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Being Green is at the Core of our Business at Sunshine

By Derek Auckland, Florida Operations Manager

Environmental consciousness has been standard operating procedure at Sunshine for decades, but today Green practices are more than just the right thing to do. Being Green is essential for business as well as the protection of our precious Earth. The entire Sunshine team is committed to practicing environmentally conscious cleaning and sanitation procedures at each of our customers’ facilities.

Several of our commercial clients, for example, mange buildings in various stages of the LEED certification process, which requires them to follow certain GREEN protocols, such as the use of

use of environmentally friendly cleaning products. Our existing practices make meeting those requirements a snap. In addition to sourcing cleaning products that are both safe and effective, our cleaning equipment is energy efficient, uses less water and safeguards indoor air quality. Plus, we have robust recycling practices and smart waste removal protocols.

Choosing cleaning products at Sunshine involves careful research and consideration with the overall goal to maximize effectiveness while using the least amount of chemicals possible. We look for products certified by the EPA’s Safer Choice program or other respected third parties, such as Green Seal or Ecologo. We look to such resources as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) program as well as guidance from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Beyond product selection, we also prioritize Green certifications and on-going training for our teams. Sunshine was certified by the International Organization for Standardization, an international organization that sets standards for quality. We were an ISO9000 certified company for eight years before many janitorial companies even considered Green practices. This certification brought more structure, quality assurance initiatives, and sustainability programs to our team. When the Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) became available, we immediately signed up to earn our CIMS-GB (Green Building) certification with honors. CIMS specifically focuses on helping building service contractors to navigate LEED requirements. All Sunshine managers have completed courses in Green cleaning and LEED cleaning principles.

Team leaders also have completed Green certified training in such specific areas as carpet and floor care, restroom cleaning and disinfecting. We even created a Green Cleaning Standard Operating Procedures (GCSOP) that governs our selection of cleaning solutions, equipment, goals for training, and best practices.

Even our equipment has to pass the Green test. Our vacuum cleaners, for example, use HEPA filters and are certified by the Carpet and Rug Institute “Green Label” Testing Program, cleaning cloths are made of microfiber to reduce over absorption and wasteful use of cleaning products, and our scrubbing machines use less water and often no chemicals at all. When possible,

battery-powered and ergonomically designed equipment is used. We also use refill stations to reduce the use of packaging. The concentrates in the refill stations help reduce container size and saves on carbon footprint costs, such as fuel and transportation.

Sunshine’s Green cleaning practices offer benefits to all areas of operations. Each time we begin work for a new customer, we conduct a facility inspection to make appropriate recommendations related to the use of chemicals, paper/plastic, equipment, tools, and cleaning procedures. For many of our customers, we create customized Green cleaning programs.

As part of our commitment to Green practices, we continue to look for ways to improve and expand our programs. Our staff regularly consults with supply manufacturers and vendors, participates in association seminars, webinars, attends industry conferences and trade shows, and participates in continuing education. We are proud of our quality certifications and designations and know our dedication has helped to further our Green programs as well as those of our customers.