The following 10 steps developed by The Ashkin Group offer building managers a basis for implementing their own green cleaning program.
Reach An Agreement
Building owners, occupants and management must agree on how they define a green cleaning program and how it will be implemented into their facility.
To ensure adherence, the agreement must be in writing and written in the form of a concise, easy-to-understand contract.
Build The Team
With the agreement in hand, a team should be organized that includes not just cleaning professionals, but also the building management and occupants.
The team will meet and discuss the green cleaning system, and as a result of these meetings, will generate support for the project for all building occupants — a pivotal element in its success.
Conduct Baseline Audits
One of the team’s first duties is to determine the facility’s current housekeeping status by conducting audits to verify how the facility is being cleaned and maintained.
This will establish a baseline to judge future improvement.
For instance, surveys may include an inventory and evaluation of existing paper products, liners and cleaning equipment used in the location.
It may also include appraisals of the following:
- Overall housekeeping quality
- Cleaning procedures, including training and supervision
- Existing indoor air quality (IAQ) problems and complaint records.
Develop A Plan
Once the data has been collected, the team must analyze the information to determine the best ways to implement the green cleaning system.
They decide which areas need to be addressed first, based on contract requirements, costs and potential health and environmental impacts.
Get Everyone On Board
It is vitally important that everyone is involved in the process and supports the team’s plans and goals.
This is often best accomplished by including all necessary parties in the process and making them aware of how and why changes are being made.
Acquire Green Products And Equipment
To begin the process of greening a facility, new cleaning products and equipment may need to be purchased.
This may include investing in environmentally-preferable cleaning chemicals, vacuum cleaners with high-filtration filters, floor machines with dust-control systems to capture impurities so they don’t pollute the indoor environment, and microfiber cleaning cloths and mops, which are more absorbent than conventional cloths and mops and reduce the need for cleaning chemicals.
Implement Green Procedures
Begin new cleaning procedures that help cleaning professionals understand and use the environmentally-preferable products carefully, safely, and with the goals of green cleaning in mind.
Begin A Training Program
Adopting green cleaning is often an opportunity for all maintenance personnel to learn the most up-to-date cleaning procedures.
This often streamlines all cleaning operations and improves the appearance and health of the facility.
Take Responsibility Through Stewardship
Once a green cleaning program has begun, cleaning personnel, building occupants and visitors share the responsibility of maintaining a healthy and productive indoor environment.
This is called stewardship.
These stakeholders make sure the green cleaning system is successful by reviewing the program’s progress and implementing changes necessary for the health of the facility.
Communicate and Provide Feedback
Communication and feedback are vital among chemical suppliers, building occupants and management.
As with any new process or procedure involving many people, the ultimate goal is continued improvement.
Information provided by all parties helps facilitate this goal.