We offer systems to help customers consolidate products, cut costs, and implement truly green cleaning programs," explains Paul Wildenberg, who with his wife, Lisa, owns the 42-year-old firm. "We want to bring more education to our customers and work with them while providing quality products that are healthier for the user and the environment."
Chattanooga named the locally owned and operated full-line janitorial supply firm as the area's "Best of the Best" for its excellence in promoting green products and practices. Advance Paper clients include major hospitals, schools and leading businesses.
"It's been a big fear that if you switch to green products you have to spend more, or work three times harder to get things cleaner," says Wildenberg. "In the beginning of green cleaning, that was true, but we've come a long way and it's not the case today. The beauty is green works, and it works well."
Advance continues to meet its motto to "Go green for a healthier clean" with a step-by-step program that introduces clients to green equipment and products while helping them adopt green cleaning procedures that can lower costs.
In area schools, Advance has been able to reduce cleaning supply inventories from an average of 16 products to four, while eliminating chemicals containing toxic compounds.
With 23 employees, Advance offers a full range of eco-friendly options. Working with several leading environmentally friendly companies, Advance provides green chemicals and mops as well as controlled-usage paper towel, hand soap and toilet paper dispensers.The company also sells Zero Flush urinals.
Advance conducts free green building audits for all area businesses. "We want to be known as the leading 'go green' cleaning supply company in Chattanooga," adds Lisa Wildenberg.
Prior to acquiring Advance eight years ago, Paul worked with the New York firm that developed the first Green Seal-certified chemical, called Envirocare. The independent non-profit Green Seal sets the standard for the nation's green programs, as it has since 1989. The Wildenbergs now use as many Green Seal-certified products and suppliers as possible. All meet rigid requirements for certification, and can not contain carcinogens or reproductive toxins.
"Our challenge is to grow our own business by continuing to offer innovative ways to keep facilities clean while reducing the amounts clients spend every month on supplies," says Wildenberg.