Home' Inclean : INCLEAN Spt-Oct 2016 Contents 42 INCLEAN September/October 2016
While green cleaning is becoming common practice in the cleaning
industry, many insiders are claiming that it is simply not enough
for cleaning companies to be ‘green’ anymore.
As Rebecca Melnyk from Facility Cleaning and Maintenance
points out, ‘if contractors and facility managers truly want to
create a sustainable environment in a cost-effective way that is
also competitive, they need to look at how materials are sourced,
manufactured, distributed, used, reused and disposed’.
“Contractors now have a larger and more meaningful role to play
in facility maintenance,” says Green Cleaning Network* deputy
director David Holly.
“Sustainability is raising the bar and creating a lot of possibilities.
Green cleaning is the ante card; if you don’t do green cleaning or
have green chemicals, you’re not in the game.
“Our industry needs to keep catching up and understanding that
there are some very intelligent people managing facilities and they’re
reading about this stuff and understand sustainability. It’s no longer
enough to say you have green chemicals.”
In the coming years, Mr Holly believes that the use of reclaimed water
in the cleaning process will emerge significantly onto the market.
“From a cleaning perspective, one of the things we have to focus
on is how to reduce the amount of water we use,” he explains.
“That’s not just diluting chemicals. Anything we can do from a
manufacturing and use standpoint that reduces water needs is a huge
deal and it’s something, I think, our industry can take a lead in.”
Technology that can reduce the impact on drinking water is also
becoming more important as countries around the world experience
severe droughts. ‘Grey and recycled water is emerging in response
to this problem. Grey water is typically from rain runoff, bathroom
sinks, washing machines and showers. Recycled water is treated
greywater that could be drinkable’.
‘In terms of implementing this technology, Mr Holly suggests a facility
must first determine if it is available and what permits might be necessary’.
“Managers should speak with their local water district to see how
this type of water can be used, what is required and what they aim
to acquire,” he adds.
Today’s facility managers are now required to meet a number of
sustainability goals on top of their daily operating tasks. Therefore,
contractors who can support this work and show that they understand
issues like water use give themselves a huge competitive advantage.
“It’s not just talking about making the place look nice, but talking
about what really impacts a manager’s job,” notes Mr Holly. “There
are very few who really get that, but the ones who do are adding the
biggest and brightest clients to their portfolio.”
Contractors who can ‘understand how to extend the life of a facility,
from finding cleaning technology that helps managers extend the life of
their own technology to using chemicals that won’t harm surface areas,
will be able to impact a facility’s profit’.
Sustainable cleaning starting point
As a starting point for finding the right sustainable cleaning process,
Mr Holly suggests that managers and contractors partner with the
“There’s a difference between a green chemical and a sustainable
product,” he says. “You can have a green chemical that meets the
green criteria, but it might be sent over on a slow boat from China
which chugs diesel fuel into the air, making it non-sustainable.”
The key is finding the right partner who is truly dedicated to
Mr Holly recommends speaking to people in the sustainability field or
major manufacturers who engage in sustainable practices.
“These people are investing in this technology and will
obviously try to spin their product,” notes Mr Holly. “But there is
a lot of good advice and information out there.”
*The Green Cleaning Network is a U.S. based non-profit group
that helps to eliminate confusion about green cleaning.
The impact of green cleaning
technology on the future of cleaning
Green cleaning is now
common practice in the
...Continued from page 40
will vary depending on its financial worth and sentimental value to
the owner. The IICRC strongly recommends that in water damages
where there are contaminants present or where small children or
immune-compromised individuals are present that an inspection be
conducted by an appropriately trained restorer.
4. Expose pockets of saturation
Hidden pockets of saturation need to be opened for cleaning and
drying. Layers between building materials hold water that must be
discovered and removed or dried. On walls, find the water line and
inspect at least a foot beyond it to make sure all damage and mould
is discovered. Professionals can usually dry wet carpets, but carpet
padding should be discarded.
5. Conduct a thorough cleaning
Durable, non-porous or semi-porous materials, such as hardwood
flooring and vinyl products, can be cleaned with common cleaning
products. During cleaning, take care to protect areas that are
unaffected by the water or mould. After a thorough cleaning of
salvageable materials, a disinfectant solution may need to be applied
in case of harmful bacteria from the water. Once you’ve cleaned the
wet materials, conduct another round of cleaning.
6. Confirm drying before reconstruction
To prevent dry rot and structural damage, it’s important not
to reconstruct or cover wood and other wet materials until the
moisture content has been adequately reduced. A water restoration
professional can confirm proper drying before reconstruction.
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