With the ISSA/INTERCLEAN North America trade show fast approaching, Stephen Ashkin, president of The Ashkin Group, suggests that more cleaning workers will be attending the show "not so much for 'procedural' training, but to help educate their customers on becoming greener, more sustainable and more environmentally responsible."
One of the unexpected benefits of green cleaning, he says, is how it has increased the admiration for cleaning professionals and the cleaning industry in general — specifically, the importance of cleaning to help keep people healthy.
"Now it has gotten to the point where some building managers are actually turning to their cleaning professionals as guides to take them to the next level in healthier facilities overall," says Ashkin.

Among the reasons this is happening, according to Ashkin, are the following:

• Cleaning professionals are often more aware of their customers' facility cleaning needs than anyone else
• Cleaning workers are more attuned to the negative health effects of traditional cleaning products
• More facilities that have long "intended" to go green are now actually following through
• Confusion persists among consumers and managers on what makes a chemical, product, equipment, or cleaning service green
• Green cleaning is viewed as a "plus" for building managers seeking to keep tenants and look for perspective tenants
• Green cleaning often reduces overall building operating costs
"What we are witnessing is almost a complete reversal of how cleaning workers have been perceived in the past," says Ashkin. "Instead of being unseen and almost forgotten, many are now sitting at the conference table, helping managers run their facilities in a healthier, more sustainable and more efficient manner."