Invitation to Comment: Criteria for Environmental Innovation for Kaivac, Inc's Univac and AutoVac Stretch

Published on: 7/6/2020
By: Anne Hancock

Green Seal’s Environmental Innovation Program allows product manufacturers to explore environmental and health impacts, engage in transformative product innovation, and achieve global recognition to the newest sustainability standard. 

Kaivac, Inc is a member of the initial cohort of beta program participants who are pursuing certification of their products under the Environmental Innovation Standard (GS-20, Edition 2.0).  They submitted two products for the GS-20 Review: UnivacTM and AutoVacTM StretchTM with the same primary innovation claim: A significant reduction in the use of both  water and cleaning solutions  due to a high-flow fluid extraction method, debris filters, and the reuse of grey (recycled) water based cleaning solutions. 

According to Kaivac, these products are able to reduce the use-phase impacts of powered floor maintenance equipment by 66% for water and 70% for cleaning solutions compared to other powered floor cleaning equipment in the North American market. 



Seeking Feedback

Green Seal is seeking your feedback on the innovation criteria document, including the innovation claims,   impact analysis, and certification requirements for these products.  We invite all members of our stakeholder community and the public to submit comments by email to Feedback will be accepted through 11:59PM ET on August 6th, 2020. 

About Kaivac, Inc's UnivacTM and AutoVacTM StretchTM

Kaivac's UnivacTM and AutoVacTM StretchTM are used to clean hard surface commercial flooring. UniVac is designed to be used on hard-to-clean, heavily soiled grouted or obstructed floors, such as those found in commercial kitchens and restrooms. AutoVac Stretch is equipped with a trolley bucket and wide-area trailing squeegee to enable cleaning larger open hard-surface flooring (e.g., hallways, lobbies, gym floors, warehouse floors, etc.)

Innovation Claim Details

Kaivac claims that these products differ from other powered floor maintenance equipment on the market in two primary ways:

  1. By reducing the typical water use rate by at least 66% 
  2. By reducing the typical cleaning solution use rate by at least 70% while maintaining equivalent product performance to comparable alternatives. 

The environmental innovation is achieved through the following design elements: 

  1. The use of a high-flow fluid extraction method that removes soil and cleaning solution via a dual-blade squeegee head powered by a wet vacuum motor, 
  2. The use of filters for debris and contaminants via a fine mesh filter bag and sedimentation trough, and 
  3. The reuse of grey water based cleaning solution at least three times and up to seven times.

Green Seal has not yet validated any of these claims. Once Green Seal finalizes the requirements after this public comment period, Kaivac will submit documentation for third-party certification by Green Seal. The Univac and AutoVac Stretch will achieve Green Seal Certification for Environmental Innovation if all requirements within the Kaivac UniVac and AutoVac Stretch Criteria Document are met.

Environmental and Human Health Impacts

Over the lifecycle of powered floor maintenance equipment, the use phase has the most significant environmental and human health impacts through water use and cleaning solution use from normal operation.

Water Use Rate
According to the ISSA 612 Cleaning Times & Tasks book, comparable products such as floor scrubbers and autoscrubbers can clean 500 square feet per gallon of water on average depending on soil conditions. The applicant product is reported to clean 1500 to 3500 square feet per gallon of water depending on soil conditions. 

Chemical Solution Use Rate
According to the ISSA 612 Cleaning Times & Tasks book, comparable products such as floor scrubbers and autoscrubbers typically use cleaning solution at a rate of 50 oz per 25,000 ft2. The applicant product is shown to have a cleaning solution use rate of 16 oz per 25,000 ft2. Cleaning solution metering is accomplished by using packets of pre-measured cleaning solution.

Chemical Hazards
Since the claims made in this certification relate to the efficiency of the product with regard to water use and cleaning solution use, the cleaning solution formulation was not reviewed for human and environmental hazards as part of the product innovation. Therefore, no claims shall be made in association with this certification as to the “safety” or “environmental preferability” of the parts or the cleaning solution formulation.



About Green Seal’s Environmental Innovation Standard

Green Seal’s Environmental Innovation Standard (GS-20) provides a framework for the certification of environmental innovations in a variety of product categories. Applicants follow the steps below to complete the process: 

Green Seal GS-20 Environmental Innovation Cycle Graphic


Earning certification under the GS-20 Standard demonstrates that Green Seal, an independent third party, has verified the environmentally innovative aspect(s) of a product. The certification includes verification that the product innovation results in a significant reduction of human health and environmental impacts compared to products of the same functional class.



By Anne Hancock, Program Manager - Environmental Innovation