Custodial Green Cleaning

Custodial Green Cleaning

Products and practices used in traditional cleaning increase environmental and health impacts, health care costs, liability and insurance cost for the company.

Custodial employees have twice the rate of occupational asthma as compared to other professions. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), custodial workers have more than twice the rate of asthma compared to any other occupation.

Six out of hundred custodians file time loss or injury claims. With more than two million custodians in the US, that amounts to a total cost of more than $85 million. Green cleaning products and practices can result in up to 70% reduction in exposure to employees.

Green Cleaning Program:

San Francisco’s multilingual Green Cleaning Program covers the benefits of green cleaning, green cleaning products and procedures and proper disposal of waste and hazardous waste. Modules covered include:

• Dusting & Polishing
• Floor Care - Cleaning
• Floor Care - Resurfacing
• Carpet Care
• Kitchen/Food Areas
• Restrooms

97% of the custodians that went through the program liked using green cleaning products and 80% thought green cleaning products worked as well as traditional products. An extensive green cleaning product list can be found at SF Approved.

Resources for Owners and Managers:

The following resources are provided for owners and managers of custodial companies:

Green Cleaning Videos (English), (Cantonese)(Spanish) - for employee meetings
• Green Cleaning Training Manual - keep it accessible to employees 
• Green Cleaning Factsheets (PDF) - (English), (Cantonese), (Spanish) - post in common areas for employees
Green Cleaning Flashcards (PDF) - (English), (Cantonese)(Spanish) - for employees to carry with them

In San Francisco, the following five custodial companies completed San Francisco’s green cleaning pilot program and are recognized Green Businesses:

• Metro
• CMSC
• Aim to Please
• Japan Janitorial
• Signature Cleaning

Want to do more?

Green your custodial company and get recognized for it by the City by becoming a San Francisco Green Business. Enroll in the Green Business Program and learn how to save on energy, water, and refuse bills, and reduce your exposure to hazardous substances. To learn more, call 415.355.3700.


Related Content

Green Business Guide to Pollution Prevention (video)
San Francisco Green Business Program - businesses meeting high environmental standards
SF Approved - green products catalog, specifications, products on City contracts, and vendors, for City Departments


Additional Resources

Bureau of Labor Statistics on Custodial Jobs in 2012
The Right to Know: School Custodial Maintenance Workers
California Department of Public Health’s Occupational Health Branch Statistics