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Commercial cleaning is undergoing a sea change driven by customers’ demand for greater social responsibility, eco-friendly products and a commitment to sustainability. This is being reinforced by a new, younger, more conscientious generation of customers replacing the last. The most successful cleaners are offering exceptional, consistent service and meeting these new green expectations. Like many other industries, cleaning businesses are trying to stay profitable.  The good news is that being sustainable often lowers costs and can increase profits.

The Green Cleaning Trend Accelerates

The trends toward greater sustainability have long been identified by the savviest small businesses and professional associations in the cleaning industry. The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association, says “green cleaning is arguably the No. 1 trend in the cleaning industry and is showing no signs of slowing down”. They describe green cleaning as “a marketplace phenomenon that is being driven by customer demand and the overall trending of the broad marketplace for environmentally preferable products and services.”

The Obvious Green Journey Starting Point –  Eliminating All Harmful Chemicals

For a small commercial cleaning enterprise, it can be overwhelming to think of how to get started with sustainability. In fact, it’s easier than some might think.  The number one area in which green commercial cleaning companies are changing is in chemicals. Not many know that many commercial cleaning solvents are largely derived from petroleum. Classified as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, their disposal can create big problems for both our environment and our health. They also deplete our ozone, pollute our groundwater and damage our respiratory systems. For an industry which employs over 3 million people, sustained exposure to these chemicals can cause lasting health problems.

New Sustainable Ways to Conserve Water

Commercial cleaning is also a water-intensive industry, and as such, water waste constitutes a large proportion of their environmental impact. The methods used to approach these problems vary from new investments in technologies, to more subtle changes in business culture and habits.  Eco-friendly cleaners are changing by:

New Green Cleaning Technology, Products and Practices

New technologies, eco-friendly products and green business practices allow green cleaning services to affordably avoid pollutants.  Key technologies include:

Many of these innovations are affordable substitutes and can be gradually implemented in place of their less sustainable counterparts – allowing aspiring green cleaners to transition at their own pace, and within their own budgetary constraints.

New Sustainable Ways to Deal with Waste

Commercial cleaning companies need to improve how they dispose of waste.  It’s estimated these businesses produce 40,000 garbage truck loads of waste per year.  Eco-friendly cleaners are doing several things to improve how they handle waste including:

  • Consistently recycling where appropriate
  • Avoiding the use of plastic liners for trash that mostly contains paper products

New Sustainable Ways to Conserve Water

Commercial cleaning is also a water-intensive industry, and as such, water waste constitutes a large proportion of their environmental impact. The methods used to approach these problems vary from new investments in technologies, to more subtle changes in business culture and habits.  Eco-friendly cleaners are changing by:

  • Investing in low-moisture vacuum systems
  • Adopting flat-mopping methods
  • Simply using less water

Green Cleaning is Good Business

Cleaning businesses making these eco-friendly changes are showing their commitment to social responsibility, as well as their business acumen. The transition to sustainability in cleaning should make owners proud to be doing their part in taking care of our environment, and with the tools available today, it has never been easier.   The bottom line is that everyone wins: owners, employees, customers and the environment.

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