How To Launch A Sustainability Program
- What Should a Sustainability Program Target?
- Initial Steps For Launching A Sustainability Program
Benefits Of Establishing A Green Cleaning Program
Elevated Safety For Occupants And Frontline Staff
Embracing third-party green certified products can immediately improve a facility’s indoor air quality (IAQ). Specifically, adopting a green program leads to a re-evaluation of a facility’s cleaning chemicals and where they are stored, meaning the removal or reduction of products with higher levels of toxicity and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), according to ny.gov. Safer cleaning chemicals offer many benefits, including a lower chance of asthma attacks triggered by chemical allergens and airborne gases.
Improved Day-To-Day Efficiency
A safer environment for occupants and frontline staff leads to fewer illnesses and missed days, but there are expanded benefits for cleaning departments. According to New York State officials, costly processes such as refinishing floors are performed less frequently for facilities with green cleaning programs because the products are less intensive and corrosive to surfaces over time. In addition, green cleaning programs emphasize safety, which encourages frontline staff to be more dedicated to training and feel that their wellbeing is prioritized. Accordingly, they will pay greater attention to detail on everyday tasks and the need to re-do jobs will decrease.
From a finance standpoint, the benefits of a green cleaning program are certain. Findings from the USGBC indicate that facilities that have achieved LEED certification through green and sustainable practices have 20 percent lower maintenance costs on average than conventional commercial buildings — along with a 10 percent decrease in overall operation costs. Meanwhile, a 2018 study from the National Institute of Building Services (NIBS), found that for every dollar spent on green-centric mitigation efforts, such as improving drainage conditions or HVAC systems for IAQ, $6 are saved on the back end for response and recovery expenses.
Playing A Role In The Bigger Picture
On a macro scale, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) reports that buildings are responsible for nearly 40 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. While not everyone will contribute to improving the cause, facility cleaning managers can be vocal to upper management about the benefits of going green, and suggest some reasonable adjustments. This includes the adoption of LED lighting, high-performance windows that reduce energy consumption, and upgrading HVAC systems to include HEPA filters to reduce the recirculation of pollutants.
What Should a Sustainability Program Target?