Expect our industry to change considerably in the years ahead, all due to climate change
Bloomington, IN – Climate change is getting personal.
Some scientists now suggest that as many as 21 cities in Florida will be underwater by the end of this century, impacting the lives of millions of people.
This is likely the result of climate change and an example of how it will personally impact the lives of millions of people.
Climate change is also getting personal in the professional cleaning industry. While we won’t go underwater, expect our industry to change considerably in coming years, all due to climate change.
For instance, consider the following:
Situation: Weather is becoming more extreme – hotter summers and colder winters, requiring more heating and cooling. This means energy costs will rise.
Industry Impact: Distributors will need to become more sustainability- focused to help reduce these costs.
Situation: Younger people considering entering the professional cleaning industry will want to know if the cleaning industry is part of the problem or part of the solution when it comes to climate change.
Industry Impact: Jansan manufacturers and distributors will need to measure and monitor their sustainability efforts and then turn to “engagement tools” to display and share this information, proving their efforts to future and current workers.
Situation: Bacteria reproduce more quickly at warmer temperatures. They also become more drought resistant and more resistant to disinfectants.
Industry Impact: The industry must become more skilled on the use of disinfectants such as changing disinfectants more frequently to avoid immunity build-up; carefully following dilutions ratios; and knowing where and when not to use disinfectants.
Situation: Heat-related deaths are expected to spike in major U.S. cities. In 1997, there were only 2,300 heat-related deaths in the U.S. By 2090, it is estimated there will be more than 26,000.
Industry Impact: Most outdoor cleaning and maintenance will be moved from daylight hours to evenings to avoid working during the hottest times of the day.
Situation: Drought conditions in certain areas of the country are expected to be more severe than they are today and last longer.
Industry Impact: The industry will need to take water efficiency much more seriously in coming years. Equipment that use a lot of water, for instance, carpet extractors, may need to be re-engineered to use water far more efficiently.
“Our industry has proven again and again that it is resilient and can adjust to changing times,” says Katrina Saucier, with Sustainability Dashboard Tools, LLC, a system that helps distributors become more sustainable and reduce operating costs.
“I’m sure this will be no different when it comes to climate change.”
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