Let’s Remain Optimistic

From Our August 2018 Newsletter;

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There is an old Chinese saying, “may you live in interesting times.”  I have to admit that at times I feel overwhelmed by the amount of “interesting” things going on. Yet with every challenge, I remain incredibly optimistic and would like to share why:

Industry Associations — I remain proud to be part of the cleaning industry, its continuing efforts to protect health while reducing negative impacts on the environment, and the leadership exhibited by our trade and professional associations both in the cleaning and building management sectors.

I am especially excited about the work of ISSA and believe that John Barrett, ISSA’s executive director is proving to be a terrific leader.  John and his staff are on target to do some good things both in the US and around the globe.

ISSA is hosting an environmental and regulatory affairs event in mid-September in Washington, DC and then their annual convention will be the end of October in Dallas.  Both should be stimulating and a great place to ‘recharge our batteries’ and hope to see many of you there.

Sustainability — Certified Green Cleaning products are now widely available.  Thus the next step is for our manufacturers, distributors and service providers to work on how they themselves can operate more sustainably.

This is a good next step for two simple reasons – our customers, especially large corporations, governments, schools, universities and health care are increasingly requiring it; and it is good business because sustainability is proving to save money while also improving health and environmental outcomes.

Helping our industry endorse sustainability is something I am very excited about and would be proud to share this journey with you.

Healthy Schools Campaign — I remain excited to work with Rochelle Davis and Sara Porter at the Healthy Schools Campaign and their Leadership Council, composed of award winning K-12 and university custodial managers. These people inspire me and I can wait to get together with them at the ISSA Convention in Dallas in October.

In addition to innovative new Green Cleaning technics and technologies, they are working on issues like leadership, training, ergonomics, purchasing strategies, sustainability, and more.  Let me know if you want more info about their efforts and how you can get involved.

Green Sports Alliance — As you may recall, I am on the Board of Directors of the Green Sports Alliance, which now works with over 600 pro and collegiate teams and facilities.  I am more convinced than ever that the Alliance will leverage the cultural and market influence of sports to promote healthy, sustainable communities where we live and play.  And sports are fun!

The Alliance is releasing Version 2 of its Playbook on Greener Cleaning in Sports Facilities, which makes it easy to implement a Green Cleaning Program. They are still looking for a few more case studies and sponsors. Please contact me if you want more info and how you can join the team.

Green Seal and the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council — These are leading non-profits moving us forward relative to purchasing Green products and services.

Green Seal recently hired a new CEO, Doug Gatlin, who had a long and successful career at the USGBC. I am confident he will take Green Seal to new heights and help us move our industry forward on both Green Cleaning and sustainability.

Sam Hummel, the CEO of the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council, is building a powerhouse organization designed to help entire industry sectors, including the cleaning industry, accelerate their journey towards sustainability.

These are organizations to pay attention to and better yet, get involved with.

China & Brazil — I am encouraged and humbled by the opportunity to help launch Green Cleaning in both China and Brazil. In June, I was a presenter at a conference in Beijing, and in September, I will be speaking at another conference in Shenzhen, considered the “Silicon Valley” of China.

In both countries we have a real opportunity to help their professional cleaning industry reduce impacts on worker and occupant health and the environment. If you have an interest in what’s happening in these countries, please let me know.

USGBC, BREEAM, WELL, BIT, TfS and more — Once there was the USGBC and LEED, but today there are numerous players trying to help raise standards.  All of these programs have one thing in common, they advocate for healthy buildings and value the role that cleaning plays.

While each program touches on cleaning to different degrees, they offer numerous opportunities for involvement and each offers us an opportunity to further improve our industry, create lasting business value and make our personal careers that much more rewarding.  Let me know if you want to learn more about any of these programs.

Mentoring the Next Generation of Leaders — Finally, I have been actively working with many young professionals (30 and 40 somethings) and am increasingly optimistic based on my experiences so far. They are intelligent, hardworking, professional, passionate, care about people and creating a better future for all. Based on my experience, I believe the future is in good hands. If you are interested in working with me mentoring these folks, let’s talk.

Finally, during these “interesting” times, I remain positive for our future, primarily because of what Margaret Mead said many years ago:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

 We are that group. We are genuinely making a significant contribution and regardless of the challenges, we will succeed.

Till next month,