Green cleaning techniques and concepts are in the news everywhere lately. But at SMG, we initiated our Green Cleaning Commitment decades ago, and have been improving it ever since. We've always believed a successful janitorial and facilities maintenance program can be highly effective, while still being healthy and safe for everyone involved.
Across the country more building owners and managers are learning about the benefits of green cleaning products and techniques, and are asking that their cleaning service provider to use environmentally sound cleaning techniques. Our pledge is to provide top-notch cleaning and building maintenance services, while committing to continually investigate and implement newer, more sustainable products and processes that are user friendly, fiscally responsible, and protect our environment.
SMG Green Cleaning Commitment details:
- Details & Benefits
- Cost Concerns
- Green Products
- SMG Staff
What does "Green Cleaning" mean?
Green Cleaning is generally defined as "environmentally preferable" products and services that "have a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared with competing products or services that serve the same purpose."
What are the benefits of a green cleaning program?
Using environmentally friendly cleaning products is healthier for everyone involved — from everyday workers, to visitors and guests, to maintenance staff. Studies have shown fewer incidents of skin, eye and respiratory irritation, fewer multiple chemical sensitivities, less severe allergies and decreased headaches and nausea when cleaning contractors use green cleaning products.
Healthier employees are happier employees and productivity increases! This also leads to higher employee morale, reduced absenteeism, and higher efficiency.
Green cleaning helps to improve indoor air quality. Many traditional cleaning products contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). When cleaning, these VOC's are released into the air through evaporation and can affect indoor air quality. Using green products also lessens or eliminates chemicals that need to be treated in wastewater.
Besides the health aspects of green cleaning, the process provides benefits to the building. Using green products and practices, such as proper chemical storage, use and disposal, lessens the likelihood of fires, spills and explosions. As the products used are less dangerous, if there is a spill or other incident, there is less risk to workers and building staff.
Give a boost to your profitability and productivity!
Green products have become more competitive with its traditional counterparts. Once you factor in the potential hazards, such as burns from a high alkaline cleaner and loss of productivity, you actually save money by using environmentally safe cleaning products, while retaining the cleaning effectiveness you need.
Projecting a "green image" is good for the environment, good for your employees and good for your bottom line! Employees and customers are demanding environmentally friendly practices more and more these days. A green cleaning program gives you an important edge in marketing your company or your office building.
Using energy efficient equipment, such as vacuum cleaners with HEPA filters, and focusing on preventive maintenance, will lower expenses and replacement costs. If you have not incorporated green cleaning products and techniques into your business, now is the time to start.
Going green creates a sustainable and healthy environment.
The first aspect of going green is to promote the awareness of the importance of changing traditional cleaning chemicals and cleaning procedures for green certified products and guidelines. We will inform the cleaning staff and clients of the benefits of going “Green” by introducing, presenting and training with green clean products, and their proper use.
Green is cost-competitive!
We understand that costs impact your business decisions. Our consolidated approach is to provide superior cleaning services at costs that are lower than more toxic conventional options. In fact, "going green" can help to positively impact your facilities square foot rate, and is an integral part of a competitive long-term business strategy. One of the biggest factors of Green Cleaning is that all of these benefits can be realized without spending more!
Attract and retain customers and staff.
The cleanliness and appearance of any office building or corporate headquarters is a key component in adding extra value to your operation. Green Cleaning specifically will make more of an impact on the value of your business than other traditional cleaning methods.
Your business associates, prospective clients, tenants and staff will all appreciate the care and concern you take with your facility, and the fresh and clean environment that greets them when they walk in the door.
There are significant marketing and recruiting advantages that come from being recognized as a socially and environmentally responsible organization.
Creating greener, cleaner and healthier buildings for your occupants will also create a competitive advantage for you. Employing Green Cleaning solutions can reduce occupant complaints, absenteeism, tenant turnover and help to reduce liability claims. Green cleaning has also been credited with improving asset protection, raising the marketability of your space and increased worker productivity and performance.
Greatly reduced adverse health effects.
We all want to work in an office environment that is comfortable, clean and safe. An important part of ensuring good indoor air quality is choosing cleaning products that have a reduced impact on human health and the environment. Poor quality indoor air can produce health effects ranging from headaches and dry eyes to nausea, dizziness, and fatigue.
This in turn, can lead to reduced staff performance, increased sick days, and an uptick in your overall healthcare costs. Today's corporate healthcare plans are trending towards modified plans, reduced coverage, and dramatic premium increases. The cost savings that can be realized with SMG's Green Cleaning products and techniques, can be an important offset to those financial challenges.
The best approach is a comprehensive approach!
At SMG, our Green Cleaning Commitment is not simply a line of products. It is a holistic program designed to assist you in realizing the enormous benefits that are available with green cleaning, such as a healthy living and working environment.
Cleaning Products, Supplies, and Systems
We care about the health of our clients, as well as that of our own SMG cleaning teams. We only use products that are tested to be safe and Green Seal Certified (GS-37), which reviews and certifies products as environmentally-safe. Every member of our team is trained in advanced cleaning techniques for efficient and spotless results. To that end, we always strive to use the most environmentally friendly cleaning products available for each specific task. We carefully select cleaning products that have been researched and tested when assembling our cleaning toolkits. We also conduct our own assessments for actual cleaning efficacy and make adjustments as needed.
The Green cleaners we use contain natural oils and essences and have a refreshing natural fragrance, with none of the toxic and lingering fumes of conventional products. And their performance meets or exceeds conventional cleaning solutions.
- No petroleum distillates or heavy metals
- No ammonia or chlorine bleach
- No phosphates
- No nonylphenol surfactants
- No 2-Butoxyethanol
- No Isopropanol
We Use Green Paper Products
SMG is committed to providing Green Seal products that meet the standards GS-09 and GS-01. We ensure that the paper which is provided is chlorine free (PCF), hypo-allergenic, contains no dyes or fragrances, and safe for use in microwave ovens. Roll and hand towels are made from a minimum of 40% post-consumer content, toilet tissue has 20% post-consumer content, and facial tissue has 10% post-consumer content.
WIPERS, DUSTERS AND MOPS / MICROFIBER TECHNOLOGY
SMG aims to greatly reduce our use of paper as a cleaning tool. We incorporate a variety of micro-fiber commercial products. Micro-fiber dusting cloths and flat mops are used because of their ability to remove soils, pick up dust and bacteria without the need for chemical compounds. By using these products, cleaning will be made simpler, faster and more effective. Re-useable and launderable, microfiber cloths are more efficient at cleaning and reduce paper waste.
VACUUMMING, CARPET Care and green cleaning equipment
SMG is dedicated to ensuring that all the equipment used in the client's facilities meets the standards of Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) credit 10.6 of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). For instance, the CRI Green Label Program for vacuums assures the efficiency of vacuums for removing soil, and rates the ability to contain that soil within the vacuum without sweeping it back into the environment. HEPA or high-filtration systems are used to properly contain particulate matter and maintain indoor air quality at optimum levels. All SMG vacuums are inspected regularly and bags changed as needed. Green equipment also requires noise levels during operation to be low and non-disturbing.
Notice of carpet cleaning and extraction is always given to building occupants, and is conducted during times of minimum or no building occupancy. Our staff is trained to conserve water, and low-water usage carpet extractors are being utilized. Carpet cleaning is conducted so that carpets dry within 12 hours to protect against mold and mildew, and are ready for use in the shortest possible time.
LOBBIES, ENTRANCEWAYS, AND HALLWAYS
Entrance matting systems are reviewed to ensure maximum soil containment and where possible, consistent with GS-42. Less soil entering the building requires less cleaning, and provide better indoor air quality for occupants. Entrance areas are vacuumed, swept, mopped and dusted frequently. We recommend matting products made from environmentally preferable materials (i.e. rubber) and recycled materials (100% post-consumer PET recycled fiber and 15% post-consumer recycled tires). This is matting that can be recycled and manufactured in an environmentally-responsible manner.
Our Green Cleaning Teams are Highly Trained:
At SMG we are continually advancing the training levels of our staff to meet the changing need of our clients. We have an extensively researched and documented training manual which outlines key steps in the process:
Training & Procedures
Training and procedures is based on our Vendor Cleaning Manual which is continually reviewed and improved in an ongoing effort to provide a better work environment for our clients.
Ongoing Training & Education
Continual as well as our annual Green Clean Training is performed by our managers and supervisors or Safety Training staff of proper procedures in cleaning and safety practices.
Cleaners must focus on building entryways — both inside and out. Trapping and removing dirt and pollutants before they enter the building is the green goal. Cleaners will be directed to frequently clean entrances and entryway mats.
Overspray & Particulates
Our staff is trained in procedures for minimizing particles of dust and chemicals in the air. To achieve this goal, cleaners will be trained to apply the cleaner to the cloth rather than spraying the surface to be cleaned.
Proper Usage of Cleaning Solutions
Cleaners should be trained in the proper use of chemical management systems for accurate product dilution. Maximizing cleaning efficiency and minimizing waste should be the green goal.
Proper Usage of Equipment — HEPA Compliance
Cleaners should empty HEPA bags at the end of shifts or when they are half full. SMG staff is also trained in proper vacuuming, extraction, rinsing and drying techniques, taking care to complete each process thoroughly.
Focus on Preventative Measures — Hygiene & Germ Control
Our janitorial staff should wash their hands however many times is necessary, and also keep equipment clean and well maintained.
Hygiene & Germ Control
Our cleaning staff will be trained to focus on cleaning touch points such as door knobs, handles, bright work, fixtures and any other common areas in the building where occupants come in contact. SMG staff also takes the time and care to properly apply disinfectant in restrooms by following the proper dwell time for chemical to work on the surface. The main purpose is to disinfect or remove any spot by using less product, while maintaining a hygienic environment.