LEED Cleaning – Why Not?

If you own, operate, manage or are employed by a cleaning company, you know change is needed.  Look around at the chemicals you use.  Look at the number of on-the-job injuries.  Look at the absenteeism rate.  It is time for cleaning companies to get with the green program.Not only is converting to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) cleaning safe, healthier and more environmentally responsible, it makes good business sense.  For entrepreneurs who want that competitive edge in a very competitive industry, get LEED certified and watch customers respond.  LEED certification is recognized by real estate developers and property managers as the foremost qualification of environmental stewardshipThe simplistic objective of the LEED program is to make the places where we live and work healthier environmentally.  When cleaning services do their part, good things happen.The U.S. Green Building Council responded to clients who expressed concern that maintenance practices and specifically the cleaning services used in their LEED certified buildings were “undoing” their good work.  The USGBC answered these concerns with their LEED Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance v3 guide.  The v3 details procedures for integrating green cleaning into the building’s overall janitorial and maintenance practices.What many green cleaning companies do not understand is that with green cleaning, training and education go a long way toward the goal line.  Cleaning companies that are serious about pursuing LEED certification should contact a local chapter of the USGB or arrange a meeting with a LEED Accredited Professional.One way to begin is to start finding ways to lessen the impact of the cleaning services on the building’s environment.  Many conventional cleaning services want to impress occupants with fragrance, polish, bleach and ammonia- based products.  Green cleaning practices use only certified, highly sustainable products that are less invasive, safer and healthier for building occupants.  With green cleaning, less is often more.

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