Boston University began transferring to more environmentally friendly cleaning procedures back in the 1990s. Since then, they have a very active Green Cleaning program, which has proven to be very successful. While they did not offer specifics, university officials say they believe they have derived the following benefits from Green Cleaning:
- Improved air quality
- Greater protection of human health for those using the campus and areas surrounding the campus
- Reduced operating costs
- Reduced energy and water use
- Reduced material consumption and packaging waste
- Reduced hazardous waterborne and solid waste entering waterways (including lead, mercury, chromium, cadmium, and beryllium)
- Enhanced recycling and increased demand for recycled materials
Cleaning contractors and some facility administrators may think that what Boston University is doing by creating a Green Cleaning program can happen only at a major, Green- and sustainable-focused university—that it is unlikely to spread to other schools, offices, and smaller facilities. However, astute cleaning contractors and managers know this is already happening. What’s more, it is not only being expected, Green Cleaning is becoming the norm in building operations.
This is the beginning of a transformation in the professional cleaning and facility management industry that we can expect to grow in the 21st century. And, as with so much in our world today, expect this to move much faster than expected.