Not much has changed for the janitorial world for over fifty years, but the last decade has been tumultuous. New equipment, new products and new demands for those in charge of the cleaning services make this a brand new world for customer and service providers.

What the general public may not realize is that the cleaning business has shifted from a task-oriented business to a more professional service-oriented business. The delivery of the service now takes more than man, mop, and broom. Cleaning workers now take on the role of cleaning technicians who are able to provide far more than a clean floor and smear-free front door. They must know the "Why of cleaning as much as the How of Cleaning."

The Green Clean Institute has introduced an online learning platform that has drawn surprising praise from experienced cleaning professionals for its content and value. Although GCI has offered training since 2007, the change over to the new online system has been a rewarding process. Combine text, graphics, and video, the learning experience has been greatly improved. Testing and certification is now earned rather than assumed.

The janitorial worker is no longer the forgotten night worker but now provides a greater level of service delivery than ever before. When it comes to the Green program for a company, these workers are a serious contribution to or detraction from the Green standards of any company.

Upgrading to this higher standard comes on three distinct levels. Education of key personnel is always the starting point. Some may suggest that integration of Green cleaning products is first, but these products do not apply themselves. Educated cleaning staff will make a substantial difference to any service. If education comes first and products are second, the third requirement is found in the commitment of the leadership to carry the Green program into action.

The GCIC Executive courses provide even greater insight for those who run the company. This will provide the leadership with insights into marketing, values and benefits, and steps to make the program work as it should.

Green businesses are gradually learning that no amount of recycling or energy savings can compensate for a toxic building that may cause workplace health concerns and impact the long-term health of all workers. Indoor air quality is the new challenge facing nearly every business, and the cleaning service figures directly into the health concerns that may plague exposed workers.

Stepping into the middle of this challenge, the Green Clean Institute saw the real problems long before others began their journey of discovery. It began providing the training programs badly needed by every cleaning service although there was hesitation to change to a serious form of Green and sustainable operation.

In 2012, GCI installed a series of professional education courses using a highly-effective online learning system. This has brought back a strong and positive response by those who have been in the business for a long time and helped the newer firms entering the industry.

One of the first companies to offer unsolicited praise back in 2007 was Ed Matthews of Completely Clean Solutions. Green Clean Institute had less than 100 members, but Ed was excited to bring in his first big deal as a Green Clean Institute certified firm. It was a Saturn dealer, and Ed was one of nine bids. He was not the lowest bid, which made his victory even sweeter. He was a war veteran with health issues, and Green cleaning was very personal to him.

More than a year ago, Shota Mkheidze started Honey Bee Cleaners in Hawaii with only one good account. He determined to be a Green cleaning service in a very dedicated way. One of his early decisions was to earn the Green Clean Institute firm certification. Recently, Shota reported that he had landed some very large accounts including a preferred status with the U.S. Coast Guard. His praise includes a 200% increase in profits. (

In Edmonton, Canada, Mekonnen determine that his multi-city operation was "Going to Clean Green, or would not Clean at All." He put his Edmonton and Calgary workers through the GCI courses and earned his Green Clean Institute firm certification. He recently put up a brand new website proudly showing that his cleaning service as a GCI certified firm (

CleanWorld USA in Florence, SC ran a larger cleaning service and decided to earn the Gold level status as a Green Clean Institute firm. They have begun an extensive project to train all of their key workers and management using the online courses. This is the kind of commitment that every business will appreciate. (

AID Maintenance in Pawtucket, RI is another long-standing member of the Green Clean Institute process. This is another large cleaning firm with an emphasis on LEED buildings and Green cleaning tactics. This was a company committed to Green cleaning before it was popular. (

The excitement over the Green Clean Institute has spread into other parts of the world with certified cleaning firms in Lima, Peru; Trinidad, WI; Olso, Norway; London, England, Dubai, UAW, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and dozens of firms in Canada.

Some have raised the question about the value of pursuing a Green certification or whether it takes the strength of the Green Clean Institute to validate a Green operation. The Green Clean Institute is the best known Green cleaning certification in the industry. Customers trust their standards of education requirements and review. In more than a few bidding situations, the Green Clean Institute certification has won the day.

There is a culture change happening on many levels. These changes may not always be as positive as we like, but they will always require something from those who are willing to accept the challenge. The cleaning industry should no longer be the silent player in the company's future. The cleaning service is now a partner in any Green building, and the impact of its services are measurable. It seems more than appropriate that businesses require that their cleaning people share in the challenge of Green business. Demanding a Green certified cleaning service is the best way to insure the performance of this needful duty.