Environmentally friendly cleaning products and practices are in demand – do your practices stand up to the test?

Many companies overlook the environmental aspect of cleaning within their organisation.

But as sustainability rises higher up the agenda, businesses are looking for more ways to reduce their impact on the environment.

In line with the new UK net zero goals and your company’s environmental policy, your cleaners should be supporting you to reach your targets by ensuring they implement environmentally friendly cleaning products and practices.

If you have committed to becoming carbon neutral, reaching net zero or have an environmental policy in place, you will have processes in place for mandatory reporting.

As part of your policy, you will need to make sure your suppliers also adhere to sound environmental practices, including your cleaners.

In fact, you should be looking for a sustainable commercial cleaning company simply because it is the right thing to do!

In this article, we are going to detail the right questions to ask and give you our guide to environmentally sound cleaning practices.

Are you using environmentally friendly cleaning products and practices?

There are things you can do to check out the green credentials of any commercial cleaning company.

Ask them!
Have a conversation with your cleaner or commercial cleaning company. Ask them directly, “Are you using environmentally friendly cleaning products and practices?”
What products do they use, and do they know what ingredients they contain?

Product labels
Request to see their cleaning products and check whether they are labelled as environmentally certified cleaning products.

Examples of green certification are:

  • EU Ecolabel, known as the Flower Label, the EU Ecolabel is widely regarded as a symbol of excellence and products go through stringent testing to ensure they meet environmental standards.
  • Cradle to Cradle Certified™ assesses products based on their impact on the environment throughout the lifecycle, from initial production through to their disposal.
  • The Carbon Trust Standard certifies the efforts of companies to reduce their carbon footprint, although it is not limited to cleaning products.
  • Allergy UK Seal of Approval/The British Allery Foundation Seal of Approval both assess products for allergens and their impact on air quality and deem them safe for people with asthma or allergies.
  • Companies working towards BREEAM or LEED green building certification can benefit if they are found to use environmentally certified cleaning products.

Documentation
Ask for a copy of their environment policy to see whether they are committed to green products and practices and whether they are being compliant.

Net Zero
Check whether they have signed up to a ‘Net Zero Scheme’ and what their commitments are.

  • Are they offsetting their environmental impact?
  • Are their vehicles electric?
  • How do they dispose of waste?
  • Is there a credible timeline for reaching net zero?

Check Out Reviews
Customers often share their experiences of a professional cleaning service online, so their reviews should give you an insight into the types of products and practices used and their environmental impact.

Visit their website
If the cleaning service has environmental commitments or a policy, you should find all the details you need to know on their website, including any accreditations to external bodies that verify eco-standards.

At Crystal Clean Service, we are very aware of the environmentally damaging impact of certain cleaning products and practices, so we launched our climate pledge CrystalChange, in 2020.

It is important for our customer to know that we really care about the environment and can support them in their sustainability goals.

CrystalChange is our commitment to ensuring we have a long-term plan in place for sustainable cleaning products and practices and our goal is to be a net zero company by 2050.

You can read more about our CrystalChange climate pledge here

Is you cleaning company using environmentally friendly cleaning products and practices?

Here is the Crystal Clean Service check list for eco-friendly cleaning practices:

  • Check the commercial cleaning company uses green cleaning products certified as environmentally friendly
  • Cleaning products should be ammonia and bleach-free
  • Cleaners should use products that do not affect air quality or have strong odours or allergens
  • A professional cleaning company should minimise the use of abrasives
  • Make sure there is a recycling process for waste and waste is disposed of properly, including hazardous waste
  • Check that cleaners use microfibre cloths which are eco-friendly, reduce the need for chemicals and can be cleaned, sanitised and reused
  • Professional cleaners use water-efficient cleaning practices
  • If cleaners arrive separately on site in their own cars, this is not an environmentally friendly practice and may be an indication that the company is not being compliant with its own sustainability policy
  • Is the company committed to replacing its petrol/diesel vehicles with electric ones?
  • Check whether cleaners use energy efficient electrical cleaning equipment
  • Make sure staff are professionally trained in the use of cleaning products and equipment
  • Cleaners should use bulk products with refillable sprays to cut down on packaging and waste
  • Cleaners should be trained on the dilutions of cleaning products and understand the minimum amount required to tackle each cleaning job
  • Cleaners should have schedules, so cleaning practices are optimised for maximum efficiency and minimum use of products

By asking the questions in the first part of this article and using our checklist above to check whether your commercial cleaning company implements environmentally friendly cleaning practices, you can establish whether they are contributing to a healthier work environment.

It is also a good idea to ask ‘green’ questions to make sure they are supporting you in your environmental and sustainability goals.

At Crystal Clean Service, we only use four cleaning products, none of which contain ammonia or bleach or an artificial scent.

The products are water activated so that the minimum amount required is used at each site.

Our cleaners are trained in the exact dilutions of each product and know the dangers to health of mixing products.

Furthermore, all our cloths, brushes and mops are thoroughly cleaned and sanitised following each use, ensuring we obtain the maximum life from them while reducing waste.

We currently recycle 95% of our waste and use containers and cloths which are themselves made from recycled products.

These are just a few examples of environmentally friendly cleaning practices and how we began our CrystalChange climate pledge.

If you would like to find out more about our commitment to sustainable cleaning, contact Crystal Clean Service or call us on 0114 4010 550.

If you ask us the question ”Do you use environmentally friendly cleaning products and practices?” we will firmly answer, “Yes!” so our clients know that we are supporting them in their sustainability commitments.