Avoiding electricity altogether is another easy way to cut down on costs — walk-behind sweepers are a great light cleaning alternative.

When it comes to extraction, hot water is the standard for carpet cleaning, but BSCs could provide the same service using cold-water cleaning procedures.

“New chemistries will allow for cost effective and effective cleaning in cold water,” Ashkin says.

Besides switching to energy-efficient equipment, reducing elevator usage while cleaning a facility will greatly reduce energy costs.

“Other than air conditioning and heating systems, the largest energy hog in most commercial facilities are elevators — those motors consume a tremendous amount of electricity,” Mabrey says.

He suggests BSCs illustrate they’re minimizing elevator trips by coordinating cleaning schedules so multiple janitors are traveling together to each floor instead of taking individual trips. Or if applicable, simply take the stairs.
While a lot of these items are small steps, over time, these little things add up.

“Once you start implementing those little efforts, they all add up to a big bucket of money savings — and property managers like to get big buckets of money savings,” says Mabrey.

Innovative and creative thinking, combined with solution-oriented implementation, is something property and facility managers are going to notice.

“A comprehensive program should look at everything the custodial team can do, from turning off lights and devices that shouldn’t be on, to closing windows and cleaning with cold water,” Ashkin says.

Energy initiatives tie into the larger sustainability picture, and sustainability is of huge importance to many commercial and industrial facility managers and property owners. According to a recent Contracting Profits survey of facility executives, 87 percent want to partner with BSCs who practice sustainable initiatives.

“This is the wave of the future,” Mabrey says. “It’s something that’s never going to go away. So it’s good for the environment, it’s good for people who work in the buildings and it saves the ownership money. The BSCs that don’t get on board with energy savings and sustainability are going to be left behind.”

Lisa Ridgely is a freelance writer based in Milwaukee. She is the former Deputy Editor of Contracting Profits.

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