Green cleaning and a commitment to sustainability have become commonplace phrases these days. But how do you know that a supplier is truly committed to sustainability goals, and not just offering token gestures with a lot of fancy words?
Choosing the right supplier who is focused on sustainable products and services can help meet or exceed your organization’s sustainability goals, and ultimately reduce impact throughout the supply chain.
Here are a few ways that that you can ensure your cleaning and facilities maintenance partner is committed to green cleaning and directly supporting your sustainability goals.
Are green cleaning and sustainable practices different?
First, let’s look at how green cleaning and sustainability overlap in how they are perceived and delivered.
Sustainability used to refer to practices that met the “triple bottom line,” which is made up of social, environmental, and economic factors that impact a business’s overall strategy. Being “green” was more narrowly defined. It meant products or services that have a reduced impact on health and the environment.
Today’s concept of sustainable green cleaning brings both together. This is because research now confirms that practices and products that promote green cleaning (and overall green operations) result in a healthier environment. This not only reduces environmental impact, but also promotes social and economic benefits. Your workforce is healthier and happier, which leads to higher engagement, greater productivity and ultimately increased profits.
Next, let’s review what to look for when a commercial cleaning company makes a commitment to being green and supporting sustainability goals.
Does the company publish a written commitment for green and sustainable practices?
Companies that say they are invested in green cleaning should have a written statement that outlines their goals, quality standards and the training they provide.
Kleenway’s Green Cleaning and Environmental Stewardship Policy for example, states how the company actively pursues measures to reduce its carbon footprint and hone its practices for quality and environmental stewardship. The policy is more than words. To support the stated goals, Kleenway has implemented a rigorous Quality Management System, with internal audits and Key Performance Measures in place to ensure consistent, sustainable, high-value service.
How do you know whether or not a company has meaningful green and sustainability credentials?
Look for the CIMS Green Building certification, that establishes a janitorial or cleaning company’s capability to assist their customers with achieving a greener clean. The CIMS-GB certification was created several years ago as an additional, optional, designation to meet the growing demand for green cleaning and sustainability. It is part of the Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS), the highest and most advanced quality standard for the industry.
The CIMS-GB certification encompasses tools, products, training and processes focused on promoting cleaning practices that reduce toxicity, waste, and exposure to tenants, workers and visitors. It means that when companies with this designation promote their commercial cleaning and maintenance services as green and sustainable, you can depend on them as a sustainability partner.
What is the difference when you choose green cleaning?
In terms of green cleaning, there are various practices, products and processes to look for. These ensure that the proper standards are in place in terms of being safe and supporting sustainability goals that impact people and the environment.
- Ask if cleaning and disinfectants are certified as green and non-toxic. In Canada and the U.S., Green Certified Products display the ECOLOGO® symbol, and cover both cleaners and disinfectants. As noted above, certified green products not only clean better and more safely, they are healthier and safer for your workers as well as our cleaning teams.
- Check out the kinds of supplies being used, such as recycled content paper products. Also check how they are being used, such as choosing the right size for trash can liners to avoid waste. All of these details reduce environmental impacts. They may seem like small gestures but everything adds up. Switching to microfibre cloths, for instance, means that a cleaning team uses less water, less cleaning product, and because the cloths last longer, create less waste.
- Make sure that vacuum cleaners meet GS-42 (Green Seal®) and/or ECOLOGO® standards for filtration and noise levels. Vacuums with HEPA air filters, which are used by Kleenway, are one of the best methods for air purifier filtration in the market.
Are teams properly trained in green cleaning and the importance of sustainable practices?
Kleenway believes that quality service begins with quality people, trained well. Our co-workers receive initial and on-going training for provincially mandated health and safety certifications, product and equipment usage, and green cleaning and maintenance methodologies.
Before selecting a service provider, ask about Green Training programs. Find out if they cover the environmentally beneficial methods of cleaning and best practices in addition to just the “how to” clean instructions.
What is Kleenway’s commitment to sustainability as an office and commercial cleaning company?
All companies care about the bottom line. But at Kleenway, we also carefully watch our impact on the environment, and as a commercial cleaning and janitorial company, actively takes steps to reduce the carbon footprint.
Through our sustainable purchasing policy, environmental stewardship policy, careful use of cleaning products, and comprehensive training on green cleaning practices, Kleenway is able to stay at the forefront of green cleaning and sustainability—advising, demonstrating and practising what we talk about.
How can we help your company meet its green and sustainability goals?
For more than 35 years Kleenway has been providing superior and trusted commercial cleaning and facility maintenance services that support your sustainability goals. Contact us for a quote today.