As a facility leader, it’s easy to get overwhelmed when trying to make your buildings more sustainable, realizing that there are many factors involved in creating sustainable environments. Building service companies of all shapes and sizes make sustainability or ESG (Environmental, Social & Governance) claims every day.  But what claims can you trust?  How can you sift through the “green washing” (overstating) and the “green blushing” (understating) and know the truth? By partnering with a third-party certified building service provider, you will be able to understand and develop a roadmap to creating a sustainable building.

Did you know that an office desk has more than 10 million bacteria particles? That’s 400 times dirtier than the average toilet seat. It only takes 18 viral particles to make another person sick.

Partnering with a third-party certified building services contractor is key, but what does each certification mean and why are they important?

  • Green Seal GS-42 represents life cycle-based sustainability standards for custodial service companies. For a building to be certified it must show best practices in planning, use environmentally preferable products, supplies and equipment, procedures, training, documentation, and communications.
  • Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS-GB with Honors) is a consensus-based management standard for cleaning contractors. Certification assures service excellence in quality systems; service delivery; human resources; health, safety, and environmental stewardship; management commitment; and green building (GB).
  • HHPC Day is the industry’s most comprehensive certification for the execution of day cleaning conversions. Developed by Diversey, the program certifies that building service contractors have been trained to successfully implement flawless day cleaning programs.

Did you know? Green Seal GS-42 and CIMS-GB with Honors count as a prerequisite for BSCs for LEED O+M (Operations and Maintenance) certified buildings. Partnering with a certified partner is key for ensuring your prepared for LEED certification.

Understanding Sustainability Performance

Disclosing sustainability metrics is not a requirement for privately held companies, however, as good stewards of the environment, Harvard discloses sustainability / ESG information is through the CDP and EcoVadis platforms.  CDP is considered the vanguard for disclosing greenhouse gases, focusing on energy and water use, and forestry impact.  EcoVadis is a trusted business sustainability rating system, where tens of thousands of companies collaborate and disclose metrics on sustainability with a common platform, universal scorecard, benchmarks, and performance improvement tools.

Sustainability at Harvard

For Harvard, sustainability is both a philosophy and a practice of cleaning for wellness that uses environmentally preferable products and processes to ensure the health, wellbeing and safety of all building occupants.  Harvard seeks to tell our sustainability / ESG story without green washing or green blushing.  This commitment to enhance client sustainability goals is supported by our third-party certifications: Green Seal GS-42, CIMS-GB with Honors, and HHPC Day.

When seeking out a building service contractor don’t hope, research and look for third-party certifications like Green Seal GS-42 and CIMS-GB with Honors, in addition to public disclosures through platforms like CDP and EcoVadis.