You’ve thought about it. Now your customers are asking about it. Here’s how you can implement sustainable practices in your cleaning business.
You clean a variety of facilities, from schools to office buildings to retail shops and restaurants. In many of these spaces, your clients ask if you implement sustainable practices into your work.
They might ask about green cleaning, environmentally-friendly products, or something “safe.” They may ask if you use something besides harsh chemicals. You might get asked about recycled toilet paper or earth-friendly hand soap.
Whatever your clients may call it, the end result is that they’re asking if you implement sustainable practices and products into the work you do for them.
Ready to strengthen employee and customer relationships? Let’s start the conversation! Reach out today for more info.
What does sustainable mean?
What does it mean to implement sustainable practices? Ask 10 people and you’ll probably get 10 different answers. And they may all be correct. When it comes to commercial cleaning, sustainability can cover a range of approaches, from a single aspect of your business to a top-down and bottom-up business structure.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines sustainable as “a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged.” So, if we look at that in the context of commercial cleaning, sustainable practices mean using products and methods that won’t damage or use up resources.
For example, there is a finite supply of fresh water, especially in some parts of the world. Taking advantage of cleaning equipment, supplies, and methods that reduce the amount of water we use would be considered sustainable. Using less water means you aren’t depleting the resource.
The most visible way to implement sustainable practices is to use green cleaning products. In fact, that alone can make a significant impact on the health and wellness of your employees, clients, and the environment. Some other common ways to run your business more sustainably are to switch to digital invoices, checklists, and even proposals. Or you can use recycled mop heads and cloths.
Then there are more subtle, but equally effective sustainable practices. Proper maintenance helps your equipment run more efficiently. Careful job routing saves on gas and wear and tear on your vehicles. Microfiber cloths last longer, use less water, and clean more effectively than cotton cloths.
Will this destroy my budget?
One question that comes up frequently when we think about how to implement sustainable practices is cost. How much will this cut into your budget?
You could spend a lot if you wanted. If you buy new, energy-efficient cleaning equipment, new supplies, and cases of eco-friendly cleaning products all in one go, that can add up to big numbers pretty quickly.
However, you can also spread things out. As your cloths wear out, replace them with microfiber. If a steam cleaner breaks down to an irreparable state, buy something that uses less water and energy. Gradually move from traditional cleaning chemicals to eco-friendly options.
But how much will this really cost? It’s true that even a few years ago, green cleaning products and supplies came at a premium. As they’ve grown more popular, though, the prices are more in line with most other cleaning equipment and products. There’s more to it than just the price tag, though.
More clients than ever want to implement sustainable cleaning practices into their businesses. They are actively looking for commercial cleaning companies that specialize in environmentally-friendly methods. So even if you do spend a little more on sustainable products, there’s a good chance you’ll more than make up for it with more business opportunities.
5 Ways to implement sustainable practices in your commercial cleaning business
What about the details? What does it mean to actually do the work and implement sustainable practices? Here are some ideas that can help.
1. Learn more about green cleaning products. Simply put, labels like “green” or “natural” don’t mean anything. There are no regulations around these labels. However, you can look for Green Seal certification, as well as a few other labels that ensure sustainable manufacturing practices. Read more about these products here.
2. Maintain your cleaning equipment. Well-maintained equipment last longer, performs better, and reduces the amount of waste that goes into landfills. Plus, it saves you money on repairs and downtime from poorly functioning (or non-functioning) equipment.
3. Replace your current equipment with energy-efficient equipment. For most businesses, this won’t be something you do right away – or all at once. At some point, though, you’ll need to replace your old equipment. No matter how well you maintain it, everything has a lifespan. As your equipment reaches the end of its usability, or just gets to a point where it’s entirely inefficient, replace it with more efficient, sustainable models. And yes, that will cost more than a bottom-of-the-line, good-enough replacement. However, better equipment should last longer, saving you money over the long term. Plus, some municipalities may offer tax incentives for buying more efficient equipment.
4. Train your team. No amount of equipment or products can help implement sustainable practices much if your team isn’t on board and knowledgeable. There are numerous environmentally-friendly cleaning practices your team can implement in their work. From proper cleaning solution dilution to using a color-coded cleaning system, when you train your team, they can play a big role in sustainable commercial cleaning practices.
5. Use janitorial management software to run your business more efficiently. It’s probably no surprise that we believe the right janitorial software can make a tremendous difference in how efficient your business runs. With high-quality software, you can plan your routes more efficiently, schedule your team in the best way possible, track your inventory, and more.
Remember, sustainability isn’t an all-or-nothing approach. We can always do better, and it always starts with making that initial decision to implement sustainable practices into our work.
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!