In life, we often don’t get a “mulligan” – a chance to do things over. In my case, I have the pleasure of working in a number of countries where they are just beginning to adopt Green Cleaning and Sustainability.
Now I have the chance to teach them what I wish we would have known 25-plus years ago and help them get it “right” the first time.
Some of my key points will be the following:
The Real Goal is Sustainability. Initially, our goal was simply to buy greener products and services – those that reduced the health and environmental impacts compared to conventional products and services. Now, we have learned that our real goal goes far beyond just the products and services themselves to include purchasing those products and services from companies committed to Sustainability,
What Cleaning Workers Can Do to Promote Sustainability. We thought that Green Cleaning was about replacing ready-to-use cleaning chemicals with concentrates or using paper and liners made with post-consumer recycled content to reduce environmental impacts. Today, we have learned that there is so much more that cleaning personnel can do. For example, we will teach simple things like turning off lights and electronic equipment, reducing water use (especially hot water), and improving waste/recycling rates. Not only are these better from a sustainably perspective, it can also help save money from a building operations perspective.
Protecting the Health of Cleaning Workers. Protecting workers has been foundational to the Green Cleaning Movement, but far too often we focused only on reducing exposures to toxic chemicals. Today we know that musculoskeletal injuries are the leading cause of lost-work days in the cleaning industry. Thus we will increase our focus on ergonomics including how tools and equipment are used, as well as using more ergonomically correct tools in the first place.
Effective Cleaning. Again, the use of greener products is important, but the real focus needs to emphasize effective cleaning. Today this includes proper procedural training, staffing, workloading, measuring quality and more. This means employing the most scientific and accurate ways to address a facility’s cleaning needs.
So let me know if you have any thoughts about Green Cleaning and Sustainability, as I truly want to help them succeed.
Also, please join me at my upcoming presentations, starting in London, UK at The Cleaning Show 2019 in March, followed by the April China Clean Expo, to be held in Shanghai, China and in August, the Higiexpo Tradeshow in Sao Paolo, Brazil.
Introducing the New Executive Director of the Green Sports Alliance
I am proud to announce that after an extensive search, Roger McClendon has been named the new Executive Director of the Green Sports Alliance.
Before joining the Alliance, Roger was the Chief Sustainability Officer for Yum! Brands, the parent company of fast-food brands like Taco Bell, KFC, and Pizza Hut. In addition, Roger is an athlete who played basketball at the University of Cincinnati. Roger remains their second all-time scorer, second only to Oscar Robertson (which is amazing). So he has “game”, both from a sustainability and athlete perspective – and he’s a great guy!
And there’s more exciting news from the Green Sports Alliance. The newest version of the Greener Cleaning Playbook, will be introduced in June at our annual Summit. Some of the new things in this edition are updated procurement recommendations, a section on innovative cleaning products, cleaning requirements for concessionaires, and some additional Case Studies from our sport facility members.
If you want more info on the Summit or Playbook (i.e. submitting a case study, innovative product or interest in sponsorship) please let me know.
An “Atta Boy” to Arthur Ashkin
Finally, a personal note. I want to honor Arthur Ashkin, who at 96 years young, was awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics. He is the oldest Nobel Laureate so honored. Congratulations to a truly brilliant mind.
Arthur is an inspiration and motivates me to keep “working on my game” if I am to contribute even half as much as Arthur has – and I have 30 more years to keep working at it!
Until next month, my very best,