Earth Day Reminds Us of Our Impact on the Environment

In the cleaning industry, a heightened urgency exists to enact impactful environmental changes.

April 22, 2024

This year, Earth Day (April 22) arrived as the world experienced its warmest March on record. This follows a 10-month run in which every month hit a new temperature record, the European Union’s climate change monitoring service reported earlier this month. Consecutively, the United States experienced its hottest summer on record last year, placing an additional burden on workers who toil in the heat, as CMM recently reported. While no federal heat protections for workers currently exist, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has begun working on national rules targeting heat.

Additionally, last week, the Biden-Harris Administration directed U.S. government contractors to purchase cleaning products for federal buildings that are free of toxic “forever chemicals.” The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also last week designated two widely used polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) chemicals—perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS)—as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as Superfund, and will help ensure that polluters pay to clean up their contamination.

The cleaning industry continues to move sustainable solutions forward on these issues and others. In an episode of Straight Talk!, Steve Ashkin, president of The Ashkin Group LLC and chairman of the ISSA Sustainability Committee, shared that Earth Day is a day of celebration recognizing how much work is still left to do along with what we have accomplished so far. Learn more on his thoughts in the video below:

In recognition of Earth Day, ABCO Products Corp. has also shared a series of tips on how facility managers can boost sustainability and help support the planet:

  • Promote waste reduction and recycling. Implementing a waste reduction program can help decrease the amount of trash sent to landfills, lowering greenhouse gas emissions. Encourage employees to reduce waste by providing color-coded bins for recycling, composting, and waste.
  • Invest in renewable energy. Consider installing solar panels to generate clean, renewable electricity on site. Switching to renewable energy at facilities helps reduce dependence on fossil fuels and lowers carbon emissions and energy costs.
  • Use third-party certified cleaning tools. Cleaning tools certified by a reputable third-party organization, such as Green Seal®, help ensure the product is sustainably sourced, manufactured, and packaged.
  • Conduct regular sustainability audits. A sustainability audit provides insights into a facility’s social, environmental, and economic performance. Utilize the findings to develop targeted strategies aimed at improving sustainability.

“Earth Day serves as a reminder of our impact on the environment,” said Carlos Albir, ABCO president. “In today’s landscape, where sustainability dominates discussions, there’s a heightened urgency to enact changes that will truly help our planet.”

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