When it comes to so-called “green” products, we usually expect to pay more for something that doesn’t do the job quite as well as its mainstream counterpart. EcoLogic Solutions proves that this kind of thinking is hogwash.
A commercial cleaning products manufacturer based in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, they make a full line of commercial-grade, plant-based, wholly biodegradable cleaning products. They simply sweep the floor (and clean and disinfect the surface) with the toxic competition.
CEO Anselm Doering founded EcoLogic after reading a poster in a New York Thruway rest stop restroom stating, “Proud to be cleaned by Lysol.”
“I couldn’t understand why anyone would brag about using a known poison to clean,” he told us when we visited their facility inside Building 280 at the Navy Yard. Inspired by this, Doering built EcoLogic on a vow to maintain the highest ecological standards and produce a complete line of safe and effective commercial cleaning products. From their headquarters at the Yard, they oversee production facilities and sales offices that stretch across the country.
What makes EcoLogic so special? A large part of the answer lies in the fact that they not only sell over 100 purpose-designed and bottled products used in schools, hospitals, restaurants, supermarkets and hotels. But they can also sell you a machine that lets you make your own high-grade, non-toxic detergent and disinfectant on-site. It is this technology, called Electro Chemical Activation (ECA), that is changing the way people clean their businesses.
This is how it works: EcoLogic will install at your business a custom-built machine ranging in size from a medicine cabinet to something about the size of a refrigerator. You pour in tap water and salt. This saltwater passes through low-dose electrolyzing chambers which use electrical current to chemically split the brine into two products – a sanitizer/disinfectant (SANeWater) and an all-purpose cleaning solution (eWater) in as large or small a quantity as you need (still have questions? See how it works on their website).
This process is similar to that used to manufacture bleach, with the key difference being that bleach combines these disinfectant and detergent elements, causing them to react together, reducing their efficacy and requiring much higher (i.e. toxic) concentrations to be a worthwhile cleaning solution. The other key difference is that household bleach, as well as most other conventional cleaning products, contain all sorts of perfumes, stabilizers, surfactants, and dyes, adding to their toxicity. Once they come out of the ECA machine, SANeWater and eWater are safe enough to drink, and they are effective cleaners, even if they don’t smell like pine trees or contain “scrubbing bubbles.”
These machines aren’t cheap – a basic model can run in the neighborhood of $40,000. But at an institutional scale, the return on investment can be surprisingly quick, and many customers find the machines paying for themselves in under a year from the savings of not buying conventional cleaning products. In addition to the long-term cost savings, the health benefits are considerable; these cleaning products are safe, non-polluting, and free of chemical additives.
With clients like Whole Foods (their Union Square outpost uses EcoLogic products for their in-house cleaning), Chipotle, ConEdison, Amtrak, and the Statue of Liberty, EcoLogic has roughly doubled in size each year for the past five years, and business is still booming. Chicago’s McCormick Place, North America’s largest convention center and a custodial behemoth over 65 football fields in size, recently agreed to clean and sanitize its kitchens and food operation centers with EcoLogic products. What’s next? The Vatican? Nothing seems beyond reach.
Not only does EcoLogic boast an impressive and expanding client roster, the awards have started to roll in, too. The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce named EcoLogic Green Business of the Year for 2013, and in in 2012, they won the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s highest honor, the EPA Environmental Quality Award. They also happen to be a Certified B-Corporation, one of several that call the Yard home, and they partner with NYC Industries for the Blind, a non-profit organization that helps people with visual impairments find jobs, packaging some of their products.
These great products and stellar achievements make EcoLogic Solutions a company that we are proud to feature on our Architecture & Infrastructure of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. So join us for a tour and hear more about amazing stories about EcoLogic and the other great companies and initiatives inside the gates of the Yard.
Brooklyn Navy Yard Tours
Turnstile Tours offers Tours of the Brooklyn Navy Yard every weekend, including theme-based tours on architecture, urban ecology, manufacturing, and history. All tours are offered in partnership with and begin at the Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92, which offers free admission to three floors of exhibitions on the Yard’s past and present, and a host of special events and programs.