BP11: Green Cleaning

Official language

Using environmentally friendly cleaning practices can be one of the easiest and more effective best practices to implement and can usually be achieved without a cost premium. Most major cleaning supply companies now offer green options and partnering with a trusted vendor that is certified in green cleaning practices can help bolster the application of this best practice.

This best practice intends to help the building operator minimize the exposure of toxic chemicals to building occupants and reduce the adverse effects of those chemicals on the environment.

 

Objective

Create and implement a green cleaning policy that establishes consistent and effective cleaning procedures for all spaces within the project management’s control that utilize cleaning products and practices that are least harmful human health and the environment.

Submittal Requirements

The following are the required submittals in order to fulfill the objective of this best practice.

 

Option 1. 3rd Party Contracted Cleaning Services

(certified green cleaning vendor services)

  • Documentation of vendor certification under, at least, one of the following green cleaning certifications:
    • ISSA CIMS-GB (International Sanitary Supply Association Cleaning Industry Management Standard for Green Buildings);
    • GS-42 (Green Seal’s Environmental Standard for Commercial Cleaning Services); or
    • A local equivalent certification that meets intent of this best practice.
  • Documentation verifying the current use of green cleaning services throughout the project (e.g., an executed vendor services agreement).

OR

Option 2. 3rd Party Contracted Cleaning Services

(non-certified green cleaning vendor services)

  • A green cleaning policy for the project that includes:
    • Purpose: clear statement of why the policy exists  and how it will support the overall sustainability goals of the organization.
    • Start Date: date the policy goes into effect.
    • Scope: activities covered by the policy.
    • Goals: intended outcomes of the policy.
    • Responsible Parties: person(s), vendor(s), or department(s) responsible for implementing certain sections of the policy.
    • Guidelines: procedures to implement the policy including a list of all cleaning products and materials approved for use in throughout the building or tenant-controlled space and, where applicable, their environmentally preferred attribute(s). (*if not already included in BP15 Green Purchasing guidelines.)
    • Strategies: best practices or techniques used to enhance implementation of the policy including how cleaning practices are communicated to occupants and contracted service providers.
    • Continual Improvement: process for promoting and implementing ongoing improvements to green cleaning practices.
    • Tracking: method of verifying adherence to policy guidelines and monitoring its success.
    • Performance Metrics: procedures on quantifying the policy’s success.

OR

Option 3. In-House Cleaning Services

  • A green cleaning policy for the project that includes:
    • Purpose: clear statement of why the policy exists  and how it will support the overall sustainability goals of the organization.
    • Start Date: date the policy goes into effect.
    • Scope: activities covered by the policy.
    • Goals: intended outcomes of the policy.
    • Responsible Parties: person(s), or department(s) responsible for implementing certain sections of the policy.
    • Guidelines: procedures to implement the policy including a list of all cleaning products and materials approved for use in throughout the building or tenant-controlled space and, where applicable, their environmentally preferred attribute(s). (*if not already included in BP15 Green Purchasing guidelines.)
    • Strategies: best practices or techniques used to enhance implementation of the policy including how cleaning practices are communicated to occupants and contracted service providers.
    • Continual Improvement: process for promoting and implementing ongoing improvements to green cleaning practices.
    • Tracking: method of verifying adherence to policy guidelines and monitoring its success.
    • Performance Metrics: procedures on quantifying the policy’s success.

 

For Tenant-Controlled Spaces

Option 1. 3rd Party Contracted Cleaning Services

(certified green cleaning vendor services)

  • Documentation of vendor certification under, at least, one of the following green cleaning certifications:
    • ISSA CIMS-GB (International Sanitary Supply Association Cleaning Industry Management Standard for Green Buildings);
    • GS-42 (Green Seal’s Environmental Standard for Commercial Cleaning Services); or
    • A local equivalent certification that meets intent of this best practice.
  • Documentation verifying the current use  of green cleaning services throughout the building or tenant-controlled space (e.g., an executed vendor services agreement).

OR

Option 2. 3rd Party Contracted Cleaning Services

(non-certified green cleaning vendor services)

  • A green cleaning policy for the project that includes:
    • Purpose: clear statement of why the policy exists  and how it will support the overall sustainability goals of the organization.
    • Start Date: date the policy goes into effect.
    • Scope: activities covered by the policy.
    • Goals: intended outcomes of the policy.
    • Responsible Parties: person(s), vendor(s), or department(s) responsible for implementing certain sections of the policy.
    • Guidelines: procedures to implement the policy including a list of all cleaning products and materials approved for use in throughout the building or tenant-controlled space and, where applicable, their environmentally preferred attribute(s). (*if not already included in BP15 Green Purchasing guidelines.)
    • Strategies: best practices or techniques used to enhance implementation of the policy including how cleaning practices are communicated to occupants and contracted service providers.
    • Continual Improvement: process for promoting and implementing ongoing improvements to green cleaning practices.
    • Tracking: method of verifying adherence to policy guidelines and monitoring its success.
    • Performance Metrics: procedures on quantifying the policy’s success.

OR

Option 3. In-House Cleaning Services

  • A green cleaning policy for the project that includes:
    • Purpose: clear statement of why the policy exists  and how it will support the overall sustainability goals of the organization.
    • Start Date: date the policy goes into effect.
    • Scope: activities covered by the policy.
    • Goals: intended outcomes of the policy.
    • Responsible Parties: person(s), or department(s) responsible for implementing certain sections of the policy.
    • Guidelines: procedures to implement the policy including a list of all cleaning products and materials approved for use in throughout the building or tenant-controlled space and, where applicable, their environmentally preferred attribute(s). (*if not already included in BP15 Green Purchasing guidelines.)
    • Strategies: best practices or techniques used to enhance implementation of the policy including how cleaning practices are communicated to occupants and contracted service providers.
    • Continual Improvement: process for promoting and implementing ongoing improvements to green cleaning practices.
    • Tracking: method of verifying adherence to policy guidelines and monitoring its success.
    • Performance Metrics: procedures on quantifying the policy’s success.

OR

Option 4. Declination from Ownership/Management

  • If ownership/management is unwilling to engage, documentation of request to ownership/management for a building-wide cleaning policy.
  • Process for reengaging ownership/management on, at least, an annual basis.​​​​​​​

Implementation Guidance

See BIT Building Program Manual for additional details and recommended steps for implementing this best practice.

See all forum discussions about this Best Practice »

BIT User’s viewpoint

Frequently asked questions

Online resources

Implementation toolkit

Using environmentally friendly cleaning practices can be one of the easiest and more effective best practices to implement and can usually be achieved without a cost premium. Most major cleaning supply companies now offer green options and partnering with a trusted vendor that is certified in green cleaning practices can help bolster the application of this best practice.

This best practice intends to help the building operator minimize the exposure of toxic chemicals to building occupants and reduce the adverse effects of those chemicals on the environment.

 

Objective

Create and implement a green cleaning policy that establishes consistent and effective cleaning procedures for all spaces within the project management’s control that utilize cleaning products and practices that are least harmful human health and the environment.

Implementation Requirements

See BIT Building Program Manual for additional details and recommended steps for implementing this best practice.

Submittal Requirements

The following are the required submittals in order to fulfill the objective of this best practice.

 

Option 1. 3rd Party Contracted Cleaning Services

(certified green cleaning vendor services)

  • Documentation of vendor certification under, at least, one of the following green cleaning certifications:
    • ISSA CIMS-GB (International Sanitary Supply Association Cleaning Industry Management Standard for Green Buildings);
    • GS-42 (Green Seal’s Environmental Standard for Commercial Cleaning Services); or
    • A local equivalent certification that meets intent of this best practice.
  • Documentation verifying the current use of green cleaning services throughout the project (e.g., an executed vendor services agreement).

OR

Option 2. 3rd Party Contracted Cleaning Services

(non-certified green cleaning vendor services)

  • A green cleaning policy for the project that includes:
    • Purpose: clear statement of why the policy exists  and how it will support the overall sustainability goals of the organization.
    • Start Date: date the policy goes into effect.
    • Scope: activities covered by the policy.
    • Goals: intended outcomes of the policy.
    • Responsible Parties: person(s), vendor(s), or department(s) responsible for implementing certain sections of the policy.
    • Guidelines: procedures to implement the policy including a list of all cleaning products and materials approved for use in throughout the building or tenant-controlled space and, where applicable, their environmentally preferred attribute(s). (*if not already included in BP15 Green Purchasing guidelines.)
    • Strategies: best practices or techniques used to enhance implementation of the policy including how cleaning practices are communicated to occupants and contracted service providers.
    • Continual Improvement: process for promoting and implementing ongoing improvements to green cleaning practices.
    • Tracking: method of verifying adherence to policy guidelines and monitoring its success.
    • Performance Metrics: procedures on quantifying the policy’s success.

OR

Option 3. In-House Cleaning Services

  • A green cleaning policy for the project that includes:
    • Purpose: clear statement of why the policy exists  and how it will support the overall sustainability goals of the organization.
    • Start Date: date the policy goes into effect.
    • Scope: activities covered by the policy.
    • Goals: intended outcomes of the policy.
    • Responsible Parties: person(s), or department(s) responsible for implementing certain sections of the policy.
    • Guidelines: procedures to implement the policy including a list of all cleaning products and materials approved for use in throughout the building or tenant-controlled space and, where applicable, their environmentally preferred attribute(s). (*if not already included in BP15 Green Purchasing guidelines.)
    • Strategies: best practices or techniques used to enhance implementation of the policy including how cleaning practices are communicated to occupants and contracted service providers.
    • Continual Improvement: process for promoting and implementing ongoing improvements to green cleaning practices.
    • Tracking: method of verifying adherence to policy guidelines and monitoring its success.
    • Performance Metrics: procedures on quantifying the policy’s success.

 

For Tenant-Controlled Spaces

Option 1. 3rd Party Contracted Cleaning Services

(certified green cleaning vendor services)

  • Documentation of vendor certification under, at least, one of the following green cleaning certifications:
    • ISSA CIMS-GB (International Sanitary Supply Association Cleaning Industry Management Standard for Green Buildings);
    • GS-42 (Green Seal’s Environmental Standard for Commercial Cleaning Services); or
    • A local equivalent certification that meets intent of this best practice.
  • Documentation verifying the current use  of green cleaning services throughout the building or tenant-controlled space (e.g., an executed vendor services agreement).

OR

Option 2. 3rd Party Contracted Cleaning Services

(non-certified green cleaning vendor services)

  • A green cleaning policy for the project that includes:
    • Purpose: clear statement of why the policy exists  and how it will support the overall sustainability goals of the organization.
    • Start Date: date the policy goes into effect.
    • Scope: activities covered by the policy.
    • Goals: intended outcomes of the policy.
    • Responsible Parties: person(s), vendor(s), or department(s) responsible for implementing certain sections of the policy.
    • Guidelines: procedures to implement the policy including a list of all cleaning products and materials approved for use in throughout the building or tenant-controlled space and, where applicable, their environmentally preferred attribute(s). (*if not already included in BP15 Green Purchasing guidelines.)
    • Strategies: best practices or techniques used to enhance implementation of the policy including how cleaning practices are communicated to occupants and contracted service providers.
    • Continual Improvement: process for promoting and implementing ongoing improvements to green cleaning practices.
    • Tracking: method of verifying adherence to policy guidelines and monitoring its success.
    • Performance Metrics: procedures on quantifying the policy’s success.

OR

Option 3. In-House Cleaning Services

  • A green cleaning policy for the project that includes:
    • Purpose: clear statement of why the policy exists  and how it will support the overall sustainability goals of the organization.
    • Start Date: date the policy goes into effect.
    • Scope: activities covered by the policy.
    • Goals: intended outcomes of the policy.
    • Responsible Parties: person(s), or department(s) responsible for implementing certain sections of the policy.
    • Guidelines: procedures to implement the policy including a list of all cleaning products and materials approved for use in throughout the building or tenant-controlled space and, where applicable, their environmentally preferred attribute(s). (*if not already included in BP15 Green Purchasing guidelines.)
    • Strategies: best practices or techniques used to enhance implementation of the policy including how cleaning practices are communicated to occupants and contracted service providers.
    • Continual Improvement: process for promoting and implementing ongoing improvements to green cleaning practices.
    • Tracking: method of verifying adherence to policy guidelines and monitoring its success.
    • Performance Metrics: procedures on quantifying the policy’s success.

OR

Option 4. Declination from Ownership/Management

  • If ownership/management is unwilling to engage, documentation of request to ownership/management for a building-wide cleaning policy.
  • Process for reengaging ownership/management on, at least, an annual basis.​​​​​​​
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