Many cleaning operations are ‘going green’ to meet the demands of more conscientious customers. In the commercial sector we see the inclusion of some criteria based on resident company’s own green credentials being extended to their various service providers.
The definition of green clean is to use methods and products with environmentally friendly ingredients and procedures to preserve human health and the environment. If we take a typical commercial office, we might look at the following change in our thinking and practices:
- Methods: typically, green cleaners aim to use less water and detergent where possible. This is reported to result in use of less water and lead to less wear on carpets and other furnishings.
- Products: green products can cost a little more on a per unit basis. At the same time proponents of green cleaning suggest this is balanced out by more efficient use of chemicals and less use of energy.
- Human health: clients are demanding less chemicals on their foods, in their personal products and it makes sense they want to reduce chemicals in their workplace. Perhaps most importantly this extends to our own cleaning staff who risk exposure to these same chemicals daily.
- Environment: last on the list but where much of this movement is anchored. Providing sustainable environmental outcomes is at the heart of going green. Some of the areas the environment benefits are listed below.
When implemented well, green cleaning leads to sustainability of the building’s health, but possibly also your business. By providing an optimally, healthier building for all stakeholders, we provide a better result over the longer for occupants, staff and the planet.
The methods and products of green cleaning support the reduction of toxicity exposure. Ongoing training and reminders provided via a mobile workforce app such as getfreshops.com can remind staff periodically.
Practices in green cleaning aim to have minimal impact by using ‘friendlier’ solvents and chemicals. Many operations are also going paperless through the use of digital platforms that eliminate most paper-based sheets. Reducing the inherent waste and storage of these sheets for many years. But the real benefit is making this data available at your finger tips to help with providing better, more responsive service to clients.
Increased communication better engages staff and customers in the management of their work environment. Again getfreshops.com allows this to be done seamlessly and creates a record of all activities and communications.
If you want to hang your hat on green cleaning and pursue the growing green dollar then certification by programs such as GreenSeal.org will provide prospective clients proof of your efforts to achieve higher standards in sustainable cleaning practices and products.
Going green is a fantastic idea for all businesses. No matter how far down the road toward certification you travel, any effort to make even small amounts of change in your business stands to have a positive effect for customers, staff and ultimately your own business’ sustainability.
*Mark Jones is the director of freshops.com.au and a board member of the BSCAA QLD. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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