A Clean Facility - What Does Green Mean

A Clean Facility: What Does Green Mean?

By: Robert Berg, VP of Janitorial Services

Unless you’ve been stuck in your facility’s ductwork for the past several years, you know “green” is a big issue and imperative. What you may not know is that “green” is like an artist’s palette: there’s a mix of colors and shades that, when applied, broadens what “green” really means.

Here at FacilitySource, I spend a good deal of my time with facility managers of all types. They represent a variety of building and industries, from commercial office buildings and pharmaceutical companies to manufacturing plants and grocery retailers. Many are “green.” Others aren’t. It appears that organizations intent on environmental initiatives are large public companies and/or government facilities that must meet compliance standards. Beyond these, only a sliver of companies are choosing to be “totally green.” Yet there’s another interesting finding. While less than 15 percent of our clients prefer “green” facility services, most of them agree that “green is good” as long as implementation isn’t complicated, costly and burdensome. These facts have us examining ways for companies to justify green initiatives with no uptick in costs. The ultimate question is, “Is ‘green’ the way for you and your facility?” 

Going Green: What’s That Really Mean?

Let’s set the stage.

Among facility professionals, environmental responsibility largely equates to LEED certification and the United States Green Building Council. The standards and processes are rigorous and costly.

Beyond LEED, there are ways to actually care for the environment while staying focused on facility costs and your customers. Here are ways that any facility manager can choose environmental responsibility. No muss. No fuss. And no breaking the bank.

4 Ways to “Green Clean” Your Facility

1. Examine the Ins and Outs. A great first step is to determine the interest and commitment of your organization to “go green.” There may already be someone leading related initiatives within your organization. Dig within the company first, followed by some research and dialogue related to your buildings, locales and industry.

2. Validate First, Avoid the Claim Game. Because there is so much interest in the environment, hype is flying high. Thousands of providers claim their products and services are “green.” Make sure they really are before signing any agreement. A really good way to ensure that green is green is to make sure they have certifications from industry associations such as the International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA) and its Cleaning Industry Management Standard.

3. Be Clean, Be Green. I often get looks of surprise when I share that all of FacilitySource’s janitorial servicesand the actual cleaning supplies for sinks, toilets, floors and carpets and more, are always green, and the costs are no more than typical costs for cleaning services or supplies. Repeat, our cleaning supplies are always green. In fact, they are green certified. In many cases, chemical manufacturers offer certifiably green products. If you ask, they will share.

4. Now, Quantify. Once you’ve collected the facts and your interest is piqued, run the numbers for green services and supplies. If you’ve found the right service provider, costs should be the same—even less.

We can show you how cleaning supplies and chemicals—and a holistic janitorial services approach—can be affordable while perpetuating what’s good for people and the planet. Getting started is the hard part.

Go ahead, reach out. Keep your facilities the cleanest they’ve ever been.

Clean and green. What’s better than that?

Robert Berg is VP of Janitorial Services at FacilitySource. He has an extensive retail janitorial and facility maintenance background. Robert is Chair of Vendor Relations for the PRSM association. In his “spare” time, he speaks at conferences, and authors industry best practice articles.

Click here for additional information about FacilitySource’s Janitorial & Floor Care services. Want more? Follow us on Twitter for articles, updates and announcement from us @FacilitySource.