Within the next decade, sustainable cleaning services will be the only type of custodial service available, as schools and businesses adapt to climate change and water use restrictions.
Sustainable Cleaning Services and the New Status Quo
Sustainable cleaning services are the future of business practices, and smart business owners and school administrators are making the necessary moves now.
According to Cleaning & Maintenance Magazine;
In another 10 to 15 years, sustainable cleaning will be the only way cleaning is done.
Manufacturers will phase out nonsustainable chemicals, products, and equipment to reduce risk and liability and to meet the market demand for better, safer, and more productive ways of cleaning.
Bidding in the Age of Sustainability
Green Cleaning Services Makes Your Business Money
Green, sustainable cleaning practices don't just save your organization money; they make it more profitable, productive, and efficient.
While green chemicals and sustainable products may cost slightly more, up front, an analysis of their effectiveness and durability, when compared to conventional or consumer-grade products, makes green product purchasing the smart financial decision.
Commercial and consumer cleaning products employ toxic chemicals that off-gas volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which pollute the indoor environment and lower the indoor air quality (IAQ).
An estimated 37% of worker absenteeism and a 33% reduction in worker performance has been traced to poor IAQ.
Improving IAQ has been shown to increase worker productivity by 20% over baseline standards.
According to a paper published by Kimberly-Clark Professional;
Studies have shown that improving the indoor environment can lead to as much as a 20 percent improvement in worker productivity, for gains of $40-$250 billion per year.
Steps to Sustainability
Migrating your school or business towards fully sustainable practices is simple and rewarding with the right plan and partnership.
To begin with, form an action plan around these areas:
- Waste management.
- Building design, and;
Reducing, reusing, and recycling the waste we generate every day eliminates carbon emissions and pollution, as well as costs associated with energy consumption and disposal.
Focus on starting with simple recycling plans by placing resource specific containers next to regular garbage cans, then work with your custodial provider or a local waste management company to carry it away.
Next, look at how your organization currently handles its organic waste and determine the viability of composting or donation to local schools or farms for pickup and handling.
Finally, take a hard look at the products your organization purchases, specifically the packaging, shipping materials, and manufacturing process, to ensure they align with sustainable practices.
If the products do not align well with your organization's goals, consult with an experienced professional to help you make more socially and environmentally conscious decisions.
In 2012, Chris Holley, Chief Financial Officer of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., reported;
[sic]...earnings of $231 million in “recycling income” from diverting 80 percent of their waste from landfill and selling materials within this waste stream to earn a profit level equal to that achieved by 50 of their supercenters.
Water & Energy Conservation
Conserving water and energy can save your business a ton of money each year, while significantly reducing greenhouse gasses.
According to CoolCalifornia.org;
Cost-effective energy efficiency projects can reduce annual utility bills by 20% and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, all while saving your business money.
Microfiber mops and cloths, due to the nature of their design, are more efficient than cloth or cotton towels, or string or sponge mops; requiring significantly less water to clean the same area.
Further, microfiber is efficient with cold water use, significantly reducing gas energy consumption.
Additionally, portable chemical management systems (CMS), in the form of packets or canisters, allow for the accurate and safe mixing and dilution of cleaning chemicals without direct exposure to concentrated products or unnecessary water waste.
For additional savings and conservation, consult with your cleaning services or facilities maintenance personnel to determine the location of any water or energy waste, and discuss methods to reduce consumption, such as fixing leaking pipes or faucets, turning off lights in vacant rooms, or adjusting to daytime cleaning hours.
Building Design & Office Policies
Redesigning or refurbishing your office or building to align with sustainable practices can yield a significant return on investment if you have the budget and authority to make practical changes, such as aligning windows with the path of the sun to leverage natural lighting, as well as employing heat retaining construction materials to reduce heating costs in the winter.
Restructuring office policies to ensure employees adhere to sustainable practices, such as product purchasing and use, recycling, as well as internal cleaning practices and air quality monitoring, may be the more realistic path available to many districts and businesses.
Improperly reallocated or reclaimed buildings, such as old warehouses or factories that are converted into office spaces, can create an unhealthy indoor environment, especially if toxic residue is still present, asbestos was used in the insulation and exposed during reconstruction, air ducts, vents, and HVAC systems are not replaced, or where little to no natural lighting is available.
Contacting a U.S. Green Building Council (USBGC), LEED Certified partner can ensure building redesigns or refurbishments properly align with LEED standards and will provide a safe and productive working or learning environment for the occupants.
To keep expenses down and help combat climate change, many workers are utilizing a combination of public transportation and biking to commute to the office.
Businesses who align their practices with this type of positive behavior are more likely to attract and retain highly skilled and sought-after employees, establish themselves as a local community leader and invite the increasing attention of consumers and businesses who have decided to only purchase or partner with organizations that adhere to sustainable practices.
There is also a strong financial motivation for companies to provide all the support they can for employee's who choose to cycle to work.
According to TripplePundit;
Staff members who cycle are more punctual.
Absenteeism can be reduced by up to 80 percent by encouraging cycling to work.
Routine green cleaning will ensure that the germs brought into the building on bicycle tires and shoes are safely removed and that locker rooms and showers are carefully sterilized.
References & Resources
- 10 Ways to Go Green and Save Green
- Smart Steps to Sustainability 2.0
- 25 Easy Steps Towards Sustainability
Sustainable cleaning and business practices are the new status quo and, within a decade, will likely be the only type of service available.
Take the lead in your business, or in your school or community, and start making the smart move toward green, sustainable practices today.
If you would like to learn more about the advantages of sustainable cleaning services for your school or business, contact us today for a free quote!
In Bakersfield CA, call (661) 395-3009
In Fresno CA, call (559) 473-1790
In Valencia CA, or Santa Clarita CA, call (661) 395-3009