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Green Facilities Becomes the Proud Corporate Member of BIFM

Green Facilities Management has added another feather to its cap. Being associated with a premier organization feels great and rewarding. Yes, Green Facilities has become the corporate member of the reputed body for facilities management- BIFM. Hard work well paid! Green Facilities has come a long way as a professional industrial cleaning company.

What is BIFM?

The British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) is the professional body for facilities management (FM). Founded in 1993, the organization promotes excellent solutions for facilities management for the benefit of practitioners, the economy and society. Supporting and representing over 16,000 members around the world, both individual FM professionals and organizations, and thousands more through qualifications and training.

BIFM facilities management professionals are responsible for services that enable and support business. It covers management of a wide range of areas including: health and safety, risk management, business continuity, procurement, sustainability, space planning, energy, property and asset management. They are typically responsible for activities such as catering, cleaning, building maintenance, environmental services, security and reception.

Green Facilities: Pioneering Industrial Cleaning Services

As a professional industrial cleaning company Green Facilities has been offering contract cleaning services, office and commercial cleaning for all industry sectors, operating across the whole of London. With 20 years of combined experience Green Facilities has built a reputation on providing superior cleaning services for a range of corporate clients. Quality control is a big part of how it maintains such a high standard of service. Every cleaning task is monitored very closely, maintaining a great customer feedback.

What is there in industrial cleaning services that Green Facilities does not offer? It attends all industrial cleaning needs, by promoting and embedding professional standards in facilities management. Committed to advancing the facilities management profession Green facilities provides a suite of membership, qualifications, training and networking services designed to support facilities management practitioners in performing to the best of their ability.

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Being a Member of BIFM: What does it mean for Green Facilities?

Being a Corporate member of BIFM will add many dimensions to Green Facilities services. Apart from inculcating competition, BIFM will help it raise its profile and spread awareness about its services within the FM industry, thereby increasing long term networking and sales opportunities.

Contact Green Facilities at 0800 044 5795 for all your cleaning services. Mail us at info@greenfacilities.co.uk

Trends in the commercial sector for green cleaning.

One of the most popular phrases heard in the commercial sector these days is ‘green cleaning.’ Consisting of ecologically conscious cleaning methods and products, green cleaning is intended to provide a safer environment. The Guardian reports that green cleaning methods involve fewer chemicals, which are notorious for causing rashes, respiratory distress, and chronic headaches. Additionally, there is the overwhelming concern that chemical cleaners creates long term hazards in the environment via air, water and land pollution. However, some wonder if green cleaning is just a fad, and if not, what they should expect to see in this trend for commercial cleaners.

Green Cleaning: The New Norm

Some wonder if green cleaning is merely a method that will lose its popularity in the next few years. Not the case, according toServices Building Service Contracting Industry and the BSCAI, following an interview with industry experts. Thanks to requirements by regulatory systems, such as LEED and CRI certification standards, green cleaning is becoming the norm. Green, for manufacturers, offices and governmental buildings, encompasses more than just cleaning methods. Going green includes everything from choosing eco-friendly paint and furnishings to optimising the use of outdoor lighting to reduce energy consumption. In addition to saving industries money on long term utility usage, going green creates a better environment to work in for individuals. So, yes, green cleaning is becoming the new norm that you can expect to see more of in the future.

Going Chemical Free

One of the largest focuses of green cleaning is the use of eco-safe cleaning treatments. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in the US, green cleaning is defined as the use of cleaning products that are considered less harmful to one’s health and the environment. In other words, you cannot use conventional cleaners including ammonia or bleach in green cleaning. Yet some industry experts say that even with green cleaning there is no way to completely clean without chemicals. On the contrary, green cleaning simply ensures that only safe chemicals are utilised. Other experts argue that it is entirely possible to clean without the use of chemicals. For example, the Norway company Norwex provides cleaning products that are considered green via microfibre cloths free of chemicals. Another company offering green products is Orbio, which has invented a salt-based steam cleaner used by companies in the Netherlands, the International Space Station and California universities including Chapman.

Green Cleaning Recognition for Your Business

In addition to regulatory agencies that set the bar for green environments, such as LEED, there are now industry awards doled out to organisations that follow through with green cleaning. The Ashkin Group, LLC is touted as the go-to group for all things related to green cleaning. The founder is considered the ‘father of green cleaning,’ having written several books on this form of cleaning. In order for commercial properties to increase their visibility in regards to being eco-friendly in the public eye, they can nominate themselves for a green cleaning award via The Ashkin Group. This designation can increase a business’s visibility as being a leader in an eco-friendly environment. As a supporter of the British Institute of Cleaning Science, The Ashkin Group recognised as a leader in the green cleaning industry.

In Conclusion

The green cleaning world involves choosing safer alternatives for cleaning. While there is still a debate on whether green cleaning involves chemicals or not, the basic premise remains the same. Going green with cleaning is safer for the individuals involved, as well as for the environment as a whole. As the building and commercial industries push forward with healthier work spaces that use fewer natural resources, we can expect green cleaning to become more of the mainstream. The current concerns with going entirely green is the sheer cost of completely changing a commercial size cleaning system, as with the case of installing salt-based cleaners. However, as the green industry continues to evolve, the methods used for green cleaning, as well as green building, will become part of the norm.

 

Seasonal Deep Cleaning Tips

Good quality professional commercial cleaning services are always in demand, providing daily cleaning duties – waste disposal, vacuuming, carpet shampooing, floor treatments, sweeping – and they will also provide additional periodic and ad hoc services if required.  Currently, in the UK, approximately 55 per cent of cleaning services are outsourced. Here at GreenFM, we pride oursleves on providing you with one of the UK’s leading external cleaning contractors.

It’s always a good idea to assess, review and periodically build into your cleaning program improvements or seasonal cleaning tasks. Here are just a few.

1. Spring Clean Deep Clean Flooring: Most high traffic floors take a serious beating during the winter months — leaving they dull, dingy or stained come Spring. Invest your time in some deep cleaning services, which can revitalise tile and carpest. A seasonal deep clean can make your floors look brand new. It can greatly increase their lifespan over time.

2.  If your Air Conditioning  units have been inactive for several months, they need a thorough deep clean. This will not only improve your unit’s energy efficiency, it will improve the indoor air quality of your facility. AC units that don’t undergo spring maintenance can lead to unpleasant odours, allergens and other symptoms of “sick building syndrome.”

3. Hopefully you already have a thorough daily cleaning routine in place for your wash room cleaning and maintenance. Having said that, periodic deep cleans are the best way to eliminate lingering bacteria and dirt.. A quality deep clean should remove built-up dirt and grime, sanitise all restroom surfaces and polish fixtures.

4.  Winter Bugs:  Coughs, colds, flu and the annual bouts of winter vomiting bugs all contribute to the £28 billion a year it costs UK employers to have workers off work. During winter bugs and bacteria are prevalent on surfaces throughout the office.  Clean desks, keyboards, phones and door handles as standard.  Remember about sharing phones, tablets and other small electronics is a quick way for illness to spread. Wiping phones and keyboards daily with an antibacterial spray will limit this bacteria especially if a colleague has been taken ill with an infection.  Hand hygiene is one of the simplest but most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs. Make sure you provide access to anti-bacterial soap in the bathrooms and clean towels, paper towels or even a hand dryer. Readily supplying employees with hand sanitiser and making it available for guests (at reception and in meeting rooms) will vastly limit germs coming into, and spreading through your workplace.  Regulating temperature sounds obvious but it is another good way of combating the spread of infection. Avoid stuffy offices and if you do not have a heating regulator then simply open the window for a short period a few times a day.

5. Shops and Retail: Fallen leaves and debris can blow into your shop front, which is something you really don’t want or need. Ensuring that the entrance is closed, you eliminate any leaves or other build ups from entering your building. It also may be beneficial to leave floor mats at the entrance of your building.

6. Don’t leave the Gutters clogged up:  Buildings that have a flat rooftop (or those that have a gutter system) will often collect leaves and other debris. When there’s a water build up in drainage systems, it often increases the risk of water damage and flooding to your building, which can be an incredibly costly process. Did you know that this is easily preventable through the clearing of your gutters? Any debris blocking this can be taken straight out through simply cleaning your gutters, therefore removing any danger of drain blockages!

7.  Bin Cleaning: Interior and Exterior Bins are a breeding ground for germs and bacteria…  Don’t leave rotting food  in bins and ensure to clean exterior bin and surrounding areas to prevent nasty germs.

 

Green Facilities have an excellent track record cleaning for  a number of industries.  Enquire about our contract cleaning services for further information and costs

 

 

 

6 Easy Steps for a Cleaner, Greener Business

When it comes to your home, you are probably very aware of your carbon footprint. But did you realize you could be doing a lot more? Your business cleaning service may be using products filled with chemicals that you would never consider allowing into your home. Here are 6 steps to make sure your cleaning service is keeping your business a safe, green environment.

1. Give them an alternative to commercial furniture polish.

Obviously you want your cleaning service to polish your office furniture to a high sheen. But they can get the same results as a commercial furniture polish with natural ingredients. Ask them to use a blend of vegetable oil and lemon juice in the following ratio: ¼ cup lemon juice to ¾ cup vegetable oil. They can mix up a batch and put it into spray bottles for each cleaning person to be used the same as regular furniture polish.

2. Help the recycling process.

Help make sure your cleaning company recycles your company’s trash by supplying clearly marked recycling containers at every employee’s desk. However your local recycling company prefers plastic, glass, metal and paper to be separated, make sure it’s easy and convenient for both your cleaning service people and your employees to sort their recyclables.

3. Ask them to skip the bags.

Cleaning services will typically line every small trash can with a plastic bag after they empty the rubbish. Ask them to skip the plastic bags. Make employees responsible for keeping their personal trash barrel clean.

4. Provide washable cloths.

Instead of having the cleaning service use endless rolls of paper towels cleaning your office kitchen and windows, provide them with washable cloths. Lint-free cloths work even better for clear, streak-free windows.

5. Reschedule them.

Typically, cleaning crews work at night, after everyone has left for the day. While this makes sense so they don’t interrupt the workflow of the office, it requires you to leave the lights on nearly all night until they arrive and finish cleaning up. Instead, see if they’d be willing to reschedule their work routine so they arrive in the early morning, before your employees arrive. They’ll be able to work in the morning sunlight instead of the incandescent bulbs in the office.

6. Use the power of steam.

If you provide steam mops for your cleaning service, they’ll be glad to save money on expensive floor cleaning chemicals. Steam cleaners work great on tile, linoleum and even hardwood floors. The initial investment that you’ll have to make will pay off in how green your office cleaning service has become.

As you can see, there are lots of ways that you can help the environment when you decide to green up your cleaning service. And that’s the kind of change that can help all of us.

In house or outsourcing your office cleaning? Pro’s and Cons

When considering whether to outsource office cleaning to a specialised cleaning firm, there are a number of important points to weigh in your decision. Are there hidden costs to outsourcing the work to a commercial cleaning company? Or are most of the disadvantages to do with in-house, directly-hired office cleaners? Following are key points to keep in mind that will help as you make your decision on outsourcing commercial office cleaning:

Advantages in Favour of In-house Office Cleaning

  • Lower obvious costs: No need to pay an outside commercial cleaning service.
  • Trust: You may prefer adding cleaning to the duties of your current staff. With only trusted employees handling cleaning tasks, you will be better assured of data security. Besides, your staff have plenty of extra time to clean the offices and cleaning tasks will ensure they are kept busy.
  • Personal control: You may prefer in-house supervision of cleaning practices and prefer to hire your own dedicated on-staff cleaners. This keeps your highly paid employees on task rather than cleaning and provides you the opportunity to interview and select each individual office cleaner. You can then supervise or direct their activities yourself.
  • Quality: You’ll get higher quality cleaning with in-house staff–since outsourced cleaning firms have a lot of turnover. (Hint: Contract with a quality commercial cleaner for guaranteed quality.)

Advantages to Outsourced Commercial Office Cleaning

  • ROI: Your return on investment in hiring a professional cleaning service will likely be positive, all things considered. Commercial cleaning services actually save money for most businesses. All told, in-house cleaning costs business organisations nearly 25 percent more than contacting to an outsourced cleaning firm, according to .industry analysts IFMA (the International Facility Management Association).
  • Get personalised cleaning services: A professional cleaning firm will tailor commercial cleaning services to fit your needs and high standards. This includes working within your budget and offering attractive options to better serve you.
  • Limit distractions: Keep highly paid staff on task rather than on cleaning duty or free your HR staff of the necessity to continually hire dedicated cleaning staff member(s). Let your professional commercial cleaning firm handle tedious hiring and staff scheduling–freeing you of this concern entirely.
  • Limit employee stress: Regular in-house staff members may put off or forget cleaning duties in the midst of other work.
  • Improve quality: Typical in-house employees are not trained in cleaning methods to properly disinfect all areas of the office, including lavatories. Contracted cleaners are well-trained professionals–they perform tasks safely and do a better job, providing guaranteed cleanliness and hygiene. The best contracted cleaning firms have ISO 9001 certification for quality assurance.
  • Keep injury claims down: Employees stand a greater chance of on-the-job injury or workplace accidents while cleaning with chemicals, climbing to reach high surfaces and lifting or moving heavy objects. Enhance workplace safety. Let an outsourced cleaning company deal with the HSE and do your high level cleaning for you.
  • Limit tedious, time-consuming tasks: No need to inventory and store expensive (and oftentimes smelly and allergy-inducing) cleaning fluids and tools on your premises. Professional cleaners bring their own cleaning fluids and tools
  • Be free of environmental hazards: If you choose a cleaning service that offers eco-friendly cleaning, you’re ensuring you and your staff are not overly exposed to harmful VOCs (volatile organic compounds) found in typical cleaning chemicals. You’ll also easily meet European standards of sustainability.
  • Access the latest technology and earth-friendly, environmentally degradable cleaning chemicals: A professional cleaning firm is better able to research, keep up with and purchase expensive supplies and tools. Quality contracted cleaning companies are also up-to-date on the latest environmentally sound cleaning products and practices, such as ionic window cleaning which uses sterile water without the need for chemical agents.
  • Guaranteed professional office cleaning to your specifications: Quality outsourced cleaning firms hire according to rigorous standards and provide excellent training and supervision for their cleaners.

If you’d like additional professional advice with no obligation, contact Green Facilities, a UK- based cleaning company headquartered in London. We offer cleaning consultancy, cleaning audits, contracted commercial cleaning services and one-off deep cleans. We take pride in delivering tailored cleaning solutions to fit your unique needs.

 

Sustainable Practices to Make Your Operations More Green Friendly

Customers care more than ever about doing business with companies whose products and policies are better for the environment. Because of this and internal changes in values, more and more businesses are looking toward sustainable practices to make their operations more environmentally friendly. There are a number of changes you can make to do your part for the health of the environment. A few places to start:

1. Offer Green Products to Your Customers

This is easily the most effective way to run a sustainable operation. By making the items that you manufacture or sell more sustainable, you spread your green actions to everyone you do business with. If your company manufactures or sells energy-saving products that can be installed at your customers’ properties, you may be eligible for Britain’s Green Deal scheme and the use of the Green Deal Approved quality mark.

2. Green Your Fleet

Your company’s vehicles is one place you can reduce your environmental impact. Not only can choosing more efficient and lower emission vehicles be better for the environment. It can also reduce your business’s costs. Less fuel used means less spent on petrol. And, it can mean lower taxes, as well. Britain’s Vehicle Excise Duty (also called the “road tax”) is based on a car’s CO2 emissions. Because hybrids have lower emissions, their tax rate is reduced by around 20 to 25%.

However, before trading in all of your company’s cars for hybrids or other environmentally-friendly choices, ensure that the trade will be worth it. It takes several years to make up the cost of the new vehicle in fuel and tax savings. It would be better to maintain the vehicles you have and gradually replace them with more fuel-efficient cars and trucks as they become obsolete.

3. Use Green Cleaners

Many cleaners used in businesses involve harsh polluting chemicals or the phosphates that can pollute water and promote out-of-control algae growth. Trade in the cleaning supplies used in your business for greener options. For light cleaning, you may be able to use safe and mild options such as baking soda, vinegar and gentle soaps. For more intensive jobs, shop for commercial-grade green cleaning products. There are a range of effective cleaners that do less harm to the environment.

4. Re-examine Your Packaging Practices

According to a recent report from the World Bank, 1.3 billion tonnes of garbage is thrown away worldwide. Much of this is in the form of packaging that is discarded as soon as someone opens a new product. Reduce your contribution to the problem by considering your company’s packaging options. Can you redesign packaging so you use less? Replace disposable items with durable ones? Even if you are unable to get rid of disposable packaging, you can reduce your impact by choosing options that are made from sustainable materials such as recycled fibers and ones that can easily be recycled or composted by your clients.

5. Cut Energy Usage

Every time you purchase a new piece of equipment, consider many options to see which one will cut your firm’s energy use. You can cut down heating and cooling costs by having better insulation installed in your working space. In between major purchases, cut energy use day to day by adjusting thermostats and urging employees to turn off computers and lights when not in use. The Green Deal offers reliefs and exemptions from some taxes to companies that are able to cut their energy use.

No matter where your business currently stands in regard to environmental practices, every step you make counts. If sustainability is a new concern, start with something as simple as a commitment to switch to recycled printing paper, envelopes and packaging. As you go on, continue to consider every aspect of your business and whether a change can render an improvement. By constantly examining and adjusting your day to day operations, you can, over time, make a big difference.

 

 

7 Most Dirtiest Places In The Office

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