The future of our planet is a growing concern for many citizens worldwide. In fact, a groundbreaking new study by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) surveyed 1.2 million people living in 50 countries about climate change and found that two-thirds (66%) of people think it is a global emergency. Sustainability can manifest itself in many ways, including in the way a facility approaches cleaning and maintenance.
With Earth Day on April 22, it’s the perfect opportunity to learn more about the myths around sustainable cleaning and to create your own goals around greening your operation.
The Truth behind Green Cleaning
Consider the following myths and truths about green cleaning to successfully implement sustainability into your program.
Sustainable chemicals aren’t as effective.
Just because a cleaning chemical is made in a more sustainable way doesn’t mean it won’t deliver on cleaning performance. As with introducing any type of new solution into your cleaning program, it’s important to carefully vet green cleaning chemicals. Take a close look at the ingredients to confirm the product is sustainable, note which pathogens it’s effective against and review the contact time to ensure it will be a good fit for your organization. You no longer have to use caustic chemicals to kill bacteria and fungi and inactivate viruses.
Green cleaning is too expensive.
Too often, sustainability is met with opposition because leaders believe that following environmental best practices will be costly. While it’s true that most green cleaning solutions and processes may require an initial cash infusion to implement successfully, investing in sustainability pays dividends. Companies committed to sustainability often outperform others that don’t consider the impact of their operations.
Green cleaning is too difficult.
Sustainability doesn’t have to be complex. If you’re unsure on where to start, consult with a qualified building service contractor and look to trusted organizations like LEED and Green Seal to understand ways to green facility maintenance and cleaning. These leaders offer certification programs that outline various categories and best practices, as well as guides on certified products to help facility managers jumpstart their sustainability journey.
How Sustainable Cleaning Benefits Everyone
Debunking myths around sustainable cleaning is crucial because a more strategic approach to cleaning supports the triple bottom line. Consider these benefits:
With chronic conditions like asthma and allergies on the rise, it’s important to consider the impact that cleaning solutions have on indoor air and the people who use these spaces. Using sustainable chemicals improves indoor air quality and upholds cleanliness in commercial buildings. This creates healthier environments for facility occupants and visitors. Sustainable chemicals are also safer for staff who clean with them.
The global population is on the rise and our society consumes resources faster than they can regenerate. If every country consumed as much as the United States, we would need five planet Earths’ worth of resources annually. As there is only one planet Earth, finding ways to reduce consumption is critical. Cleaning more sustainably is one easy-to-implement method for limiting waste. Green cleaning can drastically lower water, energy, chemical and plastic consumption, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, water pollution, air pollution and more.
Green cleaning can also support brand reputation, which offers its own unique benefits. Improving image can attract new customers and eco-conscious employees and strengthen loyalty. Today, the public is more in tune with a business’s ethical and environmental report card than in decades past. Sustainability efforts like green cleaning programs can drive a competitive advantage in the marketplace, setting your organization up for long-term success.
Achieving Greatness through Green Cleaning
Facilities realize many benefits through a more sustainable approach to cleaning. This includes energy and water savings, waste reduction, profit, better indoor air quality, enhanced brand reputation and more. Too often, facilities carry on using non-green alternatives because of the myths that exist around sustainable cleaning. This is the way they have always structured their cleaning programs. Today, there are many chemical, equipment and tool options on the market, as well as sustainable procedures that facilities can incorporate to improve the impact on people, the planet and profit.
We believe in the benefits of sustainable cleaning. For more information about our Écologique cleaning program, contact our offices here and follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook for the latest updates from GSF USA.