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Green Building Certification

Aug 3, 2008
The janitorial industry might be the last place you might think of nationwide innovation, but the janitorial business is in transition as the Green movement takes over. This is no longer an obscure industry of brooms, mops, and trash removal. Things are changing rapidly and the Green market has brought new value to every janitorial service that cleans our schools, homes, offices, and factories. The reason is that the janitorial service is the starting point of Green operation.

Florida is an example of the impact of Green mandates. Governor Christ passed a requirement that the state would not do business with any hotel that did not conform to a Green facility. This created an immediate rush for hotels to Go Green. Similar rules are being passed in other states that will affect nearly every type of business.

The Green School Act is yet another illustration of the power of the Green movement on business. New York and Illinois have already passed the Green School Act, and other states are sure to follow. In the state of New York, letters are going out telling all building owners that they have a limited time to get ready for new Green mandates in the city. We find that cities and states are anxious to pass rules and mandates requiring businesses to conform to Green standards.

You already know that Bill Clinton signed Executive Order 13101 that required all government agencies and building to install Green products and services. George W Bush signed another executive order strengthening Green requirements in government facilities. Already, cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego, Dallas, and Fort Lauderdale are promoting their cities as "Green Cities" asking all companies and corporations to "Go Green." You can easily see why knowledgeable people are predicting that the Green market will take over all businesses in the next two years.

Beware of Green pretenders, however. Many janitorial services are using token efforts to participate in this new, Green economy. They are adding a few Green products to their janitor cart and they will pick up some HEPA vacuums as the older models wear out. The fact is that you cannot buy Green in a bottle. It is a practice as much as it is the product being used. When all janitorial services have adding in a few Green products, we will reach something called "Green Equalization" where all look alike but none are fully qualified.

The great separator of pretenders from Green janitorial services is their training and certification. This seems the only way to validate the level of knowledge and the commitment to reputable Green services. Green Clean Institute is now the largest training and certification program in America and Canada. Rather than self-appointment as a Green janitorial firm, it is important that an independent third party organization establishes a standard and required training for true certification. When a company who does the service also sets their own standard for performance, we are all left with arbitrary and conflicting ideas of what to expect.

Green Seal certifies products, but Green Clean Institute certifies janitorial services. If your company is "Going Green," you will want to look into the GCI Green Building program. You should also require that your janitorial/cleaning service become Green Clean certified as well. Frankly, there is no substitute for the quality, training, support, and certification of Green Clean Institute. As the largest certification organization for janitorial services, Green Clean Institute is the best resource for Green Business.

Remember that Green is not a substitute word for environmentalism. It directly refers to the health quality of a facility and the health impact on the people who inhabit that building. If your company is planning to "Go Green," the key issues are not energy or water conservation, building materials, or access to public transportation. The whole project is to improve the indoor air quality and the continued good health of all the people in that facility.

We are in a major transition period that requires us to move from the standard practices of the past to the better practices that come from Green Awareness. It seems to be more than an American issue since every country knows that we must preserve and conserve our precious resources. It seems to be only a question of whether each of us will make the change voluntarily or by government regulation.
About the Author
Locate a great janitorial service for your business and achieve a GCI Green Building status. Green Janitor uses a unique janitorial service program to enable your company to craft a Green Building program that really counts.
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