Sustainability & Environmental | Green Cleaning Program

Sustainability & environmental certifications seek to minimise the number of resources consumed in the building’s construction, use and operation.

A wide range of sustainability & environmental certifications schemes, standards, accreditation systems and tools are in place in Australia, these programs ensure consistent metrics that promote the most important elements of a sustainable building design, include:

  • Energy conservation and savings
  • Water efficiency and conservation
  • Indoor air quality and overall indoor environment
  • Minimised carbon dioxide emissions
Sustainability & Environmental Building

Some sustainability & environmental accreditations and certifications you may already be familiar with:

Certification schemes and rating tools for buildings and fit-out materials –

Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has an assessment framework they use to determine which rating schemes are applicable to Green Star professionals.

Energy Efficiency Standards and Tools (Energy Efficiency Rating) –

The Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards (GEMS) Act 2012 came into effect on 1 October 2012. It’s designed to improve the energy efficiency of appliances and products in all sectors (residential, commercial and industrial).

Certification schemes and rating tools for organisations, buildings and urban planning projects as NABERS –

The National Australian Building Energy Rating Scheme is managed through the New South Wales Government and is linked with national legislation that requires commercial buildings over a certain size to be rated for operational ecoefficiency prior to being sold or leased.

Certification or Ranking of Green Consumer Goods and Services – 

Green Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) is a certifier of environmentally preferable goods and services. GECA is not-for-profit, independent, and the only Australian member of the Global Ecolabelling Network (GEN). It offers training in product life cycle assessment.

How can commercial cleaning companies help?

We spend around 90% of our time indoors, so we need to understand how buildings can positively or negatively influence our health. An Indoor Environment rating demonstrates your commitment to providing great spaces for people to thrive.

Cleaning companies can add value for their maintenance and property management clients primarily through the company’s Operations & Maintenance  Procedures to improve efficiency and reduce environmental impact in existing buildings.

Operations & Maintenance Procedures addresses how building maintenance and overall cleaning is performed, including chemical use. It also addresses the presence and effectiveness of recycling programs.

Additionally, the regulations measure the environmental impact and sustainability of system upgrades and exterior maintenance programs and routines.

Maintenance clients are not the only ones who can benefit from Green Certification, construction companies and developers are also obliged to follow requirements for new construction clean-up.

When seeking a sustainability & environmental certification for business operations a ecological cleaning program will need to be implemented as part of an overall green maintenance plan for the building.

A Green Cleaning policy should include standards to follow for all the requirements as:

  • Ensure that all the cleaning products used on site have the Green Seal or Environmental Choice designation.
  • Up to date Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for each product used on site should be kept in a centralised area and be accessible to all staff.
  • Types of cleaning products being used for cleaning services as some products examples below:

Floor and glass cleaners:

-Specialty cleaners should also adhere to the cleaning standards of GECA, ensuring that the chemicals used do not contribute to a degradation of the environment, air quality or water quality and aquatic life.

General-purpose cleaners:

-Any cleaning solutions or chemicals used in the building must meet strict environmental and safety standards to comply with Green Environmental Choice Australia (GECA).

– Cleaning products need to be used in the proper dilutions and be the mildest possible solutions while still effectively doing their job.

-The products must be considered non-toxic in their undiluted form, as well as non-corrosive to skin and eyes, and should not contain any heavy metals or ingredients known to cause cancer, asthma or reproductive disruption.

-Products for cleaning purpose should not contain Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which are disruptive to indoor air quality, and not leave behind harmful residues

  • Sustainable cleaning equipment choices:

-Vacuum cleaners must be certified by Green Label testing program (capture 96% of particulates 0.3 microns in size; operate with a sound level less than 70 dBA with HEPA filter).

-Carpet extraction equipment must be certified by CRI Seal of Approval testing program for deep-cleaning extractors.

-Automated scrubbing machines must equipped with carriable-sped feed pumps and on-board chemical metering to optimize the use of cleaning fluids.

-Battery powered equipment, equipped with environmentally preferable gel batteries.

-Powered equipment should be ergonomically designed to minimize vibration, noise and user fatigue.

  • Energy and water usage, as well as renewability of materials, are also considered in the manufacturing process for green cleaning products.
  • Paper products and trash bags: Trash liners or bags, and any paper cleaning products used, such as paper towels, should all meet the Green Environmental Choice Australia standards. All of these products should be made from renewable or recycled resources and not contain virgin tree fibers.
  • Cleaning chemicals (concentrated chemicals and diluted versions) must be stored in isolated and secured designated storage areas. Chemicals will be stored in a manner that reduces the possibility for accidental spills or leaks.
  • The building must have Hazardous clean up plans with compliant procedures to follow for any chemical leaks, spills or other toxic cleanup situations. Plans should minimize any damage to human health and the environment.
  • Supplies that meet sustainable cleaning standards are also often packaged in more environmentally friendly recycled bottles and packages, and should also be recyclable and no single use plastics.
  • Waterless, touchless hand sanitiser dispensers and touchless hand soap dispensers should be installed throughout all buildings to reduce the spread of germs and bacteria.

All of these smaller aspects add up to a greater environmental positive impact, and it’s easy to see how green cleaning benefits Green certification for business operations scores overall.

A compliant professional cleaning company will be knowledgeable about the green building certification cleaning requirements and will be able to offer advice and support to begin with preventative measures.

green cleaning building

How to know if a cleaning company is Green Certification Compliant?

A commercial cleaning company that is committed to sustainability & environmental  standards can help you earn points towards a designed certification for your building. You’ll want to know that the cleaning company you hire is aware of Sustainable Standards and uses environmentally safe cleaning products and procedures.

Is knowledgeable and experienced with more sustainability & environmental cleaning practices who can support you with your certification.

Look for cleaning companies that have their own third-party sustainability & environmental certification, and trained staff members in eco-cleaning requirements for Green Certification Business Operations.

The cleaning company should also train their staff on Green Compliance and only use Eco Lab approved cleaning products and have a clear process and procedure outline. A primary component of the criteria is ensuring that environmentally friendly products are used for cleaning, and that the cleaning company uses the mildest effective type of cleaner to do each job.

However, keep in mind that the requirements go beyond exchanging harsher chemicals for “greener” ones or just using eco-friendly products — they also address the cleaning systems that are in place. It is important to understand that water usage, energy efficiency (proper equipment using less electricity) and indoor air quality are also addressed, which affect cleaning practices are all just as critical.

What are the benefits of becoming sustainable business?

Obtaining a Green Certification for your building offers many benefits for the building owner, with virtually no risks or downsides.

Sustainable certification at any level demonstrates that a building is concerned for the health of the people who use it and the planet, too. Some of the benefits of Sustainable certification include:

  • Positive Public Image – A marketing advantage for building owners and property developers. These designations are attractive to potential residents and tenants, as well as investors and the general public. The public will look more favourably on a Sustainable project or company.  And communities will be more welcoming to new construction projects that have Sustainable certification.
  • Beneficial Environmental Impact – One of the biggest benefits — and the main point of Sustainable Certification — is a reduced impact on the surrounding environment and planet as a whole. Pollution and waste are reduced, as well as the impact on natural resources. A Sustainable Certified Building will have a much smaller carbon footprint than other similar buildings without Green Standards in place.
  • Healthier Tenants – Along with a healthier environmental impact comes a healthier environment inside the building. Sustainable requirements ensure the air quality inside the building is improved, with the use of HVAC filters and approved eco-friendly cleaning products. With fewer allergens, bacteria and toxins in the interior environment, those who live or work in the building experience less environment-related health problems, better performance and higher productivity for office workers, as well as greater job satisfaction, better sleep quality, since increased air quality leads to fewer sick days.
  • Superior Productivity and Retention – A Sustainable designation is more attractive to tenants and employees, so whether the building is for apartments, office spaces or something else, you’ll have an easier time finding people, and keeping them happy in the space as long-term tenants or employees – People want to live and work where they will be healthier and where the environment is a priority, and will be more likely to seek out Sustainable locations.
  • Reduced Utility Costs – Beyond all of the amazing benefits for people, the environment and business, Sustainable certification will also save a company money in lowered utility costs. Buildings that are Sustainable certified are designed to greatly reduce their water and electricity use, which is not just great for the planet — it also saves huge amounts of money. Plus, the cost savings are not just limited to water and energy — with a comprehensive recycling program, trash will also be reduced, saving the company money on waste removal services.
  • Higher Resale Value – Buildings designed with Sustainable Certification in mind can experience an increase in property value and greater interest if the building is on the market. Tenants are often more willing to pay higher rents in Sustainable certified buildings, so profits can increase for the current owner as well.
  • Tax Benefits and Incentives – Sustainable certification program comes with many available tax breaks to take advantage of, at both state and local levels, as well as other added incentives like discounts on permits, government support or fast-tracked permits, among other benefits.

Why you should hire a specialised cleaning company to assist?

Unfortunately, most cleaning companies do not have a Green Cleaning Program in place or do not follow the requirements for sustainability & environmental certifications, also the building managers do not have the time or expertise to train their cleaning company on how to comply. A specialised commercial cleaning company can also add value by offering to provide the documentation for their clients’ certification, and knowing the points assigned to each cleaning task.

By offering a turnkey, proven sustainable compliant program, the cleaning company can help clients reach their goals – making you a partner with specialised cleaning provider sustainable future and ensuring you retain the maintenance contract for years to come.

As you can see, there are a lot of elements that go into a professional and sustainable cleaning program for Green Certification Business Operations compliance.

We know that environmentally friendly buildings are not only better for the planet, but they also make happier and healthier spaces that we can all thrive in.

wind rose co. team understands your commitment to sustainability & environmental practices and provides professional, top-quality eco-cleaning services that comply with Sustainability Standards.

Being eco-friendly commercial cleaning company, we offer smart cleaning solutions, using high-quality green cleaning products and staff trained in Green Cleaning practices. We only uses safe, non-toxic cleaning products that maintain the best indoor air quality and health of your employees and residents.

Contact us to request a quote or get more information about our eco-cleaning and facility management services.

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