Consumer demand for companies to engage in sustainable business practices grows every year, and responsible companies are always looking for opportunities to expand their eco-friendly efforts. Actionable sustainability goes beyond pledging donations and planting trees: it requires careful consideration and implementation at multiple levels of operation. Luckily, “going green” has become more attainable in recent years with advances in technology, which also has made sustainability efforts cost-effective in the long term. Furthermore, in addition to a company’s own green efforts, businesses increasingly are looking for vendors that demonstrate responsible environmentalism, too.
At CCS Facility Services, we believe that actions speak louder than words. Our team consistently seeks out strategies, products, vendors, and actions to further our company’s sustainability efforts, and those efforts impact our customers as well. Below are a few actionable sustainability steps that facilities can undertake in their own commercial cleaning practices:
Recycled materials – When buying uniforms and cleaning supplies, engage with your vendors about products made with sustainable materials. Microfiber, for example, has proven to be an excellent alternative to standard cotton cloths. It is both more durable and more effective in cleaning areas that are hard to reach. Switching to microfiber towels can save 20 times the volume of water used, positively contributing to water conservation efforts.
Familiarize and use products responsibly – Window cleaner, carpet solution, wet wipes, and an increasing number of other products have eco-friendly alternatives. However, making the switch to these products is just the first step. Before using new products, carefully review all usage directions, care instructions, and/or hazards of use. For example, while microfiber cloths are very efficient for cleaning, they can cause major water pollution if not laundered and maintained properly; in fact, the EPA published a guide on proper microfiber maintenance. Understanding terms like “non-toxic” and “rapid-action” can help identify eco-friendly products, but do your homework, too. The CDC provides a list of words to look for on cleaning products that indicate environmentally friendly attributes. After identifying and sourcing new eco-friendly products, share with staff why you are making these environmentally responsible changes. Inviting staff into sustainability considerations may net additional ideas to go green.
Bring in the experts – In an effort to advance sustainability practices in commercial cleaning, industry authorities like ISSA have created accreditation programs for businesses such as CIMS-GB, which defines clear criteria for what constitutes green business practices and requires re-certification at regular intervals. The CIMS certification program complements the widely recognized and respected LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification program. In fact, facility services companies that have earned third-party accreditations can support customers’ own accreditation efforts. For instance, CCS’ CIMS-GB with Honors accreditation – earned multiple times – can help customers earn up to 15% of needed points for LEED certification. Engaging potential vendors in sustainability discussions can be influential in decision-making as well.
Adopting and evaluating meaningful sustainability practices may seem daunting, but it is attainable when working with similarly green-minded partners. As a reflection of the imperative for businesses to become greener, there are more and more environmentally friendly products, programs, and experts available. But when it comes to commercial cleaning, using the above best practices, any organization can contribute to building a more sustainable world.
About CCS Facility Services
CCS Facility Services is an integrated facilities provider, delivering expert commercial janitorial and building maintenance services to customers across the country across multiple industries. CCS is guided by an intrinsic desire to deliver clean and healthy workplaces for our customers and to provide opportunities for growth and professional advancement for our teammates. We are a company built to serve. LinkedIn. ccsbts.com
Vice President, Marketing & Communications
CCS Facility Services