Ecolab Elevates Business Cleaning Standards with New Certification Program
St. Paul-based Ecolab was a global manufacturer of cleaning and disinfecting products when Covid-19 started to spread across the planet. Now it’s rolling out a science-based cleaning regimen that features “hospital-grade disinfecting products” for all types of businesses.
With the reopening of restaurants, shops and workplaces, businesses are focused on enhanced cleaning procedures that will keep people safe. But they also want to alleviate fears and address valid virus concerns of their employees and customers.
Stepping into that marketplace breach is Ecolab, which Wednesday revealed that it had developed a program that tackles the substantive cleaning needs of businesses. It also helps them convey to the public that they are taking cleaning and sanitizing challenges extremely seriously.
Companies must meet strict criteria to qualify for the “Ecolab Science Certified” designation. In addition to using hospital-quality disinfectants, the companies also will use food-safe cleaning and sanitizing products.
The Ecolab-certified businesses also will employ cleaning, hygiene, and food safety procedures that meet guidelines of local health departments, the Centers for Disease Control, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Ecolab’s program also requires that businesses have comprehensive staff training, so their employees are correctly applying cleaning products and following disinfecting, sanitizing, and cleaning protocols. Companies that want the Ecolab certification also must undergo an annual comprehensive hygiene and food safety audit to examine whether they are adhering to state and federal requirements, correctly using products, and completing training modules.
“Ecolab is committed to helping our customers rebound and recover as quickly as possible,” said Tim Mulhere, executive vice president and president, Global Institutional & Specialty Services, in a Wednesday statement. “It’s clear that consumers are looking for reassurance that the places where they eat, stay, work, and play are clean and safe. The Ecolab Science Certified Program delivers consumers that confidence and peace of mind.”
The new program is being introduced in North America, and then will expand to other global regions.
“We are afraid of Covid for good reason,” Ecolab CEO Doug Baker said in mid-April during a lengthy interview with TCB. “There is rational and irrational fear.”
Ecolab does business in 170 countries. Baker initially secured the jobs of his employees, and then led efforts to determine how Ecolab could best serve its customers during a pandemic.
“When this hit us, we didn’t have the testing, so all you could do is shelter at home,” Baker said in the TCB interview. “As we go out, I don’t think this is like on Tuesday, you open up the economy again and movie theaters are open and the Wild are playing. It’s just not the way it’s going to work. Even if you did, people wouldn’t be comfortable going there.”
Baker foreshadowed that the economy would reopen in phases, and that consumers and employees would have varying comfort levels about what activities would be safe for them. The new “Ecolab Science Certified” program is designed to address the substance of cleaning and safety procedures. However, companies that earn the science-based seal of approval also can use the designation to increase the sense of security of their customers.