Below is a summarised excerpt of an article which first appeared online in Facility Cleaning & Maintenance magazine on the Remi Network by Rebecca Melnyk*.
While green cleaning is becoming common practice in the cleaning industry, many insiders are claiming that it is simply not enough for cleaning companies to be ‘green’ anymore.
As Rebecca Melnyk from Facility Cleaning and Maintenance points out, ‘if contractors and facility managers truly want to create a sustainable environment in a cost-effective way that is also competitive, they need to look at how materials are sourced, manufactured, distributed, used, reused and disposed’.
According to David Holly, deputy director at the Green Cleaning Network (a U.S. based non-profit group that helps to eliminate confusion about green cleaning), contractors now have a larger and more meaningful role to play in facility maintenance.
“Sustainability is raising the bar and creating a lot of possibilities. Green cleaning is the ante card; if you don’t do green cleaning or have green chemicals, you’re not in the game,” he said.
“Our industry needs to keep catching up and understanding that there are some very intelligent people managing facilities and they’re reading about this stuff and understand sustainability. It’s no longer enough to say you have green chemicals.”
In the coming years, Mr Holly believes that the use of reclaimed water in the cleaning process will emerge significantly onto the market.
“From a cleaning perspective, one of the things we have to focus on is how to reduce the amount of water we use,” he explained.
“That’s not just diluting chemicals. Anything we can do from a manufacturing and use standpoint that reduces water needs is a huge deal and it’s something, I think, our industry can take a lead in.”
*Rebecca Melnyk is an online editor and writer with Canadian Property Management and Facility Cleaning & Maintenance magazines