Facility management is no easy task. The added pressure of needing to gain and maintain a green status can be overwhelming for even the most efficient facility managers. Understanding which products to use and just how to use them can be a time consuming and exasperating task.

As a result, it is no wonder that many facilities rely on contract cleaners to manage their facilities for them. However, harmful chemicals and ineffective cleaning may result from the poor management of such contractors. Keeping the working environment free of chemicals and properly green requires hiring specialists who fully understand what that process looks like.

Ian Mac Donald from Teliot Cleaning and Hygiene Services states: “Not enough attention is being paid to the cleaning chemicals being used in our offices, shopping centres, hotels, homes, etc. Many of these chemicals are actually worse for the environment as they impact on our water sources and ultimately impact on us and future generations to come.”

To ensure this doesn’t happen, it is imperative that organisations hire green contract cleaners to manage their facilities. Green contract cleaners are identifiable by their GreenTag Certification. This certification ensures that they truly are functioning at international standards of green cleaning as an organisation. These cleaners have the expertise and the product knowledge to ensure that the proper chemical free products are being used. As well as understanding the correct procedures to follow to limit waste and reduce the potential damage to the environment and employees.

“With the water crises we have recently experienced on a global scale, I think it is more important than ever before for facility managers to be educated with regards to the proper procedures for effective resource management,” confirms John J Coetzee, CEO of Green Worx Cleaning Solutions.

Most facilities utilise a much larger amount of resources than the average home consumer. This places a stronger responsibility on facilities to manage their resources more effectively. This is also true with regards to the size of many facilities. The larger establishments use more cleaning products and also house a larger quantity of people. This in turn makes the potential harmful impact of chemical products larger than that of the average consumer.

Mac Donald continues: “As a cleaning company, we often meet with customers who don’t really care what cleaning chemicals their cleaning companies use; all they care about is the cost. We believe and try to educate all our customers and potential customers that we are all responsible for our environment and the impact on our water sources are becoming more severe. We believe that more emphasis needs to be placed on cleaning products by property management companies.”   

Selecting a green contract cleaner has other aspects which should be considered as well. Part of being green also depends on building the South African economy and utilising local products so as to give back to and maintain the South African Market. Nkululeko Sibiya from Teliot Cleaning and Hygiene Services confirms that: “… we strive to support local businesses and by doing so we make sure that money spent is kept in the South African Economy.”

Within the current global climate, it seems that giving back to and building the South African economy – while protecting and maintaining natural resources – is required to run an effective and responsible facility.

“Green contract cleaners who use eco-friendly biodegradable products and who understand the proper protocols and cleaning procedures to effectively clean and manage facilities is no longer a nice idea, but rather a necessity,” concludes Coetzee.

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