By: Carlos Albir, Jr, Director of Operations
Since 1970, people around the world have mobilized on Earth Day to support the planet’s health and future. For facilities ranging from schools and offices to restaurants and hotels, caring for the Earth involves environmentally responsible cleaning, on Earth Day and every day. By exploring opportunities for waste reduction and understanding the evolving landscape of sustainable cleaning tools, operations can reduce their environmental impact and instill the values of Earth Day into their cleaning programs.
The Importance of Sustainable Manufacturing
Textiles and single-use plastics stuff landfills and contribute to our current multifaceted environmental crisis by emitting greenhouse gases such as methane. A significant percentage of this waste is composed of textiles and single-use plastics that could have been recycled. To do their part in addressing the problem of landfill waste, facility managers can seek out cleaning supplies manufactured using recycled textile waste or recycled plastics. Look for wet and dry mop heads made from 100% post-industrial recycled textile waste and brooms and brushes constructed entirely from recycled post-consumer plastic waste.
Purchasing durable products and restricting the use of single-use plastics throughout a cleaning program can also help limit waste generation. For example, operations can use refillable spray bottles for multi-purpose cleaner and disinfectant instead of disposing of single-use plastic containers.
When looking for sustainable cleaning tools and products, it is also worth considering the how suppliers manage their manufacturing facilities. For instance, if manufacturers harness solar energy to power their facilities, that further demonstrates their commitment to protecting the planet. Facility managers should consider the entire supply chain when making purchasing decisions to support the environment on a deeper level.
Proving Environmental Performance
To validate the environmental credentials of cleaning supplies, it is helpful to look for products certified or accredited by reputable third parties. Green Seal® certifies industrial cleaning supplies that meet rigorous standards for health, sustainability and performance. Using certified cleaning tools is an indispensable aspect of a green cleaning program.
By implementing green cleaning tools and products, facilities can make it easier to achieve their own certifications and accreditations. For example, the United States Green Building Council offers LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certifications to buildings that are energy-efficient and support occupant health and safety while reducing costs. Additionally, the GBAC STAR™ Facility Accreditation program recognizes the sustainability of a facility’s cleaning program when evaluating its effectiveness against infectious diseases. Purchasing and using cleaning supplies with third-party validation helps incorporate proven environmental performance directly into a cleaning program. Enhancing a facility’s environmental credibility by obtaining a certification like LEED helps occupants understand that facility management is dedicated to protecting the planet and building occupants.
A Permanent Earth Day
Organizations of all types are placing a greater priority on sustainable cleaning as the public becomes increasingly concerned about environmental issues like climate change. Restaurants, school campuses, offices and other facilities can implement cleaning products made using environmentally responsible manufacturing processes. In turn, they can improve cleaning performance, safety and sustainability while also supporting green certification and accreditation processes their buildings are pursuing. With a year-round focus on doing what is best for the planet, every day becomes Earth Day.
To learn more about how ABCO Products can help you create an Earth Day-worthy cleaning program with effective, sustainable cleaning tools, visit www.abcoproducts.com or contact us at (888) 694-2226.