Commercial brokers must be knowledgeable about many different disciplines: law, construction, engineering, finance, negotiation, and more. This is the final week of our “Going Green” series with a guest post by a commercial cleaning expert.
The following is a guest column by Melanie Kozick of MEF Commercial Services.
Imagine observing a private-sector boardroom of a corporation looking for ways to improve its bottom-line. The corporate leaders discuss strategies to increase sales, reduce customer turnover, improve worker productivity and quality, invest wisely and reduce overall expenses. A representative of the cleaning team is probably missing from this board meeting, and, if they are present, they would most likely be asked to make cutbacks by reducing labor hours or operational costs. Too bad they don’t realize that green cleaning can make a significant contribution to the corporation’s success!
Ground-breaking research in the US and Europe shows amazing results on the effects of the indoor environment on worker productivity.
Dr. Michael Berry showed that harmful contaminants are impacted by the cleaning process. His research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill utilized green cleaning methods, new equipment and green cleaning supplies. The green cleaning yielded these results:
- Airborne Dust Declined 53%
- Total VOCs Declined 49%
- Total Bacteria Declined 40%
- Total Fungi Declined 61%
Berry’s research showed that by reducing contaminants, better health outcomes could be expected. This translates into major money savings for a corporation.
Judith Heerwagen, PhD, assessed the affects of indoor environment on worker productivity. She found that productivity increases 0.5 – 7.0 percent when improving the indoor air quality, which translates into approximately three to 34 minutes saved per day. Those three minutes could be saved by eliminating the need to blow one’s nose, rub an eye, or suffer from a headache that was induced by VOCs.
Green cleaning removes the contaminants that can affect people’s health, keeps workers healthy and free of allergy and flu-like symptoms, leading to improved performance at work.
BOMA (Building Owners and Managers Association) estimates the salaries and benefits cost per square foot of Class A office building to be nearly $300. The 0.5% productivity gain represents 3 minutes per 8-hour work day and translates to $1.50 per square foot.
Besides saving minutes each day, green cleaning also reduced bacteria, viruses and other illness causes, reducing absenteeism from work. Using the seven percent from Dr. Heerwagen’s findings, this translates to saving 34 minutes per day. In the same Class A building scenario, the improved productivity gain is equivalent to $21 per square foot!
When the board members look at electrical upgrades and retrofits to reduce energy consumption by 25 cents per square foot, it’s time to take a closer look at green cleaning. Green cleaning can improve performance with a much lower up-front investment.
Melanie Kozick holds a B.S. in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology and is a member of USGBC Central Pennsylvania Chapter. MEF Commercial Services is a local woman business enterprise and is proud to provide professional cleaning services using certified green cleaning products. The ultimate goal of green cleaning is to preserve the environment and individual health, and we are happy to deliver these priorities to our clients.