Floraclean is committed to reducing the environmental impact of our service and assisting our customers with achieving their desired level of environmental responsibility. Whether our customers want the benefit of general green cleaning or achieve LEED certification, we can help reach the goals.
1. the ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level “the sustainability of economic growth”
2. avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance.
FLORACLEAN PLAN FOR BUYING SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTS
Cleaning products are necessary for maintaining attractive and healthful conditions in the home and workplace. In addition to the obvious aesthetic benefits of cleaning, the removal of dust, allergens, and infectious agents is crucial to maintaining a healthy indoor environment. Cleaning products can present several health and environmental concerns. They may contain chemicals associated with eye, skin, or respiratory irritation, or other human health issues. Additionally, the concentrated forms of some commercial cleaning products are classified as hazardous, creating potential handling, storage, and disposal issues for users. Reducing human health and environmental concerns is an important incentive for implementing an EPP cleaning products program. Many of the recommendations in the guide are based on the fundamental pollution prevention principles of reducing the quantity and hazards of materials used.
Cleaning products are released to the environment during normal use through evaporation of volatile components and rinsing down the drain of residual product from cleaned surfaces, sponges, etc. Floraclean staff and others who perform cleaning can be exposed to concentrated cleaning products. However, proper training and use of a Chemical Management System (a set of formal procedures to ensure proper storage, handling, and use) can greatly minimize or prevent exposure to concentrated cleaning products during handling and use.
Certain ingredients in cleaning products can present hazard concerns to exposed populations (e.g., skin and eye irritation in workers) or toxicity to aquatic species in waters receiving inadequately treated wastes (note that standard sewage treatment effectively reduces or removes most cleaning product constituents). For example, alkylphenol ethoxylates, a common surfactant ingredient in cleaners, have been shown in laboratory studies to function as an “endocrine disruptor,” causing adverse reproductive effects of the types seen in wildlife exposed to polluted waters.
Ingredients containing phosphorus or nitrogen can contribute to nutrient-loading in water bodies, leading to adverse effects on water quality. These contributions, however, are typically small compared to other point and nonpoint sources. Volatile organic compounds (VOC) in cleaning products can affect indoor air quality and also contribute to smog formation in outdoor air.
(Sources: Choose Green Report on General Purpose Cleaners, Green Seal, March 1998; Green Seal Standard and Environmental Evaluation for General-Purpose, Bathroom, and Glass Cleaners Used for Industrial and Institutional Purposes, October 2000; Hormonally Active Agents in the Environment, National Research Council, National Academy Press, 1999)
Magnitude of Potential Exposure
Floraclean staff perform light cleaning on a routine or daily basis, e.g. dusting, wiping off desks and counters, etc. All building occupants are potentially exposed to the volatile components of cleaning products. Data shows that about 6 percent of janitors experience a job-related injury from chemical exposure to cleaning products every year.
(Sources: Green Seal Standard and Environmental Evaluation for General-Purpose, Bathroom, and Glass Cleaners Used for Industrial and Institutional Purposes, October 2000; Greening the Janitorial Business- How to Select and Use Safe Janitorial Chemicals, Workshop for NISH, US Dept. of Interior, November 2001)
Benefits of Buying Green
Choosing less hazardous products that have positive environmental attributes (e.g., biodegradability, low toxicity, low volatile organic compound (VOC) content, reduced packaging, low life cycle energy use) and taking steps to reduce exposure can minimize harmful impacts to our workers and building occupants, improve indoor air quality, and reduce water and ambient air pollution while also ensuring the effectiveness of cleaning in removing biological and other contaminants from the building’s interior. Buying cleaners in concentrates with appropriate handling safeguards, and reusable, reduced, or recyclable packaging, reduces packaging waste and transportation energy. Buying less hazardous cleaners will reduce costs when it comes time to properly dispose of any leftover cleaners.
When purchasing cleaning products, the overall best value takes into account performance, price, availability, regulatory requirements, and environmental impact. We examine as many relevant product attributes as possible, recognizing that tradeoffs are inevitable. For example, one product may be made with renewable resources (a desirable characteristic), while another product has a lower VOC content (also a desirable characteristic). Floraclean purchasers are careful in interpreting vague or generic claims such as “environmentally friendly,” “eco safe,” etc. We ask vendors and manufacturers offering green cleaning products to clearly and specifically define their green claims. Guidance on the use and interpretation of environmental marketing claims is available from the Federal Trade Commission. We ask manufacturers if they have conducted life cycle studies on their products. In the absence of comprehensive life cycle data, purchasers must simply make the best decision possible with the information available. We take the following factors into our purchasing criteria:
Product Content and Use
Minimal presence of or exposure to potentially harmful chemicals, such as:
• Corrosive or strongly irritating substances.
• Substances classified as known or likely human carcinogens or reproductive toxicants by authorities such as the National Toxicology Program, the U.S. EPA, the International Agency for Research on Cancer or the State of California.
• Ozone-depleting compounds as listed in Clean Air Act regulations.
• Regulated hazardous materials (e.g. products classified as hazardous waste; products that trigger OSHA hazard communication requirements).
• Use of renewable resources, such as biobased solvents from citrus, seed, vegetable, and pine oils.
• Low VOC content.
• Biodegradable by standard methods and definitions, e.g. ready biodegradability as defined by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). EXIT “Ready biodegradability” is a definition meant to ensure that a material degrades relatively quickly in an aquatic aerobic environment.
• Low toxicity in aquatic species such as fish or aquatic invertebrates, e.g. LC50 or EC50 > 10 mg/L (chronic) reported on MSDS or other product literature.
• Low flammability, e.g. flash point > 200 degrees F.
• Designed for use in cold water in order to conserve energy.
• Limit use of disinfectants to areas where people are likely to come into contact with contaminated surfaces (e.g., bathroom fixtures, doorknobs, other high-touch surfaces). Many general-purpose cleaning tasks do not typically require the use of disinfectants (e.g., walls, floors, other surfaces with minimal hand contact).
• Conduct training on proper use of products.
Product Packaging and Shipping
• Concentrated formulas with appropriate handling safeguards.
• Efficient packaging (e.g., light weight, reduced volume).
• Recyclable packaging.
• Recycled-content packaging.
• Refillable bottles.
• Pump sprays rather than aerosols.
• Packaging and dilution systems designed to reduce exposure to the product.
• Products shipped in bulk.
• Clear labeling and information on use and disposal.
• Corporate Environmental Performance
• Does the company have a formal environmental management system? (e.g., steps to reduce waste and emissions, efficient use of energy and materials, use of alternative fuels or renewable energy)
• Does the company have International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14001 certification?
• Does the company have a formal partnership with Safer Choice?
Commitment to Carbon Neutrality
“We are committed to ongoing reductions in carbon in the spirit of continuous improvement. Ultimately, our operations will be carbon neutral. We will also enable our clients to achieve their carbon goals through sound engineering principles and advice.”
GREEN CLEANING—CUSTODIAL EFFECTIVENESS ASSESSMENT
To reduce the exposure of building occupants and maintenance personnel to potentially hazardous chemical, biological and particulate contaminants, which adversely affect air quality, human health, building finishes, building systems and the environment, by implementing, managing and auditing cleaning procedures and processes.
Floraclean will participate in conducting an audit in accordance with APPA Leadership in Educational Facilities’ (APPA). This audit will be led by the client.
POTENTIAL TECHNOLOGIES & STRATEGIES
Floraclean will conduct weekly or monthly site tours to assess the effectiveness of the cleaning program and adjust if needed.
FLORACLEAN LEED COMPLIANCE PROGRAM
GREEN CLEANING—HIGH PERFORMANCE CLEANING PROGRAM
To reduce the exposure of building occupants and maintenance personnel to potentially hazardous chemical, biological and particulate contaminants, which adversely affect air quality, human health, building finishes, building systems and the environment.
• Create a high-performance cleaning schedule which maximizes time and energy.
• Staff the site with an adequate number of personnel to efficiently complete the task.
• Complete training on the hazards, use, maintenance, disposal and recycling of cleaning chemicals, dispensing equipment and packaging.
• Use only concentrated chemicals with dispenser systems.
• Use only re-usable and sustainable cleaning materials products, equipment, janitorial paper products and trash bags ( including micro-fibre tools and wipes).
• Use sustainable cleaning and hard floor and carpet care products meeting the sustainability criteria.
• Use of approved equipment meeting sustainability criteria.
TECHNOLOGIES & STRATEGIES
Floraclean creates a high-performance cleaning program, supported by policy, staffing plans, standard operating procedures and storage procedures. Floraclean will ensure our cleaning and programs are effective and efficient.
LEED GREEN CLEANING PROGRAM
Green cleaning refers to using cleaning methods and products with environmentally friendly ingredients and procedures which are designed to preserve human health and environmental quality. Green cleaning techniques and products avoid the use of products which contain toxic chemicals, some of which emit volatile organic compounds causing respiratory, dermatological and other conditions. Green cleaning can also describe the way residential and industrial cleaning products are manufactured, packaged and distributed.
DIRTY CLEANING INGREDIENTS
Certain chemicals commonly found in conventional cleaning products present known or suspected problems for the people that use them and the environment once washed down the drain. Volatile organic compounds, used to enhance the performance of a product, can impair neurological functions, while other chemicals can act as respiratory irritants, carcinogens or reproductive toxins, depending upon the extent of exposure, according to the National Environmental Trust and other environmental groups. Phosphates can cause the eutrophication of rivers and other bodies of water, which can deplete them of oxygen and decrease water quality. There is little regulation of cleaning chemicals, and there are virtually no labeling requirements to let people know what they are exposing themselves and the planet to.
FLORACLEAN LEED ENVIRONMENTAL GOALS ARE THE FOLLOWING:
1. Education & Training Programs: Training in procedures, techniques, chemical usage, equipment operations and safety are done continually through in-class or video training. The Floraclean Training Institute was established to improve our teams knowledge, and to help them be successful with their career.
2. Source Reduction & Waste Management: Floraclean uses cleaning tools that are re-used and durable. We ensure our clients have the best waste system and ensure it operates efficiently. We firmly believe that waste is costing us and the environment. Cutting the waste is good for all of us.
3. Sustainable Cleaning Products: Our cleaning products from our suppliers are all non-residue and non-surfactant. Oxygen, ions and hydrochloric based products have by-products that complement our environment. Our products come in concentrated form and will be dispensed from our janitor’s closet or water source. A complete list will be submitted upon start up.
4. Occupant Recycling: Recycling will be collected and sorted for collection. Paper, cardboard, plastics, glass, metals, magazines, paints, electronics and bio-waste will all be sorted for collection.
5. Entryway Systems: The building will have adequate floor matting and the front of the building will be kept clean to minimize soil from entering.
6. Isolation of Janitorial Closets: Our closet will be kept clean and free of soiled tools and cloths and the chemical system will be one that is mounted on the wall. Chemicals will be compact in the concentrated form with all MSDS on site.
7. Low Environmental Impact Cleaning Policy: Green cleaning is a concept – a collection of products, tools and practices that focus on creating healthy, productive indoor environments while reducing environmental impacts.
8. Innovation: Floraclean and our suppliers are continually looking for better ways to improve our service and our environmental impact. Floraclean has evolved continually over the last 18 years. From introducing new equipment, training, micro-fibre, non-residue cleaners and recycling. We look forward to new changes and are always looking ahead.
FLORACLEAN WATER AND ENERGY CONSERVATION PROGRAM
• Reduce energy and/or water use per square foot by 10 percent in the community, company, or industry.
• Raise awareness about energy and water efficiency by achieving 100 percent target participation.
• Support existing commitments to social responsibility and environmental stewardship.
• Learn about patterns of energy and water use and share best practices.
• Demonstrate environmental leadership through energy and water efficiency.
VISION: We will exercise stewardship in our use of energy resources to demonstrate leadership, optimize our delivery of services, and enhance the overall quality of life in our business. We will manage energy efficiently, reduce our total energy consumption. This will involve all Floraclean employees’ participation to develop energy saving strategies, to implement the energy plan and to make our operations an environmentally sustainable service.
POLICY: We will incorporate energy efficiency into all areas of our activity including our organizational and human resources management procedures, procurement practices, financial management, investment decisions, facility operations and maintenance. We will develop a purchasing policy to ensure that energy conservation and efficiency is a key factor in any new equipment purchasing and facility updates. We will develop corporate wide policy to engage employees in taking energy saving actions in the workplace.
• Conducting pre- and post Startup meeting with all stakeholders
• Recruiting key staff and corresponding with them throughout the startup
• Collecting, analyzing, and reporting data for surfaces cleaned and projected processes
• Informing participants about the resources and support provided by the supplier, as well as incentives offered by utilities or other energy efficiency program sponsors
• Training participants in the use of Energy Guide and Supplier representative and providing them with other general support
Innovative Energy Solutions
Many of Floraclean cleaning operations are machine driven. But even in such energy-dense environments, Floraclean employees continue to find ways to implement innovative energy solutions to reduce the company’s environmental impact as well as energy costs. Our managers prefer the usage of low amp, battery propulsion driven auto scrubbers, low volt vacuum cleaners and low emission electric pressure systems. We are using the highest Energy Guide rated machines, this allows Floraclean staff to complete the work in our client’s energy environment. To help our staff use less fuel and reduce our GHG emissions, Floraclean promotes transit, has high efficient vehicles and promotes ride share program.
Improving Water Conservation
Our cleaning process may require the usage of considerable water to RINSE our solution and debris from the cleaning surfaces. We have partnered with ECOLAB to use products that require less water to remove and leave no surfactants on the surface, essentially, they will evaporate with no residues. Our auto scrubbers clean with less water, our marble polishing uses less water and the trend for our manufacturer is to continue to develop equipment that is highly efficient with little water usage. We have moved to DRY stripping machines to strip and resurface flooring.
Reducing Waste and Conserving Natural Resources
Resource conservation and waste reduction are vital goals for many of Floraclean’s customers. To help them realize the full value of their assets, Floraclean’s service delivery team works with suppliers to help customers identify innovative ways to make their operations more efficient. These solutions often produce additional sustainability benefits. For instance, optimizing fleet efficiency reduces costs, and improves the life cycle of a machine, in turn reducing raw material consumption.
FLORACLEAN WASTE DIVERSION PROGRAM
Waste diversion is a vital component of not only effective recycling but also reducing the amount of waste produced. The goal of waste diversion is to divert wastes from making their way into landfills. Waste diversion can take on a variety of forms but may also include several treatment processes in order to prevent waste from going to the landfill.
SOURCE: Waste reduction at the source is one of the best methods for diverting wastes from landfills. This method involves avoiding the use of materials that are not recyclable, reusable or disposable. Such materials are referred to as throw-away materials and may include disposable cups, plates, and cellophanes. These types of materials are typically designed to be used and then disposed of. Along with the fact that these materials cannot typically be composted, and usually cannot be recycled. Avoiding the use of such materials helps to minimize the amount of waste generated and sent to landfills.
RECYCLING: Other methods for waste diversion involve recycling and reusing materials that are non-biodegradable. Recycling refers to the process of creating a new product from waste materials. This is not the same as reusing, which involves either using the material for the same purpose for which it was originally designed or using it for another purpose without altering its chemical or physical properties. Common waste materials that can be reused include empty bottles, plastic containers, aluminum cans, and plastic bags.
COMPOSTING: Composting biodegradable wastes offers another option for waste diversion. When waste materials are converted into soil additives, the process is known as composting. When biodegradable materials are not diverted from landfills, they can contribute to methane emission, which can ultimately result in climate change. The best method for diverting these wastes is through composting. Along with preventing gas emissions, composting can also provide an excellent source of fertilizer for farming.
It should be noted that not all types of wastes are suitable for diversion from a landfill. There are some wastes that are not able to be recycled, composted, or reused. Some wastes are referred to as residual wastes and must be disposed of in the proper manner. Ultimately, the more waste that a facility can divert, lesser amounts of residual waste will make its way to landfills.
By thinking outside the recycled paper box, your business can reduce its waste stream, make a positive impact on the environment and help the bottom line. A waste reduction plan moves beyond office paper recycling to address purchasing decisions and re-use strategies. Benefits include reduced operating costs due to lower disposal costs, reduced materials costs, and improved operating efficiency.
For example, waste reduction can be achieved through more efficient use of raw materials. That efficiency can be gained by improving other areas of your business, such as process or operations improvements, improved maintenance, or even employee training. With recycling and waste minimization laws becoming more prevalent across Canada, businesses can take the initiative by implementing voluntary measures to control waste now—ultimately helping to shape the impact that future waste legislation might have on their business.
Our attention to environmental, social and economic responsibility includes working within the law and voluntarily exceeding legal requirements in order to be innovative and demonstrate leadership on the issues that are important to us and our stakeholders. As we design experiences, execute events and evaluate our success we can choose every day in big and small ways how our actions and words build a better quality of life for our employees, clients, event participants and suppliers.
Internal senior reviews will be held at least once per year.