There is a lot of hype out there regarding the term "Green Cleaning" as it applies to commercial cleaning these days. Many cleaning companies claim to be "Green" but only offer little more than some green chemicals and a microfiber rag without much explanation. If your facility is really interested in greening your cleaning program there are some things you should consider in picking the right cleaning company.
Let's start with what "Green Cleaning" really is:
- Looking for supplies that reduce the environmental impact. Recycled content paper. Replacing folded towels with Hard Roll Towels.
- Training Cleaners to use environmentally responsible methods of cleaning.
- Using chemicals that are green certified to do all jobs such as floors, windows, and general cleaning.
- Sizing your trash can liners correctly (you’d be surprised how many incorrect liners are in place today and standardizing the receptacle size).
- Using proper floor mats at entrances to reduce the amount of dirt brought into your facility.
How to make sure a Cleaning Company is really "Green Cleaning":
- Ask to see their documented "Green Cleaning" Program. This should include a Company "Green Cleaning" Policy, a "Green Cleaning" Technical Manual, an Environmental Policy Statement, and a "Green Cleaning" Training Program.
- Find out if their chemicals have a Green Seal certification, the testing data that indicates it meets the standard, or in the case of disinfectants, approval by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Use of microfiber technology or reusable cleaning cloths is also required.
- Require proof of "Green Cleaning" training of all employees before entering your facility.
- Ask for a list of references for clients for which they currently provide "Green Cleaning."
- Make sure that their Vacuum Cleaners meet GS-42 and/or EcoLogo standards for filtration & noise levels.
Of course you could hire an already ISSA CIMS-GB Certified Cleaning Company that an outside independent examiner has verified to meet or exceed all LEED requirements. This relates to proper management of the company as a whole to include environmental responsibility and can be used to improve quality and lower costs of operation through standardization of processes. Systems for continuous improvement are an important part of the CIMS-GB Standard.
The standard follows an ISO-Type format that requires the cleaning operation, whether contracted or in-house, to demonstrate controlled processes in six areas:
- Quality System
- Service Delivery
- Human Resources
- Health, Safety and Environmental Stewardship
- Management Commitment
- Green Buildings and Service.
Stathakis, an ISSA CIMS-GB certified janitorial company, has been providing all the cleaning and janitorial services or business cleaning services, that are needed to keep one away from cold and flu in this season of high alert.
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