A Greener California

Written by Mike
 

The continued growth of the GreenPro certification program is gaining recognition in California and throughout the country. This program has allowed PCO’s to take credit for their conservation efforts and to provide a Greener service to consumers.

Some may think that IPM or “Green” pest control is new to our industry. Nothing could be further from the truth. Some outside our industry, and even newer members to our industry, have not seen the great care and effort that PCO’s have put in to protect the environment for decades. IPM has always been part of pest control. In the late 1970′s IPM started to be re-defined and incorporated into structural pest control. Today, we continue to improve and re-define IPM.

The Pest Control Operators of California (PCOC) and their member companies have worked hard to stay abreast of the environmental concerns within our state. In 2000, concerns over water quality prompted the PCOC to develop and adopt Best Management Practices for Water Quality in 2001. In 2003 PCOC Members attended an IPM Summit held by Bio-Integral Resource Center (BIRC). PCOC Members have attended or conducted countless other IPM summits, conferences, trainings, and meetings prior to and since. Best Management Practices for General Pest Control were updated and adopted in 2008 to increase PCO’s knowledge of environmental impact. The PCOC and its members have been on the forefront of the “Green” movement in California.

The concept of IPM certification began to evolve with the release of the EcoWise certification standards in 2006. At the time, PCOC closely reviewed the program and thought it contained many great ideas and concepts. The problem with EcoWise is that it was written without practical industry application in mind. PCOC made a series of recommendations to EcoWise to help improve the successful implementation and use of the program. The program lacked industry support and without a company available to provide the service, IPM certified services were difficult to obtain by the consumer. To best reduce our impact on the environment, it is better to get the entire pest control industry to move an inch in the right direction, rather than a few companies moving a mile.

In an effort to gain broader industry involvement, PCOC moved towards creating its own IPM certification program. This PCOC IPM program was written by experts within the industry. PCOC worked for more than a year creating an industry wide IPM certification program that would standardize and quantify IPM efforts practiced by many PCO’s in California for decades. In September of 2008, PCOC launched QualityPro Green in cooperation with NPMA.

In July of 2009, the QualityPro Green program became GreenPro. This new program has received national recognition from those who agree with our commitment to environmental preservation. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has recognized GreenPro for innovative pest control solutions to reduce risk when providing pest management services. The National Center for Healthy Housing commended GreenPro for playing an instrumental role in increasing green pest services.

This partnership with NPMA and NRDC marks an unprecedented cooperative effort to achieve a better understanding and increase implementation of effective pest control with reduced ecological impact. I believe that NRDC and others now better understand that a PCO’s goal is to protect health, life, and property from dangerous and destructive pests. We are able to achieve this goal and protect the environment with GreenPro certified services.

By Mike Bullert
Chair of the PCOC GreenPro Committee and
Owner and Biologist of Big Time Pest Control
www.bigtimepestcontrol.com