There’s no arguing it: your customers care about sustainability. According to Contracting Profits’ recent survey of commercial facility executives, nearly 100 percent of respondents want to partner with a building service contractor who practices sustainable initiatives. Only 13 percent of facility executives were neutral on this issue. Zero of them said it didn’t matter.

Sustainability has been a buzzword in this industry for a decade, but the truth is, it’s taken awhile for a lot of contractors and their customers to catch up to the hype. By now though, your clients have fully realized that sustainable vendors not only benefit the environment and their bottom line, but it makes for a great PR and marketing story.

So what are you doing to ensure your cleaning services are attractive to facility executives? At a minimum, BSCs will need to offer a green cleaning program, but this probably won’t get you very far. Consider earning an industry certification such as Green Seal’s GS-42 or ISSA’s CIMS-GB for more credibility. Also, report to clients the details of your program. For example, share your percentage of green-certified products. If it’s only 10 percent, it’s kind of misleading to say you offer green cleaning. Shoot for 75 percent, the number to earn LEED v4 points.

Energy reduction and water conservation continue to be the biggest sustainability talking points for facility executives. Capitalize on this by implementing battery equipment, low-moisture or cold-water carpet cleaning, day cleaning, and schedules that reduce elevator usage. Saving energy and or water will grab a client’s attention.
Besides helping customers, look internally. How are you embracing sustainability at your own facility? Do you have a recycling program, are you composting your breakroom waste, encouraging employees to carpool or bike to work? Tell facility executives about your programs. They may even ask for your help implementing a similar one in their facility.

Finally, remember that sustainability also incorporates social responsibility. Let customers know about employee benefit programs and if you pay them a living wage (not surprisingly, wages are another important issue to facility executives). Also promote how your company gives back to the community. If you need a place to start, consider hosting a blood drive, asking for food or clothing donations for a local homeless shelter, or organizing an Operation Clean Sweep with local vendors.