Greening the cleaning contract

The City of Yarra in Victoria is currently trialing a groundbreaking, green cleaning partnership program, in collaboration with its cleaning contractors.

The council’s Green Clean Program is being facilitated by Fresh Green Clean (FGC), and managed by its contract manager David Laidlaw. The original aim was to develop an auditable standard for the council’s green cleaning contracts, but it has achieved so much more.

Firstly, the common definition of a ‘green cleaning product’ is open to interpretation. According to a recent survey conducted with people responsible for cleaning product procurement, 45 per cent claimed they found it very difficult to differentiate which cleaning products were really green. And this was in the USA, where more than 500 products have Green Seal Certification. The survey highlighted another real barrier to green cleaning: concerns regarding effectiveness.

Two-thirds of participants agreed it was more important that cleaning and disinfecting products be effective than be perceived as green, while almost a third believed that being effective and green were mutually exclusive.

Further compounding this concern is the fact that competition in the cleaning industry has driven the price down to a barely sustainable level.

Without clear and auditable national guidelines for cleaning practices, plus the uncertain climate described above, the capacity of most cleaning contracts to deliver truly green outcomes is generally restricted. Read More>>

Read the full report: Greening the cleaning contract [PDF]

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