Page 7

rr_Nachhaltigkeitsguide_englisch_2016

Sustainability management in facility cleaning 5 ment and the community. The idea behind CSR is to look beyond impairing health, and minimizing the impact on the environment economic and financial indicators when it comes to measuring busi- while preserving the surfaces that are being cleaned.” The UBA sees ness performance by integrating quantifiable ecological and social a significant ecological potential for maintenance cleaning in the ar- aspects . It is in an effort to systematically define these indicators ea of public facilities. Besides steering away from problematic clean- and goals that sustainability reports, such as the Global Reporting ing substances, the agency’s procurement guide recommends auto- Initiative (GRI), and certifications like EMAS (Eco-Management and matic dosing systems and environmentally safe cleansers as well as Audit Scheme) were introduced. regular training for cleaning staff. Gast pointed out that the sym- Back in 2010, when the ‘Europe 2020’ strategy was formulated, the bols for washing and cleaning European Un-ion’s declared goal was to achieve “smart, sustainable The drivers for sustainable agents as well as the GPP (Green and inclusive growth.” cleaning services Public Procurement) guidelines Today, we can see how the fundamental concept of sustainability has are being updated at the EU taken hold at the individual, market and society levels. level. The procurement criteria will be expanded to integrate energy Back to cleaning: Cleanliness and hygiene are fundamental to our efficiency ratings. Cleaning products featuring the EU environmen- way of life as a civilization. Hence, cleaning contractors play an es- tal seal will also have to meet criteria related to the sustainable pro- sential role in ensuring the wellbeing of people and preserving the duction of ingredients from renewable sources. value of real estate assets. The fact that cleaning contractors should focus even more intensive- The cleaning trade, too, is concerned by the dual approach to sus- ly on the social dimension of sustainability is emphasized in the tainability – ‘hard’ or ‘soft.’ Which of the three pillars is at the center trade press as well. of the enterprise’s focus and what are the drivers? Satisfied customers and healthy, motivated co-workers are key suc- For businesses, and this includes cleaning contractors, the main cess factors for any facility cleaning enterprise. Without these fun- driver for sustaina-ble action is the economic return it generates. damental ingredients of a service-oriented business, cleaning con- This is of course natural as it aligns with the inherent purpose and tractors face a bleak future. goal of a profit-oriented enterprise. But what does the picture look The public sector incorporates sustainability as it aligns with politi- like inside cleaning companies, at the organizational level? Here, cal and social im-peratives. Private sector clients are now increas- too, generating efficiencies and supporting core business goals is ingly committing themselves to inte-grating sustainability in their crucial. The same ap-plies to mitigating risks and maximizing repu- own business strategy as well. tational benefits, whether you are an internal or external service As a joint Finnish-Germany study shows, this voluntary commit- provider. ment shows at various levels and impacts both upstream and down- Just as evident is the fact that when the debate turns to sustainable stream stakeholders as well as processes and resources. There are cleaning, it mostly centers on environmental impact. The public sec- more and more facility owners who build sustainably and ensure tor, especially, insists on sustainable procurement. In concrete that subsequent facility management follows through on sustaina- terms, this is reflected in public tenders for cleaning contracts with, bility as well. Having a building sustainability-certified underpins for instance, the requirement to use environmentally responsible their commitment to total transparency in both phases of the prop- cleaning products and mandatory environmental management sys- erty’s lifecycle. As to the companies and organizations that eventual- tem certifications (e.g. EMAS, ISO 14001). ly use these facilities, there are many who integrate sustainability Marcus Gast of the German Environmental Agency (UBA – Umwelt- goals in their corporate strategies and expect the same of their own bundesamt) de-scribed the goals of sustainable cleaning in a pres- suppliers and external service providers. There is a third layer to entation he recently held at a SEPAWA conference: “Sustainability in this: Both facility users and facility owners can actively motivate maintenance cleaning is about enabling hygienic cleaning without cleaning contractors to drive up the sustainability of their services


rr_Nachhaltigkeitsguide_englisch_2016
To see the actual publication please follow the link above