According to the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released in August 2021, scientists observed changes in the Earth’s climate in every region of the world.
The report indicated that many of these changes are unprecedented, happening far faster than anyone thought. Further, some—such as continued sea-level rise—are likely to be irreversible.
“Here in the U.S., we see the ramifications of climate change from coast to coast,” says Steve Ashkin, long known as the Father of Green Cleaning and the professional cleaning industry leading advocate for sustainability. “The recent rainstorms in Tennessee have been attributed to climate change, as have the fires and drought in the western half of the country.”
While things look grim, and the potential consequences catastrophic, there are things the professional cleaning industry can do to address climate change and, in some cases, even reverse it.
Here are Ashkin’s 10 ways for tackling climate change:
- Use only Green-certified cleaning solutions; these protect natural resources, release fewer or no ozone depleting volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and produce less waste.
- Use disinfectants only when and where needed to help reduce the number of VOCs entering the atmosphere
- Consider using disinfectant alternatives such as hydrogen peroxide.
- Purchase cleaning solutions in concentrated, bulk sizes, stored in recyclable containers, with minimal packaging; “This reduces shipping and packaging needs, protects natural resources, and reduces fuel and greenhouse gas emissions,” explains Ashkin.
- Purchase paper products that are made from 100 percent recycled material. This reduces millions of tons of CO2
- Increase the use of cleaning equipment using engineered water. These systems use tap water that is activated, ozonated, electrolyzed, or treated, turning it into an effective cleaning method without chemicals.
- Buy from Green and sustainability-focused distributors. “I am always impressed with how many distributors have become specialists when it comes to Green cleaning and protecting the environment,” says Ashkin.
- Replace all fleets with electric or hybrid vehicles.
- Enroll custodial workers in ISSA’s CIMS-Green or Green Seal’s GS-42 Green training program. “Our well-trained, ‘frontline’ custodial workers, can have a major impact on reducing cleanings impact on our environment.”
- Remember this famous quote incorrectly attributed to Winston Churchill: “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity. An optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
Ashkin says, “this quote has guided me throughout my life.”
About The Ashkin Group and Stephen Ashkin
The Ashkin Group, LLC, is an internationally recognized consulting firm working to Green the professional cleaning industry. Their expertise is utilized by governments, policy makers, advocates, building owners, property management companies, labor unions, trade and professional associations, manufacturers, service providers, and janitorial product distributors worldwide.
Stephen P. Ashkin, founder of The Ashkin Group, is known as the Father of Green Cleaning. An author and a frequent public speaker, Steve’s commitment to Green Cleaning is more than a business: it is a passion, a calling, a mission in life—to transform the professional cleaning industry.
Media Contact: Robert Kravitz