Industry News




11/29/2012

Sustainable and Effective Cleaning Practices Lead to Cost Savings

By Dan Wagner

 
Looking for cost saving opportunities? A simple switch to green cleaning may provide one approach.

Green and sustainable cleaning practices are among the key drivers in the commercial cleaning industry, and show no signs of slowing down. Customer demand and the accompanying surge in environmentally preferable products and services is impacting the way facility managers think and approach the cleaning and maintenance of their buildings. But, does this focus on sustainability come at the expense of the bottom line?

The past ten years have brought tremendous growth in the awareness of green cleaning, and the widespread adoption of green cleaning programs and practices. A recent survey by ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, and Sanitary Maintenance Magazine of commercial cleaning product distributors reported that almost one-third of total sales were for “green cleaning products,” including a wide variety of products such as chemical cleaners, powered cleaning equipment, paper and plastics, supplies and other janitorial tools. In addition, a recent Contracting Profits Magazine report indicated that 83% of contract cleaning service providers had or will soon offer green cleaning services and that 43% of customers are specifically requesting sustainable cleaning practices be used in their facilities. The push for sustainable cleaning has even led to 22 state governments instituting some type of green cleaning procurement program.

 ”Green” products and practices have clearly helped facilities lower their impact on the environment. For example, facility managers have been able to reduce the health impact on both cleaning service workers and building occupants, reduce waste by incorporating a comprehensive recycling program, lower energy consumption and conserve water by investing in a variety of new technologies, including low-flow toilets and sinks, innovative cleaning equipment, and new plumbing systems that are capable of recycling water.

While the environmental benefits are clear, there is often the notion that sustainable cleaning and green products come with a high cost. However, a growing body of evidence has documented that comprehensive green cleaning programs, in addition to sustainable building practices, have led to significant savings on energy, water, chemi­cals and waste, while reducing illness and injuries to custodial staff as well as workers’ compensation costs.

The University of Georgia’s (UGA) Physical Plant Division - Services Department is a shining example. UGA has successfully implemented an innovative process improvement focused on green cleaning, environmental purchasing, and workplace safety, using the Cleaning Industry Management Standard-Green Building program (CIMS-GB) as a road map. The quantifiable benefits have been documented by the University:

  • After the implementation of these programs, UGA found that the number of cleaning service worker injuries decreased from 39 in 2006 to only 17 in 2009, while lost worker hours decreased from 4,474 to 386 over the same time period.
  • The University was able to decrease its expenditure on chemical products from $1.5 million to $110,000 annually, due to its new environmental purchasing policy.
  • Ultimately, the university estimates a total savings of $850,000 during the 2008 and 2009 fiscal years.

Other facility managers have enjoyed a cost benefit when switching to “day cleaning” – where cleaning activities are performed during the daylight hours rather than at night – a cost benefit specifically resulting from reduced energy use. By choosing less hazardous cleaning products, facility managers can reduce exposure, minimize the potential impact to custodial workers and building occupants, improve indoor air quality and reduce water and ambient air pollution. Since many green cleaning practices call for greater dilution of cleaning products, there may be a reduction in packaging waste and disposal costs of hazardous cleaners. Many facility managers have also found green cleaning practices reduce wear and tear on facility assets, increasing their lifespan.

Sustainable and effective cleaning processes can be a critical component to helping buildings function with greater operational and financial efficiency. By better understanding the value of green cleaning, operations and maintenance teams can leverage sustainability to improve overall health and cleaning efforts, reduce costs, extend buildings’ longevity, and, ultimately, have a positive impact on the bottom line.

Dan Wagner is Director of Facility Services Programs for ISSA. Dan can be reached at daniel@issa.com

 


Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.

When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality. 

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.


Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.

When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality. 

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.


 
comments powered by Disqus
07/06/2015

Regulation will reduce GHG emissions, incentivize the use of greener refrigerants.

07/02/2015

Sustainable parking leaders recognized.

07/01/2015

Design ‘scatters’ sound without affecting aerodynamics.

06/30/2015

Survey shows lack of concrete commitment to efficiency improvements.

06/29/2015

Guideline will protect building water systems.

06/26/2015

Development could mitigate urban heat island effect.

06/25/2015

New web application can identify energy savings opportunities.

06/24/2015

Report shows refrigerants could reduce GHG emissions, energy use.

06/23/2015

Sustainable design tied to strong financial performance.

06/22/2015

Human wellbeing guidelines grow throughout North America.

06/19/2015

Larger, private buildings now included in rankings.

06/18/2015

Diversion rates increase nearly 10% in 2013.

06/17/2015
Study shows lack of preparedness, suggests improvements to increase resiliency.
06/15/2015

Surveyed workers feel unsafe, doubt employer readiness for weather events. 

06/12/2015

Better Buildings Challenge improvements demonstrate energy savings.

06/11/2015

New technology provides privacy and sunlight.

06/10/2015

Program will provide best practices, green certification for landscape design.

06/09/2015

Improve recycling up to 20% with an easy switch.

06/08/2015

OSHA and Health Canada to improve hazard communications for worker safety.

06/04/2015

Lighting, building automation retrofits show highest rate of return.

Page 1 of 54
FirstPrevious[1]2345678910NextLast

Sponsored Links