Global attention has shifted to environmental sustainability. It has become the focus for significant institutions and organizations, such as the World Bank and the United Nations. Despite its
importance, controversies still arise regarding the cost of establishing a sustainability program and whether it has substantial benefits.
You might be wondering if implementing green cleaning within your facility is worthwhile. Considering that, according to a poll from Statistica, about 30% of consumers in the United States and the United Kingdom prefer sustainable brands for a better environment, not having a sustainability plan could cause your facility to lose clients.
To achieve high customer satisfaction, preserve your employees’ health, and improve indoor air quality in an ecofriendly environment, implement green cleaning in the building maintenance process. Here are six steps you can take:
1. Assess the current situation
You need to have a clear picture of your facility’s current efforts toward going green. Once you’ve adequately assessed your facility, pinpointing areas that need immediate attention and actions
that are costly to implement, it will be easier to set appropriate goals. Additionally, assessing your facility before implementing a green cleaning system enables you to plan effectively for its
Although you should consider everything while assessing your facility, here are specific aspects you should double-check for better planning:
- Energy demand
- Water consumption and conservation
- Greenhouse gas emission
- Waste control
- Environmental compliance
2. Switch to green products
Assessing your facility will help you identify unsustainable products, which leads you to the next step. Choose products that are biodegradable and not toxic, and invest in equipment that saves
energy and water.
For instance, consider transitioning to a solar water pump if you currently use an electric one. Reports from the U.S. Department of Energy show that solar energy significantly reduces greenhouse
gas emissions, improves air quality, and reduces water use from energy production.
Beyond solar energy, there are other technologies to use in your facility, such as automation tools, artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and collaborative robots. These tools
enable you and your employees to better manage workloads, improve safety, and practice predictive maintenance.
Here are some green cleaning products to consider:
- Biodegradable laundry detergents made of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) dissolve in water, leaving no residues. Employees are less likely to experience allergic reactions, skin irritation, and respiratory problems, because these eco-friendly laundry detergents are free from chemicals such as phosphate, paraben, and chlorine bleach.
- Eco-friendly air fresheners made from pure essential oils contain no hazardous chemicals such as phthalates and formaldehyde, which are linked to cancer.
3. Validate products
Be sure to validate any green products before purchasing. The global green technology and sustainability market is expected to grow to about US$417.35 billion by 2030, according to Statistica.
Therefore, you can expect to find products that falsely claim to be sustainable. With that in mind, it would be best to first determine if a product is green, based on U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) guidelines.
Consider the following factors to ensure that you are purchasing legitimately green cleaning products:
- Materials—Make sure the materials used to create the product are recyclable and environmentally friendly
- Energy usage—Consider a product’s energy consumption during its use
- Durability—Choose products that will last a long time to reduce waste and costs
- Disposability—If the products are not biodegradable, make sure you can recycle them.
4. Find green partners
Green partners can provide sustainable products or utilize waste products from your facility. For instance, instead of disposing of plastics, you can partner with companies that recycle them.
Green partners will provide more opportunities in your facility by connecting you to clients that want sustainable products and services. Additionally, green partners can keep you updated
on the best sustainable products and tools you need to maintain a green cleaning facility.
5. Communicate with employees
About 90% of employees engaged in their company’s sustainability work say it enhances their job satisfaction and overall feelings about the business, according to a report from the National
Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF). Your workers are essential for implementing the green-cleaning plan in your facility.
Start educating your employees on green cleaning products, such as those certified by Green Seal or EcoLogo. Give them information about the environmental benefits of green cleaning products, such as reduced pollution and improved air quality. Also, enroll your staff members in green cleaning programs to increase their knowledge and skills in handling and maintaining green
cleaning equipment. Supplement the training by purchasing sustainable cleaning tools that will keep your employees safe and healthy. For example, electrolyzed water is a nontoxic cleaning
and disinfecting solution.
Sharing your green cleaning plans with employees and ensuring they have the necessary training improves their morale and keeps them working toward a similar goal.
6. Set up a monitoring system
Monitor the progress of your entire green cleaning plan, including the products and equipment you use, as well as the employee training. Regularly review the plan and make needed adjustments.
Ensuring the equipment works efficiently plays a significant role in water conservation, energy consumption, air pollution, and employee safety. Additionally, you can maximize production by
reducing the waste of resources.
Continue to keep your employees in mind, as they play a vital role in the monitoring process. Consider training them to use the monitoring software and respond to emergencies that could
result in environmental damage.
Installing a monitoring system requires proper planning and reviewing. For the best chance of success, follow these steps:
- Create a monitoring project plan
- Define IT capabilities and requirements
- Create a data collection plan
- Develop a deployment strategy.
Start down the road to green
If you’ve been thinking about going green for a while, there is no reason to delay. The steps outlined in this article will guide you in creating a green cleaning plan for your facility that will be up and running within a short time.
By consistently monitoring the plan you will help secure the health of your company, your employees, and the planet.