What does a Green Commercial Cleaning Company Mean?

Often being green is a marketing tool to draw in customers. That's why you need to be careful about hiring the correct cleaning service provider if you are conscious of reducing the impact on the environment and health of building occupants.

What Does a Green Commercial Cleaning Company Mean?

GJK Cleaner

A green commercial cleaning company will implement ‘green cleaning’, deploying products, methodologies and equipment that reduces the impact on the environment and improves the health of building occupants.

Environmental issues remain of high importance to businesses, despite the COVID-19 crisis. A 2021 Eco-Values Research survey found that environmental and social impacts rate among the top three priorities for one quarter of all businesses, and a Deloitte Global Survey found that over 80% of executives are concerned about climate change. Consumer sentiment is also changing, with 85% of Australians more likely to purchase products that are ethically and sustainably produced.

With this shift in sentiment and priorities, many businesses are pushing for improved environmental practices – and that includes commercial cleaning companies. In this industry however, there remains a gap between those who apply authentic ‘green cleaning’ and responsible environmental management, and those who pay ‘lip service’ to sustainability. Many cleaning businesses claim to be green but dig a little deeper and you will find this is used as a marketing ploy to entice and ‘greenwash’ customers.

So, if you are serious about reducing your business’s carbon footprint, you need to partner with a commercial cleaning service provider who can prove their ‘green cleaning’ credentials, and who can demonstrate an overarching company commitment to sustainability

What to Expect from Green Facility Cleaning Service Providers

A green commercial cleaning company will implement ‘green cleaning’, deploying products, methodologies and equipment that reduces the impact on the environment and improves the health of building occupants.

‘Green cleaning’ products are free from toxic chemicals and substances, which can be hazardous to people and detrimental to the environment when washed away. While there are a range of green products used by commercial cleaning companies, many do not stack up under scrutiny. In Australia, cleaning products should be independently certified through Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA). The GECA Standards are developed using ISO 14024 principles for global best practice in ecolabelling, providing assurance they meet world-class environmental Standards.

Green products have the additional benefit of improving Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) because because they are free from the harmful chemical pollutants, fragrances and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Indeed, VOCs have been associated with a range of adverse health effects including asthma, eczema and even cancer5. For more information about the impacts of IAQ on workplace wellbeing, view this whitepaper “6 ways to optimise cleaning for wellbeing and productivity” .

In addition to this, applying ‘green cleaning’ methodologies means providers will use chemical-free alternatives wherever practicable. These might include microfibre or even onsite production systems that convert tap water into cleaning agents, e.g., electrolysed water and stabilized aqueous ozone. GJK for example uses Z-Water throughout its operations – purified pH12.5 ionised alkaline water with no chemicals and outstanding cleaning performance.

A green-minded cleaning company will also consider how its equipment and consumables contribute to the environment. Technological advances are producing vacuums and scrubbers that use far less water and energy than ever before: GJK for example uses AI-powered robot scrubber that use less energy and 70% less water than traditional devices. Your commercial cleaning company might also deploy electric or solar-powered vehicles and equipment to carry out their services and offer sustainable consumables to their customers such as recycled toilet paper and paper towels. ‘Green cleaning’ providers consider the environmental impacts of any purchase, ensuring this is a critical factor of their responsible procurement practices.

Another element to consider is waste. Environmentally responsible cleaners avoid generating unnecessary waste, by sourcing sustainable, multiuse cleaning items like refillable spray bottles and reusable microfiber cleaning cloths. If managing customer waste, they will partner with waste management suppliers to devise intelligent ways to maximize waste streaming and reduce waste-to-landfill.

A Company Wide Commitment

Along with implementing ‘green cleaning’ operations at your site, you need to know your commercial cleaning company has a holistic, company-wide approach to sustainability and of reducing their overall environmental impact wherever possible.

As a minimum, an environmentally responsible cleaning company should be certified to ISO 14001, that enables them to establish an environmental management system. This provides a systematic way for the business to manage its environmental responsibilities, reduce environmental impacts and identify ways to continually improve its performance.

Additionally, you can tell how serious they are about reducing their environmental impact by asking to see a Corporate Responsibility or ESG report. Here the company will be fully transparent about the social and environmental activities of their business and disclose targets, goals and achievements. This might also include its mission and policy towards sustainability, and sustainable and ethical certifications. With this proof of environmental commitment, you can decipher the sincerity of a business and sort the ‘greenwashers’ from those serious about making environmental change.

Conclusion

Reducing the environmental impacts of business is an increasingly important priority in the wake of the imminent climate change threat. Businesses urgently need to improve their environmental actions and partner with suppliers who have a strong sustainability agenda. The way commercial cleaning is delivered can have a substantial impact on the environment, so business leaders need to ensure they are choosing providers who are authentically prioritising green cleaning and environmentally responsible services.

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