News, Events And Initiatives

Summer Newsletter, 2013

Released: July 9, 2013.  Download the PDF or read the newsletter below:

In This Issue:

Green Seal Certification for Chicago Restaurants

Dr. Weissman Awarded Healthy Schools Hero

New Advisory Council of Green Leaders to Spur Innovation

Green Seal, BWI, and GS-42 Clients Present Green Cleaning Demo

Check Out Our New Blog

     -- CEO's Welcome Post
      -- Hold the VOC's, Please

Our Summer Interns

Congrats to Clients with New Certifications

Green Seal Certification – A New Achievement for Green Chicago Restaurants

Four restaurants were recently certified to the Green Seal Pilot Standard for Sustainable Chicago Restaurants and Food Services. The certified restaurants are the West Hall Food Court and Le Brea in McCormick Place, Sandwich-Me-In in Lake View East, and Autre Monde Café in Berwyn.   

“Our goals have continued to grow as we innovate, piloting this new industry standard and leading our industry to set benchmarks for sustainable practices.” said Connie Chambers, General Manager, SAVOR...Chicago at McCormick Place. “This certification marks those efforts, but we also hope this pilot program will encourage our industry to join in setting these guidelines as standard practice.” 

Through their certification, these restaurants are supporting the trial of a year-long project between the Green Restaurant Research Team (GRRT) at the University of Chicago, the Green Chicago Restaurant Coalition, and Green Seal.

The project began with GRRT students conducting an evaluation of Green Seal’s Standard for Restaurants and Food Services (GS-46), which resulted in a report that outlined findings on the environmental, policy, and economic aspects of the GS-46 Standard as they relate to Chicago restaurants and sustainability goals.

 “This new Green Seal certification has been crafted based on the needs and abilities of Chicago-area food service operators, making it both robust and accessible. It is truly exciting that a question, meant only for research purposes over a year ago, prompted this certification to be piloted and will soon enable foodservice operators throughout Chicago to be recognized for their sustainability efforts by Green Seal,” Eloise Karlatiras, President and CEO of Green Chicago Restaurant Coalition, said.

The Pilot is in an intermediary phase within the development of a final tiered standard, which will be applied to restaurants around the US that demonstrate sustainability leadership in three main categories: responsible food purchasing; tracking and reduction of energy, water use, and waste production; and requirements for general operations and management.   

With this information, Green Seal has developed an adapted standard that is specifically aligned with the sustainability goals of Chicago and is practicable for retail operations to achieve while still representing leadership. Using the data from the pilot restaurants, Green Seal will develop the final standard which will include three levels of achievement, Bronze, Silver, and Gold.    

For more information: Review the Pilot Standard for Sustainable Chicago Restaurants and Food Services.

Dr. Weissman Awarded Healthy Schools Hero

For his unfailing promotion of safer, healthier school environments, Green Seal’s President and CEO Arthur Weissman recently accepted the 2013 National Healthy Schools Heroes Award. 

The award also went to Connecticut State Senator John McKinney, and Bill Walsh, the Founder and Executive Director of the Healthy Building Network. Dr. Weissman and Mr. Walsh received their awards in front of a crowd of healthy school advocates on June 19 at the American Public Health Association headquarters in Washington, DC.

“I accept this award on behalf of Green Seal, all of our staff and stakeholders. I also accept it on behalf of all of you, because you all are necessary in what we are trying to accomplish, whether it’s greening schools, making buildings healthier, or greening the economy, which is ultimately Green Seal’s message,” Dr. Weissman explained.

He described the ground-breaking green purchasing law in New York State, which passed in 2005 due in part to determined support by the Healthy Schools coalition, and described how this greener products mandate in New York schools catalyzed green product certifications. 

“We can set the standards and certify the products, but we need that additional uptake in the market, pushing the big purchasers. And now this has happened with other institutions and in ten other states.”

Dr. Weissman finished his speech by describing the ultimate goals of both Green Seal and the Healthy Schools Network: “The intention is that all of this will eventually become common practice, not just the ‘green issue.’”

Healthy Schools Network is a nonprofit organization which unites partners such as the US EPA, the Responsible Purchasing Network, Green Seal, and many other organizations dedicated to promoting safer school building design standards, green purchasing policies, and environmental public health services for children.

Each year, Healthy Schools Network organizes National Healthy Schools Day to galvanize awareness about safer school environments through workshops, social media chats, and child health webinars.

For more about Green Seal’s activities with the Healthy Schools Network, see the article below.

Green Seal Joins BWI and Clients in Green Cleaning at Maryland Elementary School 

On Wednesday May 1, Green Seal staff joined cleaning product manufacturer Diversey and three local GS-42 certified cleaning services – Bolana Building Maintenance, Gali Service Industries, and Pioneer Building Services – to help transform the Glassmanor Elementary School with a Green Cleaning Demonstration, as a registered activity for National Healthy Schools Day 2013.

Marion Steckhow, Executive Director of the Building Wellness Institute (BWI), helped coordinate teams and met on site with Glassmanor custodians to review best practices in green cleaning.

In May 2012, BWI helped the nearby Howard County, MD public schools cleaning service achieve GS-42 certification. The Green Cleaning Demonstration at Glassmanor Elementary sought to spread the word to administrators and teachers in Prince George’s County, MD about the benefits of using certified cleaning products, contracting certified services, and executing greener procedures in school environments.

“I am a go-green person. I want to be very environmentally-friendly, and I want to pass that on to my students,” Evon Sibells, a Glassmanor teacher, said as she watched the Green Cleaning Demonstration take place. “As a teacher, I think green cleaning is the way that we need to go. It’s safer and much healthier for both teachers and students, and I think it will cut down on illnesses.”

One of Green Seal's goals is to inform administrators and facilities managers at schools and universities about the significant health, environment, and financial benefits of using Green Seal-certified products and contracting with Green Seal-certified services, or applying our standards as a first-step in greening school cleaning.

To view more photos from the Green Cleaning Demonstration, visit our Pinterest page.

New Advisory Council of Green Leaders to Spur Innovation

In May, Green Seal announced the formation of the Advisory Council to assist management and staff through collaboration.

Formed to help the organization increase its outreach to new audiences and enhance access to cutting-edge thinking in science, technology, marketing, and communications, the Council is composed of highly accomplished sustainability thought leaders hailing from a diverse mix of industries and backgrounds. 

“As the marketplace evolves toward sustainability, it is essential that we have access to new thinking in fields that are central to the fulfillment of our mission,” says Arthur B. Weissman, Ph.D., Green Seal President and CEO. “Through our first Advisory Council, we are fortunate to have some of the most prominent thought leaders in the green movement today guiding us. Their involvement and contribution will benefit not only Green Seal, but truly all who are concerned about enhancing human health and safety.”

Advisory Council members include: Ed Begley, Jr., Bruce Fowle, Geoffrey M. Heal, Ashok Kamal, Barbara Lerman-Golomb, Debbie Levin, Diane MacEachern, Carter Oosterhouse, Jacquie Ottman, Amy Smart, and Terry Tamminen.

To review the brief biography of each Advisory Council member, please visit:

Check out Green Seal's New Sustainability Blog

We are excited to have recently launched an informative and captivating forum: 

Through this blog, we hope to share lessons learned and helpful habits developed over years of ecolabeling and environmental work. 

Various Green Seal team members will discuss innovative technologies, describe the context of ecolabeling, define confusing terms, and delve into various aspects of green marketing. You will also hear from many of our partners who help us achieve our mission, true game-changers in various industries. 

Posted below are the first two contributions to the Green Seal Blog:  CEO Arthur Weissman talks of Green Seal’s accomplishments over the last twenty years, and VP of Certification Mary Swanson helps readers become more familiar with VOCs.  We hope you, your clients, and green business practitioners find this forum useful and enjoyable.

We encourage you to comment, and look forward to learning from your sustainability stories as well.

Transforming the Marketplace for Over 20 Years

By CEO/President Arthur Weissman, Ph.D. 

I am delighted to welcome you to this inaugural Green Seal blog!  Green Seal is excited that social media allows us to reach our constituencies more effectively, including the consumer – who is responsible for 70% of the economy. 

As a child (and son of a doctor), I received a desk tray with a curious quote on it:  “Medicine is the only profession that labors incessantly to destroy the reason for its own existence.” 

I found this juxtaposition of diligence and self-sacrifice both intriguing and admirable.  (I wish I could say this adage is what deterred me from becoming a doctor, but I was not so clever.)  Read more on our blog..

Hold the VOCs, Please

By Mary Swanson, Green Seal’s Vice President of Certification 

Like people, chemicals have character traits, including whether they are calm and easy going or volatile. Volatile people are more likely to fly off the handle; volatile chemicals are more likely to fly off into the air.   We tend to like volatile chemicals in products because they do their job then leave quickly. 

Like helping dissolve and carry the pigment and film-forming part of paint, until it’s smoothly on the wall. Then we want the paint to dry. Likewise with nail polish.  Read more on our blog...

7 Interns Join Green Seal for the Summer 

Suumer InternsThis semester, Green Seal recruited seven summer interns to support our Science & Standards and Marketing & Communications teams in the Washington, DC headquarters.

Our interns range from undergraduates to young professionals, all of whom are passionate about sustainability issues, greener products, and ecolabeling processes. 

Green Seal seeks interns to support our programs, not only to help produce useful research and gather data, but also to employ a team with unique perspectives to evaluate tools and methods for effectively communicating our mission within and beyond the sustainability community.  A highly qualified team chosen from dozens of applicants, our interns are assigned in depth research challenges, and provided the opportunity to directly support our programs by identifying and testing new technology for more effective outreach, communications with our supporters, and partnerships. 

To see individual bios, please visit the Interns Bio Page.

Congratulations to the companies whose products and services recently earned the Green Seal.

We thank you for your sustainability leadership. 

Al-Jazeera Factory for Paints Co.
American Hotel Register Company
American Paper Converting, Inc.
Bridgepoint Systems
Brulin Corporation
Buckeye International, Inc.
DeVere Company, Inc.
Diversey, Inc.
Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Seattle Airport
Econo Building Maintenance
Fuller Brush Company             
Hillyard Industries, Inc.
Hilton Seattle Airport & Conference Center Knight Marketing Corp. of NY
Kutol Products Company
Office Depot     
PortionPac Chemical Corporation
Pro-Link, Inc.
Racine Industries, Inc.
Remove-It Products
Sapphire Scientific
Staples, Inc.
State Industrial Products
Tennant Company
TV Goods, Inc.
Whisk Products, Inc.

We look forward to helping you promote your Green Seal certification, and thank all of our clients for helping us achieve our mission: to create a more sustainable world.