4 Ways to Implement a Green Cleaning Program
Are you looking to integrate a green cleaning program into your business or facility?
What are the best and more practical ways to implement a new green program?
In this article we will introduce 4 ways to implement a green business program along with helpful resources to get you started on your path to going green.
Stephen Ashkin, President of the Ashkin Group and CEO of Sustainability Dashboard Tools, believes 2013 will be the tipping point for sustainability and the cleaning industry. He also says, “Building owners will increasingly turn to their suppliers, including cleaning contractors, to help reduce [resource] consumption…This helps to protect the environment and promote sustainability, while at the same time improving the bottom line.” (To read more about Stephen Ashkin, please visit AshkinGroup.com.)
What Could a Green Cleaning Program Mean to You and Your Business?
- Improved IAQ (indoor air quality)
- Improved work productivity
- Decrease in absenteeism which is typically related to poor indoor air quality
- Increase in company profit
- Minimizing company’s carbon footprint
- Increase in brand reputation
#1 Work With Knowledgeable Vendors
It’s easier and less time consuming to work with vendors that already have the knowledge, experience and skill set you need to accomplish your green cleaning goals. It’s also easier to work with an experienced company rather than trying to teach a vendor who still works with traditional products. Also, if you’re looking to gain a building certification, some vendors may offer support and guidance to make this task smoother for you and the parties involved.
#2 Assess Your Current Situation
Before starting your program, determine your starting point by conducting a simple building audit. This will help you recognize all opportunities for improvement and build a better plan. When creating or trying to work within your budget, remember that green cleaning products and services are competitively priced compared to traditional products, and you may find a better return on investment. Are you in the South Florida area? SparkleTeam is glad to offer a free building audit to help you assess your green cleaning goals.
#3 Have a Comprehensive Plan
Recognize that while simply switching to a few ‘green’ products or equipment is a good thing, this is often times not enough. For best results, implement a comprehensive program that includes the consideration of the following items:
- Chemicals (i.e. traditional chemicals that could be toxic or hazardous vs. green certified products)
- Paper (i.e. differences between bio-renewable, recycled and virgin paper)
- Equipment (i.e. traditional mop bucket vs. back pack mop for less water consumption, time and energy)
- Entry Mats (i.e. incorporating entry mats to prevent dirt, bacteria and grim from entering the building)
- Tools (i.e. microfiber vs. cotton)
- Recycling program
All of these items and more contribute to a well thought out green cleaning program that can save you money, time and headaches later on down the road. Also, remember that over 80% of the cleaning budget is labor, so don’t forget that the training provided by the company you select can make or break your program.
#4 Teamwork and Support from Building Occupants
The real objective of a green cleaning program is to help us become ‘stewards’ of our buildings- caring for the structure, materials, finishes, office equipment, etc., while ultimately ensuring the well being of the people in our buildings. Being good stewards requires that individual occupants recognize and take responsibility for their actions. For example, properly separating recyclables from the trash, or minimizing crumbs and other food sources that attract pests. Education and ongoing communication is also essential to help everyone recognize that unless we each do our part, we cannot create the healthiest, most productive building with the least environmental impacts.
The beauty of Green Cleaning is that we all reap the health benefits by working in a clean and healthy environment together as a team.
References to Help You on Your Path to Going Green
- FM Link.com– Facilities Management News
- GreenBiz.com– Green Business News, Resources and Sustainability Career Tools
- TheAshkinGroup.com– The Green Cleaning Experts
- DestinationGreen.com– The Original Source of Timely and Unbiased Information for Leaders in Green Cleaning
- CleanLink.com-The Professional Cleaning Industry’s Online Resource
- USGBC.com– U.S. Green Building Council