How to start green cleaning

December 21, 2016


Colorful cleaning products without labels

One of the jobs of a facilities manager is to ensure a clean and healthy work environment. Unfortunately, many of the traditional products used for cleaning can cause tremendous harm to the environment, as well as to vulnerable employees. Pregnant women, asthmatics, senior workers, employees with allergies, and highly sensitive individuals, not to mention the cleaning personnel themselves, who are exposed to these harmful chemicals on an ongoing basis. In an effort to protect workers and reduce harm to the environment, green cleaning has gained traction in the past few years.

A green cleaning program uses products, tools, equipment, and chemicals with Green Seal Certification. Here are some ways to start a green cleaning program at your facility.

Buy in
Management, cleaning staff, and workers all need to agree the facility should adopt a green cleaning strategy. They need to understand what it entails and how it will be carried out in their facility. Once agreed on, document the green cleaning policy in writing.

Conduct surveys
It’s important to determine the current status of your cleaning program by conducting surveys that set a baseline from which to judge improvement. Evaluate your existing paper products, liners, and cleaning equipment, as well as your existing indoor air quality problems and complaint record. Once you have the information, prioritize which things need to be addressed.

Buy green products
Not only will you need to purchase new products (like bio-based cleaning products), you may also need to upgrade your equipment like vacuum cleaners with enhanced filtration systems, floor machines with dust-control systems, and the like.

Train your staff to implement green procedures
Lack of adequate training has traditionally been a problem in the cleaning industry. You can ensure the vendor you are hiring is certified by the International Janitorial Cleaning Services Association or enroll your staff in their Green Cleaning Certification course.

Provide feedback
As with any new process or procedure, the ultimate goal is continued improvement, and that is only possible through communicated feedback.

For help implementing green cleaning at your facility, contact Vanguard Resources.