The term ‘going green’ certainly gets a lot of play these days, and while many of us aren’t looking to have a solar farm installed on our houses or live entirely off of the grid, choosing to use a green commercial cleaning service is an amazing way to reduce your company’s negative environmental impact and protect the health of both your facility and the environment. So, let's delve into what a green cleaning service is and how to sort through the wannabes and the real deals.
Saying Green and Doing Green are Two Very Different Things
The term green cleaning is such a vague phrase that it can be difficult to separate companies that are actually committed to green cleaning from those commercial cleaning companies that use it as an empty marketing tool to take your money. But you don’t want green cleaning at the expense of good cleaning so how can you assure you are getting both? How can you find a professional, effective janitorial service provider that balances effective janitorial services with environmental cleaning all wrapped up in a pretty package of customized, responsive services at a price that won’t break your budget?
Buying Green Cleaning Products Doesn't Make You Green
Your commercial cleaning company may have shelves of non-toxic and green cleaning products, but that does not make them green cleaners. Any company that actively practices green cleaning has to engage in a number of different ‘green’ practices. They must clean with products that protect the environment and have a thorough and complete knowledge of how using these products changes the way they have to clean. They should use cleaning equipment that minimizes wasted resources like cleaning solutions, water and electricity, offers reduced noise and air pollution and is safe for the operator and the occupants. Unfortunately, far too many janitorial companies simply procure products with the word ‘green’ on them and call themselves a green cleaning company. They don't understand that beyond the green cleaning products, they must change the way they train their teams, the way they store and dispense products, the way they tackle your facility. All of it must be designed to reduce waste and minimize environmental impact. A company that is truly committed to green cleaning will go well beyond just purchasing green cleaners and make green cleaning a company wide initiative with systems and training that impact each part of service delivery.
What does an Office Cleaning Company that Actually Cares About Green Cleaning Look Like?
Many of us aren’t familiar with the ins and outs of the cleaning industry, much less how to check to make sure your janitorial service provider is providing you with the best possible green cleaning program. Fortunately, you don’t have to. With the CIMS-GB certification, it is easier than ever before to ensure that your commercial and or janitorial cleaner is committed and experienced with regard to a solid green cleaning program. The CIMS-GB certification is a voluntary certification provided by the ISSA to accredit companies that can demonstrate competency and master in a number of areas including a commitment to green cleaning. The CIMS and CIMS-GB certification are complete, rigorous and regularly checked so you know that when your hiring a CIMS certified company, your getting only those building services companies committed to innovation and best practices. The CIMS-GB certification is a step beyond the standard CIMS certification program. It not only demonstrates to you that this janitorial service meets the highest industry standard of service and management, but also the highest standard of environmental cleaning and practices. So, when you’re looking for your next commercial cleaning company, use the ISSA’s CIMS and CIMS-GB to find the gold standard of the industry.
LEEDs & Its Benefits
While the ISSA’s CIMS-GB certification guarantees that your cleaning company will be of the top caliber in performance and in green cleaning, it has other benefits as well. CIMS-GB certified companies can measurably improve your Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance rating (LEED-EBOM) with the U.S. Green Building Council. You may be thinking, “My facility is already LEED certified, do I really need to do anything else?” In fact you do. A CIMS-GB qualified company can significantly raise your LEED-EBOM rating from silver to gold and even in some cases platinum. Using the best equipment, procedures and training has a large impact on your facilities LEED rating. And by raising your rating, you can qualify for tax breaks, free reductions, and density bonuses for your business. Green cleaning services are everywhere, and all of them will claim they use safer chemicals and more environmentally conscious processes. Make sure to do your homework and check to see if they have a CIMS-GB certification that those claims have real commitment behind them.