Close-up view on conceptual keyboard - Cleaning Service (green key)

Contributed By The Ashkin Group

Climate change, sustainability, Green Cleaning, and the environment have taken a back seat to the pandemic, and understandably so. However, hold on to your hats. 

"They're coming back, stronger than ever," according to Stephen Ashkin, known to some as the professional cleaning industry's "Father of Green Cleaning." “Not only that, but it also appears this will be happening sooner than we think."

Here is why:

- The new administration has already issued several executive orders to protect the environment, tackle climate change, and re-join the Paris Climate Accord.

- The United States Environmental Protection Agency has begun rolling back orders that could potentially have harmed our air and water.

- The newly enacted COVID relief bill includes funds to foster clean energy technologies and create green jobs.

- One-third of the $860 billion the European Union (EU) plans to spend in Europe on pandemic economic relief is earmarked for green, environmental, and sustainable initiatives.

- The Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), International Energy Association, World Economic Forum, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund are all encouraging member-countries to set aside recovery funds specifically on reducing carbon emissions and protecting the environment.

- The United Nations is devising a blueprint for moving beyond COVID that highlights building a healthier planet.

"The current crisis is an unprecedented wake-up call," said UN Secretary-General António Guterres. "We need to turn the recovery into a real opportunity to do things right for the future."

 Further, UN Climate Chief Patricia Espinosa said, "With this restart [of the economy], a window of hope and opportunity opens… for nations to shape the 21st-century in ways that are clean, Green, healthy, safe, and more resilient."

So, what does all this mean now and for the future of the professional cleaning industry? Ashkin's key takeaways from all of the developments are the following:  

Advanced infection control and prevention measures started during the pandemic are now a permanent part of the professional cleaning industry. "It's who we are," he said. "We keep people healthy."

However, we will accomplish this using safer, healthier, Greener, and more sustainable products and procedures. 

"This, too, is who we are."