known as ESG reporting.

Ashkin said organizations will face objections to the sustainability measures they take, but as leaders in the industry they should be proud of their commitment to sustainability as a best business practice.

“It’s not about politics, but rather about best business practices,” he said. “Efficiency, reducing waste, conservation are values we believe in and we see it as good business.”

At the end of his presentation Ashkin called on attendees to get involved by taking the ISSA sustainability survey to move environmental sustainability programs forward in the industry. The survey closes December 10.

For more on the topic of sustainability reporting, read Ashkin’s latest article Sustainability Prospecting for New Clients in ISSA Today.

Ashkin is a regular columnist for CMM. Find his Sustainability Solutions column for CMM magazine here.


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