Why Green? Why Now?
In recent years green cleaning has received a great deal of press and an increasing number of states are requiring cleaning services be green and the private sector is beginning to ask the same of their cleaning contractors.
How Green Cleaning Came to Be
The Clinton administration issued to executive orders in 1993 and 98 designed to direct the purchase of environmentally preferable products. Green was non-prescriptive and defined only as “reducing the health and environmental impacts compared to similar products and services for the same purpose”. This began to mean cleaning which protects health without harming the environment.
The Ultimate Goal of Green Cleaning
The goal of green cleaning is to reduce exposure of the building occupants and cleaning technicians to dangerous chemicals and contaminants from cleaning equipment; emissions that adversely affect air quality, building finishes as well as the health of building occupants AND the environment.
- There have been numerous published findings linking productivity gains, improved morale, reduced absenteeism, lower health costs (insurance and sick leave) to improved indoor air quality and green cleaning
- Reductions in operating costs, especially waste disposal, water and energy
- For property managed facilities improved building occupancy rates
- Marketing & recruiting of organization as stewards of the environment and examples of corporate responsibility in action
How Green Can You Go?
Greening your facility doesn’t have to mean shocking changes. Going green simply means making more environmentally responsible choices. Switching solvents and choosing recycles consumables is a simple step towards a greener facility and may be the perfect choice for many companies. For LEED facilities property/facility managers must ask more of their cleaning contractor in order to earn a credit rating. LEED EOBM requires both cleaning products and equipment be environmentally friendly; this means increased cost to both contractor and customer but may pay for themselves with the positive press and goodwill such initiatives buy.