The America’s Best Cleaners (ABC) certification is the most recognized mark of quality for the garment care industry.
America’s Best Cleaners is platinum-level certified by the Green Business Bureau (GBB), a purpose-driven certification agency and an expert consulting body that is revolutionizing what it means to be a green organization.
ABC works directly with GBB to write and assess green initiatives specific to the garment care industry. ABC views sustainability as a movement that constantly has room for improvement. Over the years, they’ve been on a mission to improve their sustainability strategy through collaboration and communication.
ABC is a favorite service agent for the most recognized names in fashion
Since the millennium, America’s Best Cleaners has been seeking out and recognizing the best names in the professional garment care industry for the discerning consumer and elite fashion brands. To this day, ABC continues to be the most sought-after service agent for the most recognized names in fashion.
ABC’s business development and marketing services are second to none. With a unique blend of traditional craftsmanship and cutting-edge strategic business acumen, ABC affiliates are the leaders, not only in their respective cities but also at the national level. These affiliates provide an in-depth knowledge base and a strong peer-to-peer support system.
The challenge of advocating environmentally friendly garment care services
For America’s Best Cleaners, the hardest part of their green journey has been changing the mindset of the population.
ABC has experienced pushback from large economic and corporate interests. This pushback has led to unfounded notions against good science, creating political and social doubt, for which ABC frankly states “is frightening.”
Yet, ABC and their affiliates have not been restrained by these challenges. As mentioned, ABC has reached a platinum level at GBB. Plus, they’re constantly coaching their affiliates and consulting clients on how to make sound decisions, built around environmental and economically positive outcomes. ABC values partnership and seeks opportunities to help their clients build sustainable businesses.
BECOMING BETTER ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDS
To be better environmental stewards, all affiliates must endorse ABC’s environmental position, as detailed:
“America’s Best Cleaners and its affiliates constantly subscribe to responsible cleaning practices while always seeking the best in new product innovations. Our aim is to better support our primary goal of delivering the best quality products and services to our clients, whilst being responsible stewards of the environment”
– ABC Sustainability Commitment
ABC works with GBB to support environmentally friendly garment care professionals
Since then, ABC has continued to update those criteria and initiatives to stay current with the latest processes, energy, packaging, and technology. The aim is to reduce the overall environmental impact of garment care services.
For ABC, sustainability is viewed as an ongoing movement to work on. To showcase this progress, the agency has noted their sustainability timeline, showcasing how their green strategy has expanded over the years.
ABC’S GREEN STRATEGY THROUGH THE YEARS (VIEWING SUSTAINABILITY AS A PROGRESSIVE CONTINUUM)
- 2006: Hosted an Ecological Cleaning Technology workshop which brought together ABC Affiliates, representatives of major fashion houses, leaders from the California Air Resources Board, and California DEP.
- 2008: Hosted a Sustainability Is the Future panel & discussion in New York City with fashion designers, garment manufacturers, plus ABC Affiliate manufacturers of eco-friendly cleaning products and equipment.
- 2009: Sought and partnered with the Green Business Bureau to develop eco-certification for the dry cleaning and laundry industries.
- 2010: Launched the Dry Cleaning Eco-Certification process with the GBB.
- 2011: Partnered with the GBB and Kreussler Chemical to support the launch of SystemK4, the newest eco-friendly cleaning solution.
- 2012: America’s Best Cleaners reached Platinum Status certification with the GBB.
- 2013: Updated the GBB Certification for dry cleaning criteria and initiatives.
- 2017: Helped support the awareness of partner Kreussler Chemicals USDA BioPreferred certification status, and deployed the only bio-based cleaning agent to all ABC SystemK4 Clients.
- 2018: Updated the GBB Certification for dry cleaning criteria and initiatives.
- 2019: Hosted a three-day event in Santa Barbara, CA for affiliates to learn about energy and water-saving initiatives and technologies.
- 2020: Coordinated and submitted applications for three affiliates for the CINET – Global Best Business Practices Awards. Ablitt’s Cleaners and Launderers received an honorable mention, Greene’s Cleaners was runner-up, and Country Club Cleaners won the CINET Award for Sustainability.
ABC supports garment care professionals wanting to make a green change
ABC supports their Affiliates in creating positive, sustainable business change. Over the years, ABC Affiliates have championed the idea of environmentally friendly dry cleaning as explained below.
- As of 2018, ABC affiliates have completely removed the use of the chemical Perchloroethylene (PCE) in the garment cleaning process. PCE is detrimental to our environment as it seeps into water and is toxic to aquatic life.
- ABC affiliates were the first to adopt the SystemK4 cleaning process, which was the only USDA Bio Certified Cleaning solution.
- ABC affiliates led the dry cleaning industry 25 years ago by adopting the Kreuusler/Miele Professional Wet Cleaning Process, which is used to clean over 50% of garments.
- Paper tags and excessive paper invoicing have been eliminated by adopting RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Tags) and Permanent HSL (Heat Seal Labels with barcodes).
- The consumption of single-use plastic packaging has been drastically reduced by the deployment of new automatic packaging technologies and reusable garment bags.
- Over 80% of ABC affiliates are currently certified GBB members and are actively working to add initiatives to their eco-planners.
- Over the last 4 years, the majority of Affiliates have converted all of the pickup and delivery services to digital manifest, route optimization software, and fleet management systems with the aim of reducing their consumption of diesel and gasoline. Several Affiliates have deployed e-vehicles into their company fleets and are continuing to monitor the sustainability of these new vehicle options.
- All affiliates have shifted to new, low-water cool temperature enzyme and oxygen bleaching technologies to reduce the consumption of water and the amount of energy needed to heat water.
Environmentally friendly garment care needs an adaptive and continuous approach
America’s Best Cleaners recognize that not only do they have an influence on the decision-making of their affiliate businesses, but they also feel obligated to continuously seek better and safer solutions for all of their processing technologies. ABC knows true business sustainability is only achieved by making continuous improvements.
ABC are award-winning designers of dry cleaning, laundry building design, and workflow processes. They continually implement the best and most sustainable equipment, fixtures, building material, and technologies. ABC stands as a thought and implementation green leader for the garment care industry, and they take this position very seriously.
ABC recognizes the power of small consistent change to create a lasting and significant impact
“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”
All beings on our planet are connected, and we must realize that very small acts and decisions individually can have an impact. ABC believes that by paying a little more attention to the small things that create unnecessary waste, we can make our world a cleaner and safer place. We need to reverse the trajectory of environmental destruction we’re on today to create a positive future.
The ABC team, affiliates, and partners all share the same values: to make ethical and moral decisions while growing a business and one’s personal life. Human conversation and considerations should set societal welfare and environmental protection as a priority.
To view the original publication visit the Green Business Bureau.