Green Checklist for contractors
By Brian Clark, Janitech Australasia
With the adoption of green Building standards gaining momentum worldwide, the time is rightfor contractors to develop and offer value added programmed services to their clients within agreen framework. However, the industry in this part of the world has been slow to act on thisopportunity and there are many pundits who still put down green building maintenance as apassing fad and do not see the opportunity for what it is – a chance to improve the standingof cleaning services within the community and to put real profits back into the industry.Green cleaning is all about innovation and renewal. According to the dictionary,
the act or process of inventing or introducing something new
a way of doing something
.Innovation drives differentiation which in turn drives achievement and achievement drivesprofit and success.If you think that green is simply chemicals, think again. Chemical management is only a verysmall part of a green cleaning program and contractors who purport to be green byaddressing only chemical will quickly lose credibility with both clients and competitors. Greencleaning is a holistic program of evaluation, planned implementation and continuousimprovement. A green program consolidates products, procedures and training combined withongoing assessment of the immediate and cumulative effect of the cleaning program onpeople, the building life cycle, the environment and sustainable resources.The outcomes have to be demonstrable, measurable and consistent with the environmentalobjectives of the building owners, building users and the community. The decisions that acontactor makes on equipment and products are influenced by factors such as durability,reliability, recyclability, water efficiency and energy usage, rather than initial capital outlay.Energy usage is defined not so much by how much power the equipment or the process usesbut by the energy it saves in lighting and ventilation in the day to day cleaning processes, bycleaning faster and/or by allowing the cleaning to be done in daylight hours.In a green cleaning operation every aspect of the supplier and product utilisation and lifecyclehave to be taken into account in product selection. The credibility and commitment of thesupplier to designing and manufacturing for sustainability are critical in selection of equipment and products.Table 1 is a example of a basic overview of the green implications in the selection of commercial cleaning equipment.
Green Credentials Protecting People Protecting theEnvironmentProtecting Naturalresources
Green Manufacturingpractice / locationHigh WH& S standards Energy efficientmanufacturingCarbon-neutral footprintLow or zero atmosphericemissionsWaste fluids treated andcontainedNill waste to landfillRecycling program formanufactured waste andpackagingEfficient use of materialsReduced use of fossil fuelsWaste Recycling programEnergy efficiency Lower carbon emissionsFewer lead/acid (batteries)Lower fuel useReduced carbon footprintLower use of fossil fuelsReduced impact on non-renewable resources’ Water managementwithout loss of cleaningabilitySlip and fall preventionImproved buildinghygieneLess waste water generatedChemical use minimisedLess water used in cleaningDesign innovation Easier to learn to operate Designed for durability – Efficient use of materials