Some of the worst green-washing offenders are janitorial services. They are not alone – green-washing is popular in many businesses. There is no established means of measuring Green in any business. How many companies have installed CFL bulbs and the next day advertised that they have “Gone Green”? Yet, janitorial services have resisted the extra effort (and cost) of Green certification because they believe businesses are not seeking Green vendors.
Selecting the right janitorial service is a basic starting point for Greening any business. The immediate and long term health of your business is constantly being impacted by the cleaning service that hauls in gallons of cleaning products, sprays, disinfectants, and compounds. Studies have shown air-borne toxins/chemicals can be 36 times the accepted governmentally-acceptable limits two hours after cleaning.
OSHA reports that American businesses lose $40 billion a year in reduced employee production due to poor indoor air quality. The EPA tells us that indoor air can be 3 to 5 times worse than the outside air, and that Americans spend 90% of their time indoors.
No business can claim to be Green if it is served by a standard janitorial service. A company may boast of the Green products it offers, but if it does not adhere to a Green ethic in every aspect of its operations, it is only that, boasting. In promoting your company’s value to potential customers, you must keep the promises you make.
Bottom line – Hire only a Green certified janitorial service. It is easier to do than you might think. Add the “Green Clause” (see article: “The Green Clause for RFP’s”) to your RFP and distribute it to your local janitorial services for bid. Your can still compare prices from all contenders and you will discover that janitorial services will quickly incorporate Green into their proposals when there is business to be gained. Do your part and improve the quality of your workplace and the long-term health of your employees – hire only Green-certified janitorial services using Green products at every level.
Potential Green Practices Value … 15 points (add 5 more pts for confirmed Green products)