What is “Green Cleaning?”
“Green” is a complete approach to maintaining a facility by making informed decisions on chemicals, equipment, supplies, processes and procedures for every aspect of the process. The safety, health and productivity our employees and customers along with understanding our impact on the earth’s resources are paramount. Making smart decisions helps move us as far as practical along the green continuum.
There are two not for profit, 3rd party, standards setting organizations that offer certification of cleaning processes and procedures. One is a specific certification of the cleaning of a facility (Green Seal GS-42), while the other is a part of a larger certification process (LEED from US Green Building Council.) Certification is important for some of our customers, while others simply care about “doing the right thing.”
How “Green” do I need to be?
“Shades of Green” are the end result of the best decisions being made to promote sustainability with practicality and priorities. For those customers who need a certification process absolute adherence to the standards set by Green Seal or the US Green Building Council is paramount. In other situations there is a balance of practicality. For example: The most biodegradable trash can liners still cost a little more than $1.00 apiece while a liner made of 30% recycled material currently costs about $.10. While one is certainly more desirable the cost difference is just not within the budget of most companies. But as technology and liner costs change there will be a point at which the switch to the biodegradable liner is the “better shade of green.”
What is a “Green” chemical?
By definition a “green” chemical cannot make any claims of killing living organisms [such as bacteria or pathogens].
Does this mean that all “Non-Green” chemicals are bad?
No. An obvious example is that by definition penicillin is not a “green” chemical because it kills bacteria. But with proper use this “non-green” chemical improves or even saves human lives. When properly used penicillin improves sustainability of humans, but improperly used it will cause damage and leave those over exposed to it in a weakened state of sustainability.
There is a time and a place for “non-green” chemicals in cleaning processes. One of the most obvious is public restrooms.
Sometimes where pathogens are an issue [for example in restrooms] the greater sustainability might be achieved by using procedures that will indiscriminately kill all germs and bacteria. This philosophy is adopted and endorsed by both the US Green Building Council and Green Seal Certification Councils. But using such a technique where the risk of harmful pathogens is low would be detrimental to individuals as well as the environment.
Big Green Cleaning Company will adapt as chemicals and processes change. But you can be assured that our commitment to health, safety and sustainability will never change.