Green cleaning has three primary components:
- Daycleaning: save money by avoiding lighting the office at night for cleaning crews
- Green products: choose green certified products to improve the work environment and reduce environmental impact
- Specialized equipment: employ noise-reducing mufflers, low-emissions engines, battery-powered equipment, and on-board chemical metering to create a better environment for occupants and cleaning staff
Taken separately or in tandem, green cleaning initiatives will not only produce a better environment, but also improve the bottom line.
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How it Works
The following best practices may be applied to a wide variety of property types.
- Require vendors to reduce or eliminate products with VOCs and ozone-depleting chemicals (commonly found in cleansers, disinfectants, paints, varnishes, etc.)
- Have vendors use the following recommended equipment:
- High-efficiency, low emissions engines
- Electric and battery powered models
- Noise reducing mufflers
- On-board chemical metering to optimize the use of cleaning fluids
- Have vendors adopt the following best practices:
- Remove aerosol and VOC-based air fresheners
- Replace mops and paper towels with reusable cloths
- Use entryway mats to keep flooring clean
- Change vacuum bags and filters frequently
- Use natural cleaners and sponges
- Adopt day cleaning services, when appropriate
- During the day: remove waste, clean surfaces, maintain restrooms, and replace paper products; integrate recycling and trash bin collection, if possible. Use low-noise equipment suitable for day cleaning
- After-hours: clean enclosed offices and hard surfaces, vacuum carpets, and perform other 'disruptive' tasks
- Source green cleaning products certified by one of the following organizations:
- Green Seal
- Environmental Choice
- EPA DfE
How You Save
A building that is typically occupied by hundreds of employees during the day is lit (and potentially heated or cooled) for many hours at night for a relatively small cleaning crew. Over time, this expense adds up.
Buildings and spaces that currently utilize daycleaning services and don't already have established guidelines for using green certified cleaning products in place.
Prior to implementing green cleaning programs:
- Communicate with employees in advance, set expectations, and get buy-in prior to implementation
- Work with cleaning staff to adapt routines and establish best practices
- Develop systems for employees and cleaning staff to communicate