The Janitorial Industry’s Part In Protecting the Environment
by Mike Doherty, President, BMS Maintenance Service
Earth Day is approaching (April 22nd) and this year’s theme is “Protect Our Species.” This refers to all species on Earth, but in protecting others, we humans protect ourselves. When we read about the catastrophic reduction in bees, whales, coral reefs and more, make no mistake, their extinction threatens mankind’s existence. The good news is: it’s not too late to act.
The Impact Potential of the Janitorial Industry
Whether through recycling, planting trees and bee friendly flowers, or using sustainably produced products, we all have a part to play in building a cleaner, healthier world . This is especially true of the janitorial industry, which has an outsized impact on our environment and health. Here’s what we know about the waste production of the janitorial industry:*
- Uses an estimated 6 billion+ pounds of chemical products annually, many from nonrenewable petroleum products that impact the environment, indoor air quality and human health.
- Uses more than 450 billion pounds of paper products, much of which is discarded as waste.
- Puts an estimated 25 million pounds of cleaning equipment in landfills annually.
- Produces untold amounts of plastic packaging waste and uses excessive amounts of water.
We All Must Commit to Sustainability
Because the environmental impact of the janitorial industry is so enormous, so is our potential to reduce it. At BMS, we have committed to performing our work in the most environmentally friendly way possible. In doing so, we have had a very positive effect. Some stats from our 2018 sustainability report:
- 80% purchasing of Certified “Green” products
- 84 tons of packaging reduction
- Over 511,000 gallons of water use reduction
- Use of 2.3 million pounds of recycled paper
- 1,438 of gallons of chemical reduction
These figures are the result of sustainable practices and procedures that we regularly get certified by third parties like Green Seal. It’s critical to us that our procedures are best-in-class. Being certified by Green Seal and ISSA CIMS are an important part of ensuring we maintain our standards.
Green Cleaning Is No Longer Just a Trend
The statistics show why it’s imperative that our industry act now by investing in green cleaning practices. But the benefits reach beyond these numbers, too, making a significant impact on the health of cleaning workers and building occupants who are breathing cleaner indoor air with less exposure to harmful chemicals that can cause asthma and other serious health conditions. Thankfully, green cleaning is something our industry has embraced. It’s no longer a trend, but an expectation. While BMS is leading this effort, we now see that almost all cleaning companies have green cleaning programs. All of us, businesses and individuals, must act now to stop the decline of our home, Earth. We all have a part to play in saving the environment, our planet’s species, and ultimately ourselves.
About BMS For over 30 years, BMS Maintenance Service has provided first class janitorial and architectural restoration services to more than 100 million square feet of real estate across New York, Chicago and the Mid-Atlantic. We are industry leaders and innovators, with a focus on quality, sustainability and technology. Our BMS Green Clean℠ program is Green Seal certified, and was designed to enhance human health and foster sustainability within the commercial real estate, hospitality and education spaces we clean. About Mike Mike Doherty is President of BMS and its subsidiary companies. He has over 35 years of experience in the building service industry. Since 1998, he has run all operations for BMS and is currently responsible for janitorial, security, architectural surface maintenance and window cleaning services managing more than 2,800 employees.