The Building Wellness Institute offers introductory answers to frequently asked questions about green cleaning, our training and consulting services, and which certification program might be best for you. Should you have any further questions, please call us at 301-728-3908 or email us.
Why would I need to adopt green cleaning practices?
Which certification program is best for me and where to begin?
What topics are covered in the Building Wellness Certification Training program?
How long does the Building Wellness Certification Training program take to complete?
Am I GS-42 certified upon completing Building Wellness Certification Training?
Once I’ve completed the training, what’s next?
Who is required to take certification training?
Why should I participate in the Building Wellness Certification Training program?
What does Maryland House Bill 1363 (procurement of green cleaning supplies) mean for me?
The products, equipment and cleaning practices used in office buildings have a direct impact on the quality of your health, the health of building occupants and your employees, as well as the environment. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, indoor pollution costs more than $50 billion each year in healthcare, absenteeism, lost production and lost revenue. The benefits of green cleaning extend far beyond reducing the negative impact on environmental health. Green cleaning initiatives—whether in commercial buildings, residential properties, schools and universities, or health institutions—can positively affect performance, productivity, tenant, student and employee, recruitment and retention and reputation.
We understand that change is difficult and change is management expensive. Our Assessment Services are designed to help you gain a better understanding of your current indoor environment, and identify and execute green initiatives that align with your environmental wellness goals. Our Assessment consultants work primarily with property and facility managers on site to evaluate their indoor environment and develop a green initiative that aligns with their goals and requirements. Whether you seek GS-42 certification, the Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS/CIMS GB), points toward LEED certification, aim to certify your cleaning company, or simply want to adopt sustainable practices, we provide the roadmap to get you there.
The training program is divided into six 4-hour modules covering the following topics, which are compliant with GS-42 training requirements:
Module 1: The new janitorial world
Module 2: Developing procedure manuals
Module 3: Implementing a green cleaning program
Module 4: Choosing green equipment and products
Module 5: Executing green, healthy cleaning procedures
Module 6: Achieving effective stewardship and communication
We offer a flexible schedule that enables you and your group of 6 or more participants to complete the 24 hours of training, delivered in six four-hour modules, in as a little as three days. Groups may also opt for a week, or longer timeframe, depending on need.
Our GS-42 accredited program fulfills the training requirement for GS-42 certification. Upon completion, you will receive a certificate of training that indicates you have successfully completed 24 hours of training by an accredited program. Your organization may decide whether to continue on to GS-42 certification or not, depending on its objectives. In addition to training, GS-42 certification requires the following:
Preparation and submission of a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)
Preparation and submission of a Building-Specific Green Cleaning Plan
Documentation of processes and procedures
On-site inspection of a facility, products, equipment, processes and procedures and employee interviews
The Building Wellness Institute facilitates the GS-42 certification process and assists with CIMS/CIMS GB-required documents and applications through a variety of consulting options.
Once you’ve completed the training, you may choose to continue on to certification or simply adopt green cleaning techniques without certification. Either way, we offer a wide spectrum of services designed to help you advance your green cleaning program, depending on your goals. For those who are already GS-42 certified, we provide auditing and monitoring to ensure compliance and assistance with the recertification process. If you seek certification, we help you through the process from document review to application submission. We can also help you develop communications programs to promote green cleaning within your organization. Our service area breakdown is as follows:
Auditing & Monitoring: For commercial building owners and other institutions, the Building Wellness Institute offers auditing services of your cleaning company that ensure compliance with GS-42, CIMS/CIMS GB and or LEED O&M requirements for green cleaning standards.
Certification Process: From training to application submission, to final Grean Seal inspectiomn, our consulting team offers guidance through all of the necessary steps in the certification process
Communications Programs: Our communications programs help promote green cleaning at your building or throughout your organization through seminars and public awareness campaigns (including eNewsletters and press releases). Effective communication of your green cleaning program will help attract tenants, recruit employees, and establish you as a differentiated leader in the care of your indoor environments.
While no one is required to obtain Green Seal™ GS-42 certification or the Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS/CIMS GB) at this time, national and local government jurisdictions are trending toward requiring a green cleaning standard in the near future. In Washington, D.C., for example, by 2012 all commercial properties 50,000 square feet and more will require LEED certification, initially as new construction or for significant renovations, and then as LEED Operations and Maintenance (O&M) for existing buildings. All commercial properties in D.C. must be Energy Star rated by 2010.
Through our training and consulting practice, we help buildings gain points toward LEED certification and provide building service contractors (BSCs) and environmental/facility services staff the training required for GS-42 certification. How building owners and property managers achieve LEED points through our services may vary because we are able to offer LEED AP assistance and some advice on more cost effective methods to achieve points (such as water savings through installation of touch-free fixtures and waterless urinals, occupant communication, air quality monitoring and documentation, etc.).
The Building Wellness Certification Training program provides numerous advantages to building service contractors (BSCs) and in-house environmental/facility services managers. In addition to meeting the training requirement for Green Seal™ GS-42 and CIMS/CIMS GB, and helping buildings gain points toward LEED certification, the program will help you differentiate as an environmental wellness leader.
Differentiation through certification offers numerous benefits. For cleaning companies and in-house staff, our program serves to help you win business and elevate the job of cleaning to a higher level of professionalism and respect. Certified green cleaning enables property managers, building owners and other businesses attract and retain tenants or residents. And for schools and universities, our green cleaning program help recruit and protect students, and solidify these institutions' reputations as environmental wellness leaders.
On May 7, 2009, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signed legislation (HB 1363) into law that requires the state’s K-12 public schools to procure and use green cleaning products. The law, which becomes effective October 9, 2009, makes Maryland the fifth state that has adopted a green cleaning for schools policy of one form or other. HB 1363 requires Maryland County Boards of Education to purchase green cleaning products for use in K-12 public schools throughout the state.
While adopting green cleaning supplies is an important first step toward environmental wellness, without a firm understanding of best practices, equipment use and how to execute green, healthy hands-on procedures, we can never completely protect the health and wellness of the people who occupy our schools. We believe that green cleaning supplies are only part of the equation. As the nation’s only GS-42 accredited green cleaning training program, the Building Wellness Institute provides building service contractors (BSCs) and environmental/facility services staff the training they need to properly use green cleaning products, achieve Green Seal GS-42 certification, the Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS/CIMS GB), or points toward LEED certification, and make a vital contribution to public health and the environment.