Bloomington, IN – November 29, 2009 – After attending and
presenting at the recent U.S.
Green Building Council’s Greenbuild Conference held in Phoenix, Arizona,
November 11–13, 2009, green cleaning and sustainability advocate Stephen Ashkin
notes a change in direction that could have major implications for the
professional cleaning industry.
“I believe we are now at a tipping point regarding LEED for
Existing Buildings,” he says. “At the conference, a strong message was
delivered on the importance of addressing the millions of existing buildings
adopting the LEED EM:OM protocol.”
LEED EM:OM is a rating system based on a set of performance
standards for the sustainable and ongoing operations of buildings not
undergoing major renovations. According to Ashkin, the protocol is designed to
address many of the daily operations of buildings with considerable emphasis on
cleaning and maintenance.
requirements are these:
- Purchasing and using
Green and sustainable cleaning products for hard floors, carpets, and other
- Developing strategies for the
safe handling of all cleaning products
- Training cleaning professionals
on the hazards, use, disposal, and recycling of cleaning chemicals
- Collecting building occupant
feedback to evaluate and improve new cleaning technologies, procedures, and
“This is so important for the [cleaning] industry because
Green Cleaning is no longer viewed as just a requirement for LEED
certification; [instead] it plays a key, ongoing role in keeping facilities
Green and sustainable,” says Ashkin. “It rewards healthier, more thorough
cleaning and encourages building owners and managers to invest in more effective,
high-performing cleaning strategies.”
Ashkin has been involved with the U.S. Green Building
Council since 1993 and is a former member of its national board of directors.