Cleanliness in the workplace is a direct reflection of the corporate brand and culture of an organization. Office cleaning through the use of sustainable approaches and practices delivers tangible long-term benefits by transforming offices into more environmental and more livable workspaces that protect the health of employees.
Green office cleaning not only helps in casting a good light on an organization through the eyes of staff, clients, and stakeholders alike; it also results in less consumption of raw materials and resources, better worker performance, and increased cost savings from energy usage and waste reduction efforts.
Green office cleaning is defined as incorporating environmentally-friendly cleaning processes into the workplace to protect health and improve operational efficiency.
It focuses on products, equipment, and methods that have fewer adverse health effects on their users, building occupants and visitors, while minimizing carbon footprint – an appropriate response to the call for responsible cleaning and environmental stewardship in the workplace today.
Breakthroughs in cleaning technology, when applied in the workplace, make it possible to clean effectively, efficiently, and with less impact on health and the environment.
And because green office cleaning demands the use of fewer products and services, it has a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared with conventional office cleaning that serve the same purpose.
Green office cleaning involves assessment of a workspace or office area to determine the ideal cleaning program that will meet the required specifications for a desirable and sustainable outcome.
Through green cleaning processes, there is a systematic approach towards creating cleaner and safer workspaces that can lead to energy management and operational cost savings as well as reduction of serious adverse effects on the health of building occupants.
One shining example is the University of Georgia’s (UGA) Physical Plant Division – Services Department. After UGA successfully implemented green office cleaning program, a number of quantifiable benefits were documented:
- The number of lost worker hours is decreased
- The number of cleaning service worker injuries is also decreased
- Substantial decrease in chemical product expenditure
- Increase in the institution’s total savings
Incorporating green technology and products to office cleaning can result to more sustainable, less disruptive and more cost effective alternative to traditional cleaning methods which can result to thousands of gallons of water saved, less energy use, lower carbon emission, and significantly reduced waste being thrown in landfills.
Why Go Green?
The average person spends about 90% of their day within their assigned office area, where air pollution from diverse sources can be up to 100 times greater than outdoor air. Widely used cleaning products have high levels of toxicity that can cause short term health problems such as eye irritation, dizziness, coughing, minor chest pains, and vomiting. Work-related asthma is also very common, but there is also the emergence of multiple chemical sensitivity syndrome among individuals that can be triggered to long term exposure to chemical-based cleaning products.
Researches have shown that people feel more productive in a clean and safe workspace which leads to better morale, motivation and performance as well as higher work quality and productivity.
Green office cleaning uses less hazardous products that have positive environmental attributes (e.g. low life cycle energy use, reduced packaging, low volatile organic compound (VOC) content, low toxicity, and biodegradability) without compromising the effectiveness of removing biological and other contaminants from every work area.
Misconception about Green Office Cleaning
The main misconception about green office cleaning is that it is a complicated and expensive process that forces you to sacrifice work quality or service provision to make it work. And no one can blame businesses for being suspicious about it, especially if there are companies out there that use it as mere marketing ploy but do not actually incorporate green office cleaning into their actual practice.
1. Better workspace environment
A safer, more enjoyable work environment is achievable if there is cleaner, safer air at the office building. There is a boost in quality work output and even to the value of the real estate property.
Green office cleaning significantly reduces, if not completely eliminates, volatile organic compounds, mold, bacteria and other potential allergens out of the air.
2. Increased savings
First, the high water usage in many traditional cleaning methods are a substantial environmental cost. It translates to more energy consumption and carbon emissions.
The bottom line: green office cleaning makes it possible to experience lower operating costs and minimal environmental footprint without having to invest heavily in your facility.
3. Healthier employees
Utilizing environmentally-friendly cleaning approaches and solutions can greatly reduce the potential for harm by limiting everyone’s exposure through eye and skin contact, inhalation, and ingestion.
This translates to an all-around healthier and safer environment for all employees, bosses, and clients.
Top Tips for Going Green
- Ensure your green office cleaning service provider uses the most environmentally-conscious cleaning products available. It isn’t just about proving whether the products are low or free of chemicals or not, but also in how they deal with packaging waste, and how long do workspaces stay clean and safe before the next cleaning cycle
- Work with a service provider that is willing to help you create environmental goals in the office and instill a green cultural change in your organization. By educating and engaging everyone, a cleaner, safer, and more productive workplace can be sustained longer but easier on the budget.
- Remove desk side bins, assign disposal units, and introduce recycling points to encourage waste segregation efforts.
Opting Out of Conventional Office Cleaning
Traditiona cleaning agents and products may be successful in creating and maintaining clean, healthy and sanitary conditions but it does raise quite a number of concerns when applied to a workplace setting:
- Chemical ingredients of the cleaning product
- The manner of usage and storage
- Ventilation in the area where the cleaning product is used
- Potential risks due to splashes, stains, and spills
- Potential risks due to direct skin contact or accidental ingestion
- Potential risks when mists, vapors, and/or gases are released
From daily cleaning regimes to specialized cleaning services, Avalon Services has the expertise to deliver a quality cleaning service that meets your business’ requirements.
With its effective and innovative commercial cleaning solutions, you can experience tangible and long lasting benefits in terms of worker productivity, cost savings, and active protection for the environment.