Our robust green cleaning program is a manifestation of our commitment to the principles of sustainability, conservation of natural resources, protection of the vulnerable populations, and protection of the wellbeing of our employees as well as that of your tenants.
We follow the guidelines of GS-42 standard and those of the US Green Building Council promulgated in LEED_EB:OM. We have implemented Green Cleaning Program at many of our customers’ locations and helped our customers attain LEED certification. EMC LEED-EB Gold; Novartis Institute – LEED-EB Gold, CB Richard-Ellis – LEED-EB Gold, Alexandria RE – LEED-EB Gold, Jones Lang LaSalle – LEED-EB Gold
Green Cleaning Products & Materials
Our Green Cleaning Program eliminates the need for the traditionally vast array of cleaning chemicals. With the introduction of Activeion™ technology and cleaning solutions based on oxygen-peroxide, routine cleaning can be performed just as effectively with fewer cleaning products.
The cleaning solutions, equipment, and methods that we rely on safeguard Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), which impacts the health of the occupants and maintenance personnel alike.
For us, Green Cleaning is more than just switching a few cleaning chemicals; it is about effective cleaning to create healthier buildings while simultaneously reducing environmental impacts.
Sustainable Cleaning Equipment
LEED-EB:OM EQ Credit 3.7 Green Cleaning:Sustainable Cleaning Equipment requires implementation of a program for the use of janitorial equipment that reduces building contaminants and minimizes environmental impact.
- Vacuum cleaners must be certified by the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) “Green Label” Testing Program and operate below 70dB sound level (measured at the operator’s site).
- Carpet extraction equipment is certified by the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) “Seal of Approval” Testing Program.
- Powered floor maintenance equipment is equipped with vacuums, guards, and / or other devices for capturing fine particulates AND operates below 70dB.
- Automated scrubbing machines are equipped with variable-speed feed pumps and an on-board chemical metering to optimize the use of cleaning fluids.
- Battery-powered equipment operates on the environmentally-preferred gel batteries.
- Powered equipment is ergonomically designed, and equipment is designed with safeguards, such as rollers or rubber bumpers
Paper Products and Plastic Liners
LEED-EB:OM EQ Credit 3.1 Green Cleaning: High Performance Cleaning Program requires, among other things, that the janitorial service provider use sustainable cleaning materials, products, equipment, and janitorial paper products and trash bags (including microfiber tools and wipes). American Cleaning purchases disposables such as paper towels, toilet tissue, and plastic trash bags that meet the EPA’s standards. Bathroom tissue contains 20 to 60 percent of post-consumer waste content and 20 to 100 percent of total recycled content. Paper towels 40 to 60 percent of post-consumer waste content and 40 to 100 percent of total recycled content. These products are selected with such criteria as:
- Their total recycled content
- Post-consumer waste content
- Type of the bleaching process employed in their production
- Presence or absence of bleaching
- The product’s performance
Microfiber cleaning tools used by American Cleaning Company are a quintessential green cleaning component. Microfiber is both reusable and recyclable. Microfiber mops can be laundered and reused hundreds of times and microfiber work tools are up to 75 percent lighter than their traditional equivalents, which allows us to reduce worker strain.
Microfiber’s absorbent qualities make it far more effective at collecting and holding dust, dirt, and allergens than any other traditional cleaning product. Microfiber cleaning has been shown to reduce bacteria levels by as much as 99 percent. Additionally, microfiber works effectively with minimal amounts of water or cleaning chemical. Microfiber cleaning tools use 95 percent less cleaning solution than traditional cleaning.
One of American Cleaning’s goals in implementing the Green Cleaning Program is not only to use environmentally preferable cleaning products, but also to use the lowest effective amount of a cleaning product to perform a cleaning task up to the highest Green Cleaning standards.
Sustainable Cleaning Procedures – Cleaning for Health
The concept of cleaning for health has been around for a long time, but it is only during the last decade that it gained prominence. Its advocates cleaning in a manner that promotes health of the building occupants, the janitorial staff, and the building itself. The shiny and glistening appearance of the cleaned area becomes of secondary importance.
Cleaning For Health Principles:
- Prevent the dirt from entering and spreading through the building
- Most of the time it is sufficient to remove most of the germs from a cleaned surface; it is not necessary to kill the all the germ with a chemical on contact
- Use soaps free of antibacterial agents
- Sanitize; disinfect only when absolutely necessary
- Eliminate the use of aerosol sprays and fragrances
- Use third-party green certified cleaning products and equipment
- Regularly maintain and update mechanical cleaning equipment
- Use microfiber and color code its use to help avoid cross-contamination
American Cleaning helps our customers attain the highest standards of recycling though implementation of our Green Cleaning program.
LEED® for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance, (April, 2008), provides for one or two points’ credit towards the certification depending upon how the building manages the ongoing consumables in the solid waste stream. The ongoing consumables categorization includes: paper, toner cartridges, glass, plastic, cardboard, corrugated cardboard, food waste and metals.
LEED® Materials and Resources (MR) Credit 7.1 Solid Waste Management: Ongoing Consumables gains one point if 50 percent of the ongoing consumables waste stream, measured either by weight or by volume, is diverted to reuse, recycling, or composting.
LEED® Materials and Resources (MR) Credit 7.2 Solid Waste Management: Ongoing Consumables one gains two points if 70 percent of the ongoing consumables waste stream, measured either by weight or by volume, is diverted to reuse, recycling, or composting.
An additional one point may be gained under LEED® Materials and Resources (MR) Credit 8: Solid Waste Management: Durable Goods, provided that the building reuses or recycles 75 per cent of the durable goods waste stream measured by weight, volume, or replacement value.
The Durable Goods categorization includes: Office equipment (e.g.: computers, copiers, fax machines, monitors, printers, scanners), appliances (e.g. air conditioners, dishwashers, refrigerators, water coolers), external power adapters, TV sets, and other audio-visual equipment.
The designation “vulnerable population” denotes building occupants and/or visitors whose immune systems may have been compromised; those who are more susceptible to the adverse effects of the use of fragrances, harsh chemicals, cleaning products, and VOCs; and generally, those with allergies and physical handicaps. Examples of such groups include people with chemical or fragrance allergies, pregnant women, children, elderly, people undergoing treatment, or those guided by a seeing-eye dog.
American Cleaning staff work closely with building management and office occupants to identify vulnerable persons and the nature of their needs or sensitivities. Such identification allows us to ensure that the cleaning products used do not exacerbate their sensitivities. Awareness of a person’s particular sensitivities allows us to adjust our cleaning schedule so as to minimize his/her exposure to cleaning products, dust, or fragrances.
Custodial Effectiveness Assessment
EED® Indoor Environmental Quality (EQ) Credit 3.2 – 3.3 Green Cleaning: Custodial Effectiveness Assessment awards one or two points towards a building’s LEED certification depending on the results of a cleaning walkthrough inspection of a representative sample of the building’s spaces. If the building scores 3 or less on a scale of 5, it can claim 1 point; if 2 or less it can claim 2 points.
The auditing team grades the building on the following scale:
- Orderly Spotless
- Ordinary Tidiness
- Casual Inattention
- Moderate Dinginess
- Unkempt Neglect
American Cleaning follows the standard developed by the Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers and first published in Jack C. Dudley, (Ed.), Custodial Staffing Guidelines for Educational Facilities, in 1992.
Pathway to LEED Certification
LEED EB:OM version 2 in Prerequisite 3 requires establishing a Green Cleaning Policy as a pre-condition for pursuing a LEED certification. The Policy aims at reducing the exposure of building occupants and maintenance personnel to potentially hazardous contaminants. Green Cleaning Policy must address the following:
- Purchase of sustainable cleaning, floor, and carpet care products, as specified in EQ Credits 3.4—3.6.
- Purchase of sustainable cleaning equipment, as specified in EQ Credit 3.7.
- Establishment of Standard Operating Procedures.
- Development of strategies for improving hand hygiene.
- Development of guidelines addressing the safe handling and storage of cleaning chemicals.
- Development of requirements for staffing and training of maintenance personnel.
- Establishment of methodology for collecting occupant feedback.
There are following points related to janitorial operations that a building may seek – each is worth 1 point:
- EQ Credit 3.1 Green Cleaning: High-Performance Cleaning Program
- EQ Credit 3.2 Green Cleaning: Custodial Effectiveness Assessment, if the score is 3 or less
- EQ Credit 3.2 Green Cleaning: Custodial Effectiveness Assessment, if the score is 2 or less
- EQ Credit 3.4 Green Cleaning: Sustainable Cleaning Products and Materials, if 30 per cent meet sustainability criteria
- EQ Credit 3.5 Green Cleaning: Sustainable Cleaning Products and Materials, if 60 per cent meet sustainability criteria
- EQ Credit 3.6 Green Cleaning: Sustainable Cleaning Products and Materials, if 90 per cent meet sustainability criteria
- EQ Credit 3.7 Green Cleaning: Sustainable Cleaning Equipment
- EQ Credit 3.8 Green Cleaning: Entryway Systems
- EQ Credit 3.9 Green Cleaning: Indoor Integrated Pest Management