When we think of commercial cleaning, we tend to picture industrial products with harsh chemicals. Commercial Property Guide spoke to Lara Blanco, Client Services Manager at Sydney based commercial cleaning company, Clean Focus, who says we should be considering that there may be another way.

Lara explains, “Today, more than ever, society is turning toward environmentally friendly solutions with more people choosing to ‘go green’ in their homes and businesses. With the threat of global warming at the forefront of conversation in politics and the media, the movement toward green solutions is only going to increase.”

The benefits lie beyond just the sustainability realm. Choosing to adopt green practices also has a positive impact on occupier health. As a commercial property owner, you may want to join in on the effort toward sustainability by making the switch to go green.

Here are Clean Focus’ top five tips for introducing green cleaning to your commercial property.

1. Swap traditional products for green cleaning products

The very first, and perhaps most obvious step, toward green cleaning is to throw out the old harsh chemical-filled products and introduce certified green cleaning products. These products are made from all-natural ingredients that can be used to safely clean a workplace, while leaving no harsh impacts on the environment. Common ingredients often include lemon, baking soda, borax and different types of vinegar. To make sure you get the real deal when purchasing your products, ensure that they have been certified by an independent company such as Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA).

2. Make recycling a priority

If you own or manage a commercial building, you can keep it clean by providing recycling bins in common areas. Unfortunately, most commercial buildings don’t make recycling bins widely available, which sees tons of recyclable material being sent to landfill. Introducing recycling in the building and encouraging offices to include them in their kitchens or common areas will go a long way to minimising unnecessary waste.

3. Consider your current fittings

It’s important to take into account the materials you have when deciding whether going green is a viable option for your commercial property. How easy will they be to clean? Are they old? What are they made from? While green cleaning products are an effective and sustainable solution, they will work quickly and with more ease on surfaces that are difficult to stain. Stainless steel or tiles will clean much more effectively than absorbent surfaces like wood. When it comes to flooring, carpet is something you should avoid, as it will retain allergens much more than hardwood or laminate floors.

4. Introduce air purifying plants

A simple and beautiful way to make your commercial property feel and look fresh is by introducing indoor plants into the space. Air purifying plants like devil’s ivy, peace lily, philodendron, spider plant, chrysanthemum and rubber plant work to remove toxins and improve air quality. According to a study by NASA, indoor plants can remove up to 70% of volatile organic compounds (VOC) found in indoor air. Add a few of these plants around your property to keep everyone breathing fresh, clean air.

5. Train your tenants or staff

If you are serious about adopting green cleaning practices in your commercial property, make sure you engage occupiers in the conversation. Make an effort, through email, noticeboard announcements and presentations, to explain why the property is choosing a green approach. Encourage people to take action by providing clear guidelines and examples of how to make green choices. When building occupants understand how going green is a better option for the environment and the health of their staff, they will be much more likely to get on board with the initiative.

Likewise, if you outsource cleaning to a corporate commercial cleaner, make sure they understand your expectations for green cleaning. Simply ask if they can use sustainable, non-toxic chemicals and if they can clean in an environmentally friendly manner. Most commercial cleaners will understand and work with you to ensure green cleaning standards are upheld.

Adopting green cleaning practices can seem overwhelming at first, especially when it comes to involving an entire team of people. But it doesn’t have to be so difficult. Adopt green cleaning one step at a time, and involve everyone in the conversation - from tenants to staff to your cleaning company. You’ll be thankful that you made the switch to green, knowing you’re making a more sustainable choice for the environment and looking after the health of the building occupants.