Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the demand for organizations to establish additional cleaning, disinfection and infection prevention protocols has risen dramatically. Facility visitors and occupants are more aware than ever about the effort businesses are making to maintain cleanliness. Facility managers and building service contractors (BSCs) have rightly sought out third-party certifications and accreditations that validate the work they do to create clean and healthy indoor environments.
The Value of Cleaning Certifications and Accreditations
Cleaning certifications and accreditations demonstrate that a qualified third party endorses an operation’s approach to cleaning and disinfection. They solidify an organization’s commitment to higher standards of cleanliness.
A recent Harris Poll survey found more than three in five Americans (61%) would feel more confident in a facility that has implemented additional cleaning and disinfecting protocols during the pandemic. Cleaning certifications are an effective way to prove cleaning professionals follow proven best practices outlined by industry experts. This can give facility occupants and employees greater peace of mind. In fact, 38% of Americans in a recent poll said they would feel more comfortable if a facility has earned accreditation for cleaning.
Third-party validation comes in numerous forms. For example, the GBAC STAR™ Service Accreditation Program provides third-party validation to cleaning service providers that follow specified cleaning, disinfection and infection prevention protocols. Facility managers can hire accredited BSCs and have confidence in their well-established methods.
Meanwhile, programs like WELL Certification and GBAC STAR™ Facility Accreditation Program signify that an entire building successfully promotes the health and safety of its occupants by using the right chemicals, equipment and procedures. These designations can put visitors and employees at ease.
What Safe, Sustainable Cleaning Looks Like
Whether or not your operation pursues a formal cleaning certification or accreditation, the following practices can help your facility implement safe and sustainable cleaning.
- Use non-irritating cleaning solutions – Some conventional cleaning and disinfecting chemicals contain ingredients that may cause eye or skin irritation or worsen symptoms of respiratory conditions like asthma or COVID-19. The volatile organic compounds in some products can also pollute the environment and worsen indoor air quality (IAQ). Facility managers can seek out multi-purpose cleaner and disinfectant that are non-irritating. This supports the wellbeing of building staff and visitors and upholds good IAQ.
- Clean and disinfect more frequently – More frequent cleaning was an obvious adaptation to the pandemic for many facilities. However, it caused a shortage of cleaning and disinfecting solutions. To meet the increased demand for clean facilities without experiencing supply issues, operations can consider on-site generation of cleaning and disinfecting solutions. On-site systems generate electrochemically-activated solutions (ECAS), and staff can easily increase output volumes to clean more regularly.
- Elevate green cleaning – Many consumers want businesses to operate sustainably. A recent survey showed 90% of people were equally or more concerned about environmental issues after the COVID-19 outbreak. Greening your cleaning program supports the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit.
Using ECAS for cleaning and disinfecting can limit waste by greatly reducing a facility’s reliance on plastic chemical bottles. Eliminating chemical shipments also helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, unlike more caustic chemicals, ECAS are safe to dispose via drains and won’t cause harm to nearby waterways and ecosystems. Facilities can also consider switching to sustainably manufactured cleaning tools or cleaning services certified by Green Seal® or other reputable third parties.
Promoting Quality Assurance to Customers and Employees
Cleaning certifications and accreditations demonstrate to the public that facilities meet a high benchmark for the quality of cleanliness and in turn, safety. These achievements are also important because they reward the hard work of facility managers and BSCs.
Operations should clearly and consistently communicate their certifications and accreditations for maximum impact. Educating employees about these designations ensures they uphold best practices and can communicate the value of these achievements to customers. Directly promoting certification and accreditation to the public is also key. Organizations can include certification or accreditation seals on doorways and other visible areas of the facility, distribute e-blasts to customer lists and highlight their commitment to cleanliness via their websites.
For more information about effective and sustainable ECAS for cleaning and disinfecting, visit www.pathosans.com.