You’ve done some reading and some research and you’ve decided it’s time to start moving your office towards a green cleaning regiment. There are plenty of reasons and motivations — indoor pollution and air quality; the safety of your office employees and the janitorial staff; the sustainability of your entire workplace — and you’re ready to move forward.
Once you’ve made the decision, it’s time to start thinking about how green cleaning will play out in your office workplace. Generally, you can consider these main categories:
Green Cleaning Products
This might be the most obvious, and probably the first thing you think about when considering the switch to green cleaning your office. And there’s no question that it’s a critical step. There are a lot of products that claim to be ‘green’ or ‘sustainable’ so make sure you dig deeper to know which ones are truly right for your office. Green Seal (www.greenseal.org) and EcoLogo (www.ecologo.org) certified products are typically considered the most accepted certifications when it comes to Green Cleaning Products.
Think about all the ways green cleaning products are used in your offices — in restrooms, work surfaces like desks and tables, and on the floors. Choosing green cleaning products for these spaces is essential, but it’s equally important to remember the next step:
Sound Cleaning Procedures
Green cleaning products are great but they won’t solve the problem if they’re not used properly. Everything starts with an audit and making a plan. And then, of course, coming to an agreement with all the stakeholders to make sure everyone is excited and understands the plan. Once trust is established, green cleaning focuses on:
- Conserving energy, water, and other resources while never sacrificing cleanliness. If done correctly, green cleaning will clean more thoroughly while at the same time conserving resources
- Using green cleaning products that meet the highest standards (see above)
- Focus on filtration when selecting equipment
- Remove products with aerosols and phosphates
- Do your dry cleaning and wet cleaning in the correct order to avoid cross-contamination
- Create a labeling or color-coding system so that tools, gloves, and cleaning products are used in the correct areas and don’t expose your workplace to cross-contamination
Training and Expertise
If you’re reading the above steps and wondering how exactly these green cleaning procedures get put into action, the answer is training and expertise. The Night Shift prides itself on providing the highest level of training and expertise to our custodial staff. Your custodians should always feel overly prepared and fully confident they have the training and tools needed to do a green cleaning job correctly.
Then, focus on management and regular trainings to make sure everyone is up-to-date. A single, initial training is never enough. Your leadership should continually reinforce best practices to ensure green cleaning practices are top of mind and easily accomplished.
Create open channels for feedback from your custodial staff and your workplace employees. Clear pathways for constructive criticism are essential to your green cleaning program. Without them, continual improvement simply isn’t possible — and let’s be honest, that’s the goal, isn’t it?