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- Cleaning products - use of green cleaning products. Creation of minimum sustainability standards to be used in the selection process.
- Cleaning practices - e.g. only clean when and where necessary, clean at times when staff least present to prevent exposure to harmful chemicals.
- Cleaning equipment - e.g. use of automatic dispensers that do not result in overuse, use of equipment that avoids dust emissions, use of energy efficient cleaners.
- Waste disposal - cleaning products should be disposed of, reused or recycled appropriately
- Training - does this cover environment practices, occupational health and safety policies and the implementation of work instructions?
- Selection of cleaning service providers - how much control and influence to you have if you are a tenant in a building where these services are selected and contracted by the landlord?
- Cleaning products - Consider the sustainability impacts. What standards do you want to apply for the cleaning materials used? Consider mandatory use of green cleaning products.
- Cleaning products - Consider appropriate disposal methods after use.
- Cleaning services - Consider frequency and extent of cleaning required.
- Audit the cleaning processes and practices currently in place.
- Cleaning products - seek product data sheets for all cleaning products used. Reject those that do not comply with your minimum agreed standards.
- Cleaning service provider - determine whether you can appoint direct or whether the cleaning service is appointed and contracted by the landlord (or building manager). If the latter, consider your ability to influence the cleaning contract terms and management of contractor performance.
- Cleaning products - Include sustainability considerations within the selection criteria for all products used. Only those meeting the minimum agreed standards should be selected.
- Cleaning services - Sustainability criteria to be included in the selection process of the cleaning service provider should include the following:
- Choice of cleaning products - Ensure cleaner uses non-hazardous substances and procures products that minimise packaging materials. Have the contractor confirm that the products used are certified for green cleaning.
- Choice of cleaning equipment - those used by the cleaner should be energy and water efficient.
- Operational procedures - the cleaning services provider should have comprehensive operating procedures and policies which address environmental issues. For example written operating guidelines dealing with procurement of suitable cleaning products, disposal of products, packaging and other waste materials.
- Staff training - ensure the cleaning services provider has training programs for staff which incorporate pertinent environmental standards.
- Resource use and emissions - ensure the cleaning services provider utilises cleaning techniques that minimise the amount of cleaning products, water and electricity used and reduce the impact of cleaning on indoor air quality.
- Waste management - ensure the cleaning services provider has appropriate waste reduction policies, procedures and systems in place for management and safe disposal of waste and hazardous chemicals used in the cleaning process.
- Contribution to clients' sustainable practices - engage cleaning services providers that can demonstrate initiatives to contribute to clients sustainability practices and goals.
- Experience - enquire what relevant certifications or memberships in organisations that promote or set standards for green cleaning the cleaning services provider has.
- Measure sustainability performance changes during the course of the contract. Examples could include:
- Reductions in the volume of hazardous chemicals used.
- An increase in the number of more energy and water and water efficient cleaning equipment used.
- Reports of measures taken to minimise waste generated by the provision of the cleaning service.
- A number of successfully implemented initiatives that have been proposed/recommended by the cleaning service provider to the client to assist the client in improving their sustainability performance.
Henry Davis York