A reader writes: “I am convinced that going green can save health and even lives. I am struggling with customers and even co-workers who think it is just a passing fad. Any suggestions would be appreciated.”

First of all I commend you for understanding some of the key benefits of “going green” however your statement does not really clarify what that means. Implementing a truly green, sustainable program requires a commitment at all levels of the company and acceptance by the customer. As to acceptance by the customer, they will be asking the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) question since they may have become jaded after so many false starts and bogus claims in the past. They have a valid point in that much of what has been promoted as “green” in the past was bogus and did not really accomplish the lavish promises by the vendor. Does your customer really understand the benefits of going green/sustainable for the long term future of their office/school/hospital? If not, they will consider this just another way of raising the price with no verifiable benefits. Can you show hard data that converting to a green/sustainable program will reduce absenteeism due to asthma, flu and other illnesses? Can you provide data that shows the true benefits of getting away from the perfumed cleaners that may not disinfect but promote the sense of clean? If not, why would they care about a green program that may cost more money?

One of your biggest challenges is to educate and convince decision makers to embrace those aspects of green/sustainable cleaning that will benefit them and their bottom line. Once they are convinced of the benefits, they will modify the contract specifications to require it. We will look at dealing with co-workers in a future article.

Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net