How Your Cleaning Provider Can Help You Meet Criterion for Green Star Performance
Obtaining Green Star Performance certification requires a holistic overview of your entire building operations with regards to sustainability.
The built environment generates nearly 50% of annual global carbon emissions.¹ Of this, building operations account for 27%. With such a large footprint attributed to existing building stock, we need to take immediate global action to ensure they are run more sustainably. Without this, we will not meet critical emission reduction targets set out in the Paris Agreement.
The good news is that there are many actions we can take to create greener building operations – but where do you start? The first step many Australian businesses are now taking on their journey of better environmental management and Net Zero is obtaining Green Star Performance certification. However, when actioning these sustainability improvements, remember that your service partners (such as commercial cleaners) can contribute significantly to certification and better operational results.
What is Green Star Performance
Developed by the Green Building Council of Australia, the Green Star Performance rating tool helps building owners measure and continually improve the ongoing operational performance of their buildings. With a focus on carbon, health and well-being and social impacts, Green Star Performance drivers better social and environmental outcomes for over 1,200 buildings every year.² This assessment criterion looks at buildings in nine sustainability categories: Management, Indoor Environment Quality, Energy, Transport, Water, Materials, Land Use and Ecology, Emissions, and Innovation.
How Commercial Cleaning Services Can Help You Get Certification
Obtaining Green Star Performance certification requires a holistic overview of your entire building operations with regards to sustainability. Your service partners, such as commercial cleaners, can be hugely beneficial in helping you achieve Green Star Performance credits for your existing building across many of the categories listed above. We explore some of these below:
Within the Management category, for instance, green cleaning is deemed integral to reducing waste and producing better environmental and health benefits. The ‘green cleaning’ credit rewards adopting green cleaning principles and processes into cleaning contracts. Professional commercial cleaners can implement authentic green cleaning policies, methods and materials across the organisation to assist in this endeavour. They can optimise waste management solutions and lead your monitoring and reporting requirements for Green Star credits within this category.
At GJK Facility Services, we employ green cleaning protocols across hundreds of cleaning contracts. We have tried and proven methodologies, and use chemical-free systems and GECA-approved cleaning agents. We also produce exceptional environmental outcomes in waste management through innovative waste partnerships and IOT waste tech.
Indoor Environment Quality (IAQ)
Indoor Environment Quality is a key aspect of sustainable building performance. Indeed, buildings earn credit points when there is a process in place for the monitoring and management of pollutants entering the building. Commercial cleaning services can assist by installing IAQ monitoring and air purification systems and ensuring their equipment uses HEPA filtration systems to maximise clean air.
Energy and Water
Buildings are the single largest contributor to the world’s energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, using 40% of global energy and generating around 30% of all carbon emissions.³ Within the ‘Energy’ category of Green Star Performance, buildings are rewarded for implementing actions to measure and reduce a building’s operational energy use. Commercial cleaners can help directly by using equipment with low energy outputs, as well as electric or solar-powered vehicles. Even more impactful, commercial cleaners can now help implement IOT smart sensor solutions within buildings that can monitor lighting/energy use, facilitating insightful decision-making around reducing energy consumption.
Of course, commercial cleaners should also be cognisant about water reduction methods, using water-efficient scrubbers, for instance, instead of pressure washing, or microfibre mopping instead of the traditional mop/bucket. Such practices embedded into cleaning practices would also assist in obtaining Green Star credits in the Water category.
A commercial cleaning company’s green cleaning practices, which include environmentally-friendly cleaning agents and recyclable packaging, can also contribute to credits in the Materials category. As does their responsible use and disposal of these items. Innovative waste management plans devised by you and your commercial cleaners can address diverting waste from landfill and circular economy solutions that further contribute to obtaining Materials credits.
Using a professional cleaning company like GJK Facility Services means you have a partner driving progress in sustainability outcomes. We are continuously researching, trialling and implementing equipment and tools to bring better environmental results. Such pioneering approaches will contribute to reducing your buildings’ carbon footprint and acquiring points in this category.
It is important to remember that not just any commercial cleaning company can do what is required to help you obtain Green Star Performance certification. Not only does your commercial cleaner need to have the knowledge and expertise in green cleaning and sustainable waste management, but they also need to have the ability to monitor and measure results, implement robust policies and have a collaborative partnership approach.
A sustainable future relies on current buildings’ moving to sustainable operations – and quickly! This is a big move, and you will need help from dedicated ‘green warrior’ partners – such as GJK.
1. Why the Building Sector? – Architecture 2030