What Are Sustainable Janitorial Services and What Do They Look Like in Practice?

Whether you’re managing a healthcare facility, HOA, educational institution, or any commercial property, you know that keeping it clean and disinfected is of the utmost importance. After all, your patients, students, residents, staff, and any other occupants rely on a safe, clean place to work, live, learn, and play. But often, when hiring a janitorial or cleaning service, facility managers aren’t thinking about the greater impacts that chemicals could have on the health of their building’s occupants or the environment. Here are some reasons why sustainable janitorial services are becoming more and more sought out.

Reasons Sustainable Janitorial Services Are Becoming More Popular

Impacts of Chemicals on the Environment

Most commercial cleaning services are interested in one thing: getting the job done thoroughly and cost effectively, whatever the cost may be to the environment. Unfortunately, cleaning services aren’t all regulated to ensure that they’re doing the right things for humans and the environment, which is why it’s so crucial to seek out cleaning companies that adhere to the highest standards set forth by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other regulating bodies.

Harmful synthetic chemicals utilized in traditional cleaning services can negatively impact indoor and outdoor air quality, seep into water sources, and leach into the soil. And this isn’t only a concern during their use in cleaning. Even the manufacture, transport, storage, and disposal of these products can affect the surrounding environment. The electricity used during commercial cleaning can also contribute to a higher carbon footprint, especially in relation to fossil fuel use.

Significant waste is produced through traditional commercial cleaning services as well. Non-recyclable or non-biodegradable items can pollute the earth’s delicate ecosystems, wreaking havoc on everything from biodiversity to food production. Even human or medical waste presents problems if not properly and carefully disposed of. Oceans are littered with plastic and other wastes that affect the oxygen levels the flora and fauna rely on. As such, there are now designated “dead zones”—areas where oxygen levels can no longer support marine life due to pollution. And when it comes to landscaping, harmful pesticides can seep into the soil and present a variety of issues for the flora that call it home.

Impacts of Chemicals on Human Health

It’s not just the environment that can be negatively impacted through commercial cleaning. Often, commercial cleaning services also harm the occupants utilizing the space through exposure to harmful chemicals and poor indoor air quality. Germs, bacteria, and viruses can spread much more quickly when indoor air quality is not monitored and kept to a high standard—which could mean loss of productivity for your facility as occupants become ill.

Ingesting or breathing in harmful airborne particles can impact the health and well-being of your occupants as well. Chemical vapors and dust can cause countless hazards to respiratory health, especially for immunocompromised populations. And simply wearing masks or other personal protective equipment (PPE) isn’t always enough to keep your occupants safe, as these items rarely filter out all of the harmful particles floating through the air.

Exposure to toxic chemicals can be caused through direct contact (i.e., touching surfaces) or indirect contact (i.e., through contaminated food or water). The toxicity that ingestion or physical contact presents can pose risks to personal health, including respiratory and even organ function, as well as impacting fetuses in pregnant women. Skin rashes, altered bodily chemistry, or even chemical burns are all part of these risks—which spell liability trouble for facility managers.

What Is Sustainable Cleaning?

When you choose to work with a sustainable commercial cleaning service, you can rest assured that you’ll be contributing positively to your building’s occupants as well as the environment at large. Sustainable cleaning companies, including The Budd Group, follow guidelines set forth by the U.S. Green Build­ing Coun­cil (USG­BC). The USGBC is the regulating body for all LEED efforts, so if you’re looking to become a LEED-certified facility, you’ll need to adhere to prerequisites addressing carbon, energy, water, waste, transportation, materials, health, and indoor environmental quality. This process can be lengthy and requires verification and review by USGBC.

Of course, the types of chemicals used during cleaning make up one big facet of environmentally friendly cleaning. Since the USG­BC requires that 90% of chem­i­cals pur­chased each year must meet either a Green Seal or EPA stan­dard, responsible and eco-friendly companies like The Budd Group will use only Green Seal clean­ing chem­i­cals for all gen­er­al com­mer­cial clean­ing and floor work. Machinery that uses the least amount of energy while thoroughly disinfecting the space are the most eco-friendly options (and they could save you big on your electric bill, too!).

The equipment used during cleaning is another factor in whether or not the service is considered “sustainable.” For instance, at The Budd Group, we utilize every­thing from high-speed buffers with dust con­trol and HEPA vac­u­um clean­ers that meet the Car­pet and Rug Institute’s stan­dards to microfiber tech­nol­o­gy for dust­ing and floor care. Green Seal paper prod­ucts, includ­ing paper tow­els, toi­let paper, and toi­let seat cov­ers, are also utilized in a sustainable cleaning service. All these paper prod­ucts must either meet or exceed the recy­cled require­ments set by the USG­BC. At The Budd Group, even the trash lin­ers we use com­ply with LEED stan­dards and meet or exceed US EPA stan­dards for recy­cled material.

How Sustainable Janitorial Services Can Help You

Why is it important to green clean? Whether you’re looking to keep your occupants safe, reduce your carbon footprint, find cost savings, or lean into more environmentally friendly branding, sustainable commercial cleaning services can help you achieve your goals. Environmentally speaking, going green with your janitorial services can present much less harm to the environment, as we’ve discussed. But it can also help you with some business goals or requirements, like keeping up with relevant industry regulations or even achieving or maintaining your LEED certification. The Budd Group can also provide the documentation you’ll need to submit for the LEED cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­gram, including records related to employ­ee train­ing, chem­i­cal stor­age, equip­ment repair, floor main­te­nance, and car­pet care.

Besides improving the safety and well-being of your facility’s occupants, sustainable cleaning can also boost morale and prevent lost productivity through illness due to spreading germs. Your staff, students, patients, and others will feel the difference in the indoor air quality, the eco-friendly disinfectants used, and the sparkling clean spaces without the overwhelming scents of harmful commercial chemicals. Think of the myriad opportunities your educational or healthcare facility, office complex, HOA, or other type of building will have to market an eco-friendly and sustainable facility, boosting your reputation in the community. As the support of environmentally responsible businesses and organizations grows, clients, customers, and staff will see these efforts and respond with increased brand loyalty.

And when it comes to cost savings, consider the impact that sustainable cleaning services have on ener­gy con­ser­va­tion. Not only can the decreased toxicity of these eco-friendly products lower the risk of workplace injury and liability costs, but purchasing sustainable cleaners can reduce costs associated with proper disposal, as well as the energy output required to manufacture and transport these products.

Trust The Budd Group With Your Sustainable Janitorial Services Program

Implementing a sustainable cleaning program might seem daunting, especially if you are used to using chemicals that aren’t eco-friendly or you’re worried about your budget. Training staff in sustainable cleaning protocols and procedures can also seem like a huge feat. That’s why it’s important to hire experts who already have these capabilities and knowledge to do the jobs for you.

The Budd Group is a family-owned and operated company that has provided exceptional and eco-friendly services and solutions to facility managers across many verticals for over 50 years. We not only employ highly trained subject matter experts to complete our sustainable janitorial services, but we already utilize top-of-the-line, EPA-approved cleaning solutions, paper and recyclable products, and eco-friendly equipment to help keep your facility and its occupants safe. With our clean­ing pro­gram, ​“Healthy High Per­for­mance Clean­ing,” designed to meet or exceed all stan­dards for LEED certification, you can rely on The Budd Group to help reduce your carbon footprint, become LEED-certified, and boost your reputation in the community.

The Budd Group serves clients throughout the Southeast United States, offering a suite of facilities management solutions—from maintenance and disinfection services to landscaping. With over 4,000 highly trained service associates, we staff projects sufficiently, working within your scheduling and budgetary constraints, and communicate with you every step of the way. Our aim is to main­tain the safe­ty and beau­ty of our cus­tomers’ facil­i­ties while also help­ing them achieve more sus­tain­able operations. Our “Make It Right Guarantee” is The Budd Group’s promise to meet or exceed your expectations in the delivery of high-quality facility support solutions. If we do not deliver the contracted services to your satisfaction, we will make it right!

Contact us today to discuss your facility’s sustainable cleaning needs and how The Budd Group can help your facility stay clean and your occupants and the environment stay safe and healthy.

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