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December 22, 2014 by  
Filed under Green and Sustainable

Sustainability and Our Building

What is Sustainability? Sustainability is defined as “meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

Another definition of sustainability puts it this way: “A sustainable business involves the ‘triple bottom line:’ integration of social equity (people), environmental responsibility (planet), and economic growth (profits). In practical terms, this means businesses must ensure the products they manufacture or the services they provide are sustainable and simultaneously address all three components.”

No matter how you look at sustainability, it’s an important philosophy, and perhaps nowhere more so than in the commercial cleaning business.

Sustainability and green cleaning

Simply put, green cleaning incorporates sustainable practices. Sustainable cleaning promotes cleanliness and good hygiene, while it also is effective, environmentally sound and addresses the needs of both the building and the environment.

Good judgment and experience are required to make this approach work. For example, older toilet bowls may need a mild acidic cleaning every tenth day, while still using a “friendlier” accelerated hydrogen peroxide product the other nine days to maintain the whiteness. By doing this, the bowls look white and clean, and use of more toxic products is reduced dramatically. This combination approach provides a solution that is both sustainable and effective.

There are janitorial services that truly “walk the walk” when it comes to a true commitment to sustainable and green cleaning, and the most satisfied and proud customers are those who are able to find these like-minded partners-in-cleaning.

A committed green cleaning team

The best cleaning service for your building and tenants is the one that best incorporates cleaning practices that are both green and highly effective. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) puts it this way, “Choosing less hazardous products that have positive environmental attributes (e.g., bio-degradability, low toxicity, low volatile organic compound (VOC) content, reduced packaging, low life-cycle energy use) and taking steps to reduce exposure can minimize harmful impacts to custodial workers and building occupants, improve indoor air quality, and reduce water and ambient air pollution while also ensuring the effectiveness of cleaning in removing biological and other contaminants from the building’s interior.”

The best cleaning service for your building and tenants is the one that best incorporates cleaning practices that are both green and highly effective. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) puts it this way, “Choosing less hazardous products that have positive environmental attributes (e.g., bio-degradability, low toxicity, low volatile organic compound (VOC) content, reduced packaging, low life-cycle energy use) and taking steps to reduce exposure can minimize harmful impacts to custodial workers and building occupants, improve indoor air quality, and reduce water and ambient air pollution while also ensuring the effectiveness of cleaning in removing biological and other contaminants from the building’s interior.”

Evaluating your commercial janitorial service

You’ll be able to see how committed your current or potential cleaning team is to sustainability from the way it treats stains to the way it cleans your restrooms to the paper goods it supplies to the equipment it invests in to the cleaning liquids it uses.

When evaluating teams for your own properties, be sure ask specific, relevant questions related to how they will clean your facility. Be sure to ask them about what they will use to get the job done effectively and in accordance with green standards, including what kinds of cleaners, paper goods, filters and other equipment and supplies they typically use.

Your green building cleaning team

Your building’s janitorial team, especially if it is one well-versed in the best practices of environmental sustainability as they relate to the commercial cleaning business, can do more than simply clean – oftentimes, this team becomes a true partner in the achievement of broader sustainability goals for the building, its tenants and the community at-large.

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