Google Headquarters
Google aims to create some of the healthiest places in the world, including Googleplex, its headquarters in Mountainview, California. Benny Marty /

Few companies in the world, if any, are as ingrained in developed society as Google. Its presence across the internet is so profound it's sometimes hard to comprehend. Its name has become a verb for seeking out information. Its business practices are so far advanced that the company's headquarters in Mountainview, California, has become the thing of legends. Given Google's relevance and massive success, it's no surprise the company says it is aspiring to create some of the healthiest workplaces in the world, and that green cleaning will play a role in these efforts.

A few years after Google was founded, the company came up with a list of beliefs for which it should strive to operate by, known as "Ten things we know to be true." The first "thing" on the list suggests the company should "focus on the user and all else will follow."

This is the same mantra Google's sustainability workplace services program lives by. For the program, the focus on the user comes down to the health and productivity of Google's employees, says Richard Navarro, sustainability workplaces services program manager at Google.

Navarro says green cleaning applies to this focus on health and productivity in a variety of ways. Bad smells, for example, upset employees and make them less productive. Green cleaning solves this issue by eliminating odors without leaving the scent of a strong chemical, which can end up being just as annoying as the original foul smell.

And what good are Google's world-class facilities if both they, and the products used to clean them, get employees sick? That's why Google hopes to prevent contaminants from both entering the building and staying there.

"With our focus on green cleaning, it's really our focus on health and looking at 'How do we reduce the harsh chemicals from coming inside and also improving user productivity in the space as well?'" says Navarro. "So for us, green cleaning really addresses those issues and also ensures that our facilities are clean and our users are happy and productive, which is really what we're trying to have at the end of the day for our facilities team."

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