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Green cleaning in a building

Kamil Kwiecień • 23/04/2024
On the occasion of the upcoming Earth Day, it is worth taking a look at the organization of life in an office building through the prism of ESG aspects.
  • What is sustainable cleanliness in an office building?
  • What steps should be taken to introduce a green way of keeping the building clean?
  • What should you pay attention to to avoid greenwashing?

Green cleaning, also known as sustainable cleaning, involves the use of methods and products with minimal impact on the environment and human health. Above all, the priority in this context is to reduce harmful chemicals, save water and electricity, and minimize waste generation compared to traditional cleaning practices. By using environmentally friendly products and processes, we can influence the process of creating healthier interiors and promoting responsible attitudes. It covers three main aspects: environmental responsibility, health of office users and efficiency.

Three main steps to implementing green cleaning processes

Choosing eco-friendly cleaning products
Health and Safety: Choose cleaning products that are certified as environmentally friendly and safe for human health, minimizing exposure to toxic chemicals. There are certifying organizations on the market that verify whether a given product actually meets the criteria regarding quality, environmental protection and lack of negative impact on human health.

Noteworthy systems include:
– EU Ecolabel [LINK]
– Ecocert
– ISO 9001 – concerns the quality of production and service processes, which may indirectly affect the safety and effectiveness of products, including household chemicals.

Effectiveness: Make sure the eco-friendly cleaning products you choose are as effective as their conventional counterparts in terms of cleaning performance.

Training and Awareness of Employees and Tenants

Correct use of green products: the key here is training for cleaning staff on the correct use of eco-cleaning products - they must learn the proper concentration of solutions, intended use for various surfaces and cleaning techniques.

Awareness programs: the management team and tenants should also have knowledge about the purpose and principles of sustainable cleaning - to encourage them to participate in this initiative.

Waste management and waste reduction strategies

Recycling and composting: provide waste segregation and composting containers (e.g. separately collected coffee and tea grounds in cooperation with companies processing them), educate on how to segregate - many people still have problems with this, and there is no clear information to help decide which waste to place where. In this way, we can strive to reduce the amount of mixed waste.

Minimize water use: Adopt cleaning techniques and products that reduce water use. This may include concentrated cleaning solutions that require less water to dilute and equipment designed to use water more efficiently.

Energy-saving equipment: even in the most modern office building, the amount of electricity consumed also depends on what household appliances, computers, printers and other things the tenants will install in their space - this is also worth paying attention to when determining the obligations in the lease agreement.
No greenwashing, please

Environmentally friendly products are designed, manufactured and used in such a way as to minimize negative impacts on the environment. The problem with greenwashing occurs when companies falsely represent their products as environmentally friendly, misleading consumers. That's why it's so important to critically evaluate product information and choose certified options.
The process of sustainable cleaning is undoubtedly connected with ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) aspects and the goals of companies - both tenants and landlords - in this regard. Reducing harmful substances, saving utilities and promoting social responsibility - these are the elements of green cleaning that help implement the assumptions of the ESG strategy. Therefore, the principles applied by some people today should soon become a new market standard.
Implementing green cleaning involves challenges such as educating tenants, managing costs, selecting appropriate products and overcoming resistance to change. From the point of view of landlords and tenants, it is important to remember about the elements related to the sustainable cleaning process at the stage of introducing green provisions into lease agreements, so that together both parties can implement the ESG goals and strategies set in each entity. Overcoming challenges requires addressing misconceptions, dealing with operational obstacles, and promoting the long-term benefits of sustainable practices. This is also our role as property managers, who are often the communication intermediary between the landlord and the tenant.

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