Green Cleaning is more than just using “green” products. The success of a green cleaning program is dependent on numerous factors. While the selection of product is important, it will have little effect in the case of an inadequate cleaning regimen that leaves facilities dirty and the health of occupants, visitors and the environment at risk. Green Cleaning encompasses a total program including chemicals, procedures, equipment, paper, liners, mops, matting , all essential pieces in effective cleaning program.
The movement toward green cleaning does not imply that traditional methods are inadequate or have created unsafe conditions. Instead it can be viewed as simply taking the next step beyond our current approaches to further reduce polluting impacts while continuing to maintain and improve the healthfulness, comfort and aesthetics of our surroundings.
Sustainability also minimizes cleanings impact on people and the environment, but more importantly, it is a process, not a product. It is a process to protect resources for the future. In articles and discussions about green cleaning, you will typically read/hear something about the triple bottom line which entails – People, Planet and Profit.
People – pertains to fair and beneficial business practices toward labor and the community and region in which a corporation conducts its business.
Planet – refers to sustainable environmental practices. This practice entails reducing the ecological footprint by carefully managing consumption of energy, non-renewables and reducing waste as well as rendering waste less toxic before disposing of it in a safe and legal manner.
Profit – is the economic value created by an organization after deducting the cost of all inputs, including the cost of capital.
The cleaners used by the custodial staff have an impact on the residents and staff at Long Term Care facilities. By switching to safer chemistries, without sacrificing performance, residents and staff can perform in a safer environment and will help lead to reduced HAI’s.
How do I know if a product is truly GREEN? We know that Green Cleaning creates healthier environments. However, to make sure that you are Green Cleaning you need to look for some type of third party certification like; Green Seal, EcoLogo, Design for the Environment or BioPreferred. These third party certifiers review a manufacturer’s product to make sure that it adheres to strict requirements based on the effects to the environment.
Note: The facility janitorial staffs contribute as much to the well-being of patients as the medical staff. Good GREEN cleaning practices, keeping linens clean and reducing clutter helps improve the indoor environment and is conducive to healthy residents and staff.
Ken Sensel is the Product Manager for General Cleaning, Chemical Management Systems and Healthcare at the Betco Corporation. He is passionate about creating a cleaner more sustainable future through products, and programs that you inspire and we innovate. In his personal time Ken enjoys competing in ½ marathons, Toastmasters and spending time with his family. Click here to contact Ken directly.