Your green cleaning program is popular, but is it getting the job done? Here’s how to find out.
Your green cleaning program is your most popular offering. Clients love it, your employees feel better, and you’re getting accolades from the press for taking the steps necessary for a better future. Still, in the back of your mind, you’re wondering if this program is really all that.
Are sustainable cleaning practices going to sustain your business? Could the program be better, more effective, or more efficient? For that matter, are the green cleaning products you use actually getting the job done? Are they impactful both by environmental standards and cleanliness standards?
As a business owner, it’s always smart to ask yourself these tough questions. It’s also important to have objective information, so you can accurately answer these questions. That’s exactly what benchmarks help you do.
If you’re ready to increase the professionalism of your cleaning operation through better organization, easy access to important data, unparalleled tracking, and more, schedule a call with JM today!
What is benchmarking?
Before we get into the specifics of your green cleaning program, let’s go over benchmarking, as it’s easy to make the process more complicated than it needs to be.
Business News Daily describes benchmarking as “measuring your company’s quality, performance and growth by analyzing the processes and procedures of others.” In other words, benchmarking is a comparison. For example, how profitable is your green cleaning program as compared to the industry standard or to your biggest competition?
Benchmarking doesn’t need to be exclusively external, either. You can compare internal data, as well. For instance, is your green cleaning program as effective at reducing particle count on a surface as your conventional cleaning program?
Benchmarking is also about setting goals. After all, why go through the process if you don’t want to find areas for improvement? While goals and benchmarks aren’t quite the same thing, they are related. For example, you goal might be to surpass benchmarks (aka the industry standard) for reducing your carbon footprint as part of your green cleaning program.
Is your green cleaning program “really” performing? Here’s how to answer the question.
The first step in benchmarking your green cleaning program is determining where you want to go and what information to look at. There are a lot of points you can use here, and they don’t need to be within the commercial cleaning industry.
For example, if your green cleaning program is part of an overall goal of making your business as eco-friendly as possible, you might want to use the standards and benchmarks set for Certified B Corporations. B Certification covers most aspects of your business, from the company mission to the financial security of employees to civic engagement.
If you’re looking specifically at your green cleaning program as a subsection of your commercial cleaning business, the Green Seal Standards List might be a good starting point. These standards cover sanitary paper products, cleaning and degreasing agents, floor care products, soaps and sanitizers, and specialty cleaning products, among other things.
Of course, there’s one very important benchmark any cleaning program needs to hit, and that’s in the effectiveness of the work. This is true whether it’s a green cleaning program or not. However, many consumers have questions about the efficacy of green products in disinfecting and making a space safe and healthy.
The ISSA Clean Standards are an excellent source of objective information that can help you accurately and definitively define cleanliness, by “using ATP meters in conjunction with a more traditional audit process.” There are two standards intended for either K-12 schools, or industrial and commercial sites.
Another benchmark you can use to improve your green cleaning program is your internal data. Explore different facets of your program vs. your conventional cleaning program. You could look at anything from revenue to ROI to customer adoption. You might be surprised at some of the information you uncover.
Of course, this is all information. The next step is determining what to do with that information, and that’s going to depend, in part, on what your ultimate goals are. If you’re working to achieve a cleanliness goal, it might be a simple matter of finding a more effective cleaning product. If you’re looking more toward B Corp Certification, it can be a detailed process that will take some time.
Here’s the important thing. No matter what you decide to do, when you have the information you need, you can make better choices. A benchmark isn’t the final destination, either. It’s a point along your journey to making your business the best it can be.
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