Green Cleaning versus Commercial Cleaning

Green Cleaning vs. Commercial Cleaning

What’s the Difference, Why Now?

Not too long ago, people laughed at the whole “green movement”. Terms like “environmental consciousness” and “eco friendly” were attributed to “tree huggers”, Greenpeace “nazis” and the like. Now, however, it’s the “green initiative” and the “greening of America”.

Why Green Cleaning Now?

Not only are consumers and the public catching on, but so is the government. Across America, from California to Washington, Texas to Wyoming, from government officials on down to small-town mayors, we’re going green, and that includes Houston.

The many green initiatives and mandates, as well as rising consumer demand, have caused a lot of businesses to change their focus towards becoming more eco friendly. Building owners, in particular, are looking at their options to meet demand and mandates; in other words, they’re going green and becoming more efficient. Once these changes have been made through various means, especially if the owner decides to convert their building to LEED, keeping the facility up to standard is imperative for a good return on investment.

Here is where green cleaning comes in, and why so many facility owners have switched their commercial cleaning practices to eco friendly janitorial services.

Green Cleaning vs. Commercial Cleaning

Commercial cleaning is a generalization that covers a wide variety of cleaning services, both standard and eco friendly. It covers everything from general office cleaning to cleaning carpets, stocking supplies, pest control, heating/venting/air conditioning and landscaping. The types of facilities include businesses, hospitals, schools, warehouses, manufacturers, parking lots and retail stores.

Green cleaning, on the other hand, is a specialized form of commercial cleaning. Janitorial services, such as GreenEfficient® in Houston, provide all the same services as any other commercial cleaning company, while using a holistic approach that helps the building owner, tenants, workers and the environment. Green cleaning focuses on things such as:

  • creating a green purchasing policy for janitorial products
  • practices that aim toward better indoor air quality and overall building health
  • frequent cleaning of known high pollution areas (such as restrooms)
  • frequent cleaning of areas that might further contaminate the air (such as duct work and HVAC systems)
  • using cleaning equipment with a low level of sound, low level of emissions and high level of efficiency
  • using cleaning equipment ergonomically designed for a minimal amount of vibration, noise and user fatigue
  • using equipment with rubber bumpers to reduce the possibility of damage to interior and exterior walls
  • using cleaning products with low VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), that are non hazardous, recognized by the EPA, or are certified by Green Seal or the Environmental Choice EcoLogo Program

Benefits of Green Cleaning

As you can see, green cleaning is a bit more involved than standard commercial cleaning. The question in many facility owners’ minds, however, has to be, “Is it worth it?”

Eventually, government mandates may set green building, cleaning and maintenance as the definitive standard. With this in mind, many studies have been done to find out whether the overall changes are actually working, as well as what they affect. The largest benefit noted by the studies as well as building owners is increased indoor air quality.

Improved indoor air quality has shown quantifiable, positive results in such things as:

  • Occupancy/employee health
  • Higher productivity levels
  • Amount of used sick time
  • Number of allergic reactions to common irritants (dust, mold, etc)

Other benefits include less water and electricity usage, as well as a longer life for interior assets such as flooring, drapes and other fabrics.

Contact GreenEfficient® today to discuss a green cleaning program for your Houston facility.