Vacuum cleaner in a hallway.

GreenNY Specification: Vacuum Cleaners

Covered Products

Vacuum Cleaners are designed to be used on conventional household or commercial carpet styles. This specification is for commercial vacuum cleaners designed and tested for use on commercial carpet with a low pile measuring approximately a quarter inch or less.



Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) – certifies vacuum cleaners under its Seal of Approval/Green Label (SOA/GL) Program. To be approved, vacuum cleaners must be tested by an independent laboratory to perform well at removing soil without releasing dust into the air or altering the texture of the carpet.

For additional information on this program, visit the Carpet and Rug Institute’s website at 



Routine, frequent vacuuming is the most effective means of keeping carpets clean. Vacuum cleaners should remove soil and dust from the carpet, should not affect the texture appearance of the carpet and should effectively contain the dust and soil removed from the carpet. Vacuum cleaners shall be rated for commercial use and certified by an independent laboratory to the CRI SOA/GL standard. More detail about the vacuum cleaner testing criteria can be found at:

An Alternative Self-Attestation is offered for companies that do not have Carpet and Rug Institute’s certification for vacuum cleaners mentioned above, but can prove they meet their standards. In such cases, manufacturers must:

Complete and sign and send the affidavit to: New York State Office of General Services, Attn: Environmental Services Unit, 130, Concourse, Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12242. This affidavit shall attest that the manufacturer’s cleaning product meets or exceeds the existing Carpet and Rug Institute’s Seal of Approval/Green Label (SOA/GL) standard, and the manufacturer has the necessary data to support such claim. A sample affidavit may be found at:

  • Vacuum Cleaners meeting Carpet and Rug Institute Seal of Approval/Green Label (SOA/GL) criteria will be added to the OGS Approved Green Cleaning Products List under the self-attestation category.
  • All commercial vacuum cleaners listed on the “approved green cleaning products” list at” meet the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Seal of Approval/Green Label (SOA/GL) standard, or have provided the requisite self-attestation to OGS.

Encouragement for Affected Entities: CRI uses a gold, silver and bronze rating system for vacuums based on the vacuum cleaner's ability to remove soil and contain the dust. Gold-rated vacuums are encouraged because they produce the least amount of suspended particulates in the air, thus protecting the health of building occupants. Gold-rated vacuums are also more effective at removing soil and dust from carpets. Silver-rated vacuums are more effective at removing soil and dust from carpets than bronze-rated ones. However, both silver- and bronze-rated vacuums produce more than three times as much suspended particulates in the air as gold-rated vacuums.


Packaging shall comply with Environmental Conservation Law section 37-0205. Packaging shall not contain inks, dyes, pigments, adhesives, stabilizers, or any other additives to which any lead, cadmium, mercury, or hexavalent chromium is intentionally added or contain incidental concentrations of lead, cadmium, mercury or hexavalent chromium which together are greater than 100 parts per million by weight (0.01%). 

New York State encourages affected entities to adopt the following in order of preference when purchasing items that come in packaging: 

  • Items that do not need packaging, or the packaging is part of the product. 
  • Items that come in reusable packaging. 
  • Items that come in bulk packaging. 
  • Items that come in innovative packaging that reduces the amount of packaging. 
  • Items that come in packaging that remains the property of the supplier and does not become the property of the end user under any circumstance or condition. The vendor shall certify that the packaging material will be reused, recycled, or composted, and managed in compliance with applicable local, state, and federal laws. 
  • Items that come in packaging that maximizes recycled or biodegradable (compostable) content and/or meets or exceeds the minimum post-consumer content level for packaging in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines. Biodegradable products should only be used in areas where a composting facility exists that accept the material. 
  • Items that come in Packaging that is recyclable or biodegradable (compostable). Biodegradable products should only be used in areas where a composting facility exists and will accept the material. 


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