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The  U.S. Green Building Council is now soliciting feedback regarding the next version of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. 

The goal of this request to strengthen the program so it continues to serve as a global standard for facilities around the world working to operate more efficiently, use fewer natural resources, produce less waste, and protect the health of building users, says Stephen Ashkin of the Ashkin Group in a press release.

Ashkin, a long-time supporter of green cleaning and sustainability, believes now is an opportune time for members of the professional cleaning industry to voice their opinions regarding LEED-related issues.

What Askin would like to do, he says, is gather feedback regarding issues that specifically address the professional cleaning industry, such as the following:

Clarity. Some of the existing credit language needs clarification or should be removed. 

Update. Since the last version of LEED O+M (operations and maintenance), new standards have been created for product categories such as Green disinfectants, floor pads and other cleaning tools.

Supply Chain Reporting. Ashkin says LEED must start asking distributors to provide information about their sustainability efforts. This involves reporting on how they are: reducing fleet fuel consumption, and water and energy consumption, improving recycling efforts, and reducing waste in their warehouses.

Fair Play. Some cleaning contractors hire workers as independent contractors, often illegally, reducing their own operating costs. But this places other contractors that act legally at a significant cost disadvantage. The USGBC should make sure this is not happening in any facility involved with LEED certification.

Worker Training. Finally, Ashkin believes LEED should require that cleaning contractors report their worker training programs. 

Those wanting to provide feedback are urged to contact Ashkin at SteveAshkin@AshkinGroup.com.