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Back to Basics

Somewhat surprisingly, I am still meeting building managers that are unsure how to start a Green Cleaning program.  For them and for all of us, I have outlined the key steps below:

Implementing a Green Cleaning Process: The 10 Steps

The goal of a Green Cleaning program is to reduce the total impact of cleaning on both health and the environment. Putting such a program into action requires a comprehensive—though easily implemented—process. The key steps are the following:

 

  1. Reach an Agreement

The customer, building occupants, and management must all agree on how they define a Green Cleaning program and how it will be employed in their facility. Once decided, the agreement is written in the form of a concise, easy-to-understand contract.

 

  1. Build the Team

Once an agreement has been reached, all parties must build a team that includes cleaning professionals, building management, and building occupants. Through discussions and meeting with all affected by the Green Cleaning program, the team helps generate support for the project and plays a pivotal role in its success.

 

  1. Conduct Baseline Surveys

One of the team’s first duties is to determine the current housekeeping status of the facility by conducting surveys that set a baseline from which to judge improvement. For instance, the surveys would include an inventory and evaluation of existing paper products, liners, and cleaning equipment used in the location. It may also include appraisals of the following:

  • Overall housekeeping quality
  • Cleaning procedures including training and supervision
  • Recycling
  • Existing indoor air quality problems and complaint record

Making Your Facility Green and Sustainable

Stephen Ashkin is the “father of GrePR-AshkinGroup-StephenAshkin_360x235en Cleaning” and the professional cleaning and building industries leading consultant making facilities Greener, more sustainable, healthier, and reducing operating costs.

Let’s Make Your Facility Green and Sustainable Now


4. Develop a Plan

Once all of the data have been collected, the team must analyze the information to determine the best procedures and opportunities for improvement. They decide which areas need to be addressed based on contract requirements, cost, and potential health and environmental impacts.

 

  1. Get Everyone on Board

It is vitally important that everyone is involved in and supports the team’s plans and goals. Having all parties included in the process and aware of how and why things are being done helps keep everyone on the “same page” and support for the process ongoing.

 

  1. Acquire Green Products and Equipment

To begin the process of greening a building, new cleaning products and equipment may need to be purchased. This includes bio-based cleaning products that are environmentally preferable. It also may include vacuum cleaners with enhanced filtration systems that can capture and trap as much as 99 percent of the harmful particles in the air; floor machines that have dust-control systems to capture impurities so that that they do not pollute the indoor environment; or MicroFiber cleaning cloths, which have been shown to significantly reduce bacteria buildup.

 

  1. Incorporate Green Procedures

The purpose of the new cleaning procedures is to help cleaning professionals use products carefully, safely, and with the goals of Green Cleaning in mind.

 

  1. Implement Training in Green Cleaning

Lack of adequate training has traditionally been a problem in the cleaning industry. The adoption of Green Cleaning is an opportunity for all maintenance personnel to learn the most up-to-date cleaning procedures. This can streamline housekeeping operations and improve the health of the facility being maintained.

 

  1. Take Responsibility through Stewardship

Once a Green Cleaning program has begun, it is important that an initiative be implemented that encourages the concept of stewardship, where cleaning personnel, occupants, and visitors share in the responsibility for maintaining a healthy and productive indoor environment.

 

  1. Communicate and Provide Feedback

Communication and feedback are vital among chemical supplier, custodial staff and building engineers, occupants, and management. As with any new process or procedure involving many people, the ultimate goal is continued improvement. Information provided by all parties helps facilitate this.


Making Your Facility Green and Sustainable

Stephen Ashkin is the “father of GrePR-AshkinGroup-StephenAshkin_360x235en Cleaning” and the professional cleaning and building industries leading consultant making facilities Greener, more sustainable, healthier, and reducing operating costs.

Let’s Make Your Facility Green and Sustainable Now


 

Ashkin Group Hires New Director of Sustainable Practice

Los Angeles, CA – Brian Johnson has joined The Ashkin Group, the leading advocate for greeBriann cleaning and sustainability in the professional cleaning industry, as the organization’s new Director of Sustainable Practice.

Johnson is a 30-year veteran of the Green and sustainability movements.

He began his career leading the City of Santa Monica’s Green procurement and Green Cleaning efforts; was a lecturing professor at Loyola Marymount University in Westchester, Calif., teaching Environmental Science courses for undergraduates; and recently was Deputy Director at the California Environmental Protection Agency.

During his accomplished career, Johnson has worked with custodial workers, business executives, and elected officials regarding a host of Green and sustainability projects.

“I have known Brian for more than 25 years,” says Stephen Ashkin, President of The Ashkin Group. “I have seen firsthand all that he has accomplished and his commitment to Green and sustainability issues. Together, I think we will make an excellent team.”

Adds Johnson, “Steve and I have always had similar goals and it is our shared desire to accelerate the adoption of Greener technologies, help organizations become more sustainable, reduce environmental impacts, and improve their bottom line.”

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About Stephen Ashkin and The Ashkin Group

Stephen P. Ashkin is president of The Ashkin Group, a consulting firm specializing in Greening the cleaning industry, and CEO of Sustainability Dashboard Tools, which helps facilities monitor and measure their use of natural resources. He is known as the “father of Green Cleaning” and the professional cleaning industries leading advocate promoting sustainability. He is also coauthor of both The Business of Green Cleaning and Green Cleaning for Dummies

 

Contact Information

Stephen Ashkin

Email: SteveAshkin@AshkinGroup.com

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