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Transition Planning, Building Management Commitment, and Writing a Cleaning Stewardship Plan

The three charts in this appendix contain suggested planning prompts and action items to plan and take your initial steps after completing a Baseline Survey. You will want to create a brief Transition Plan that you can take to management to get support for changing over your operation to green cleaning. Analyze your Baseline Survey data using the "Transition Planning Prompts" below. Explain what you want to do, by when, how it should work and why your managers will be happy with the results.

The second chart will lead you through steps to build management commitment. Your change over to 'green cleaning' practices will begin in earnest when you have secured your management's understanding of and commitment to this effort. "Management" includes the property management, management of the tenant organization, the cleaning contractor's management, and that of the product vendor.

Writing your Cleaning Stewardship Plan is the subject of the last chart in this appendix, which includes a suggested outline. Documenting your green cleaning procedures in a Cleaning Stewardship Plan is important in maintaining operational continuity. The outline presented below suggests that the Plan include a policy statement, management goals, and chapters that document your environmental criteria, product selections, health and safety program, and operating procedures (addressing product use, hazardous materials management, and waste minimization).

Transition Planning Prompts
Action Items
What are the top concerns voiced by tenants, cleaning staff, and building management? Pick three priority issues in each of the following three areas: safety, cleaning quality, and environmental performance.
  • Identify ways to address these issues within the first 60 days of transition, if possible. Figure out how to achieve success quickly on the items that mean the most to everyone.

  • Make longer term plans and identify resource needs to address issues that cannot be solved in the first 60 days.

  • Consider what issues remain on the table after the top five are taken care of. Can any of them be addressed with a quick fix? Prioritize those concerns/deficiencies remaining as part of the transition plan.
Green product substitution. Which products do you want to try switching first?
  • Identify one or two cleaners to find a green substitute for first, considering the environmental/health safety analysis of your current cleaners. Don't switch them all at the same time.

  • Also identify a paper product to consider substituting (paper towel, bathroom tissue, wiper, etc). When looking at alternatives, remember to consider dispenser compatibility. Will the new product fit in your current dispensers? If not, will the new product vendor give you new dispensers?

  • Order samples from a few different vendors for each of the products you will consider switching. Try working with your current distributor.
Plan your product pilot tests.
  • Choose experienced cleaning staff to test the products.

  • Review the MSDS with them. Point out the reduced health and safety risks with the alternative products.

  • Ensure that you know how to mix the products for proper dilution and that they are appropriate for the cleaning task selected. Provide the testers with use instructions.

  • Survey the cleaning staff after a week or so about how they like the product's performance and how they feel about using a safer product. Does the different smell bother them or is it less irritating?

  • Get samples of paper products under consideration to show building management and tenant representatives. Discuss the environmental benefits associated with these alternatives. Do they have any concerns with color and texture?
Define your training needs.
  • Draft your training plan. Determine who needs which classes, for how much time, how often and taught by whom.

  • Budget for a qualified trainer, as appropriate, to meet your needs and get your staff prepared.

  • Develop a training records management system to maintain documentation, to track which employees should have what training, and to schedule class sessions so that all employees stay current with training requirements.
What OSHA plans do you need to draft or obtain from the building manager?
  • Hazard Communication?

  • Personnel Protective Equipment?

  • Respiratory Protection?

  • Bloodborne Pathogens?

  • Asbestos Management?
What changes could be made to enhance recycling efforts in the building?

What diversion rate have you achieved?
  • Develop a recycling guide to help employees better understand what can and cannot be recycled in the building, where the recycling bins can be found, the goals of the recycling program, how well the building currently performs against these goals, and how each employee's contribution is important toward meeting these goals
  • Promote recycling on America Recycles Day, November 15. For more information, visit

  • Promote the national Clean Out Your Files Day campaign, coordinated by the US Conference of Mayors. For more information, visit

Building Management Commitment Prompts
Action Items
Are the building owner/operator and other managers interested in and committed to setting up a green cleaning program?
  • Brief managers on how they can benefit from green cleaning. Include case study examples from other organizations that are doing green cleaning.

  • Cite any tenant or worker complaints that might be remedied through a more health-sensitive approach to cleaning.

  • Present your Transition Plan, highlighting the short term actions and longer term projects that would be taken to move the operation to green cleaning (based on the results and analysis of the Baseline Survey).

  • Identify the importance of a participatory, stewardship approach involving all stakeholders.

  • Ask for their support in this worthwhile endeavor, including financial (if necessary).

  • Promise to report back regularly on successes, decisions needed/made, milestones, and results.
Is there someone who has or can act as a Stewardship Coordinator?
  • Identify a Stewardship Coordinator. Select someone who will have time to devote to product research and evaluation, and who can coordinate the administrative aspects of writing a Stewardship Plan and coordinating a Building Stewardship Council. If possible, this person should have or receive additional training in hazardous materials management.

  • Summarize roles and responsibilities for the Stewardship Coordinator.

  • Empower this person with sufficient time to complete the task and with decision-making authority. Ensure they have access to the Internet for research.
Is building management/contractor willing to invest financial resources to start a green cleaning program?   

Draft a budget for any anticipated transition costs. Possible expenditures include: new recycling bins, chemical product portioners, eye wash stations, HEPA filtered vacuums, tenant
  • Draft a budget for any anticipated transition costs. Possible expenditures include: new recycling bins, chemical product portioners, eye wash stations, HEPA filtered vacuums, tenant communications/posters, etc.

  • Identify financial benefits that may accrue from these investments. For example, chemical portioner may prevent waste of chemical concentrate and help avoid cleanup costs. Green cleaning also may reduce workers compensation costs from injuries.

  • Get financial commitment to make transition a success.
Are the tenants/occupants currently involved in any aspect of building cleaning and maintenance?
  • Recruit tenant representatives to participate in a Building Stewardship Council. Be sure to seek out representatives from areas of the building or offices with frequent complaints or concerns about cleaning issues. Consider asking for formal nominations from each subdivision in the building.
Are the janitorial managers and janitorial staff involved in setting up and maintaining the program?
  • Involve cleaning staff. Meet with staff as part of baseline survey to identify any health or cleaning issues of concern. Assure them that they will not be penalized for participating and stating an opinion. Get them involved in testing products and providing feedback. Seek out their expertise.

  • Identify cleaning staff representatives to the Building Stewardship Council. Involve supervisors and staff who do different types of cleaning tasks.
Does either the cleaning contractor or building manager have a policy that states their commitment to quality service, environmentally-sensitive operations and employee health and safety?
  • Draft a building and/or cleaning contractor policy that references the building's primary mission, and relates this to goals and policies toward cleaning stewardship. Policy could include commitment to establish a Building Stewardship Council involving building management, building environmental and/or safety specialists (if available), cleaning management, cleaning staff, and cleaning product suppliers.

Cleaning Stewardship Plan Outline
Building Policy   
  • Brief statement of commitment to support the mission of the office by ensuring a clean, healthy building, while protecting cleaning staff and operating with environmental sensitivity.
Management Goal
  • Identify cleaning quality goals (i.e., no more than a minimum number of complaints or a target result in the quality assurance inspection program).

  • Identify waste diversion goal (i.e., target percentage of waste managed by recycling and/or recycling of specific list of commodities).

  • Identify worker safety goals (i.e., specific target number of injury/loss days).

  • Identify product goals (transition a certain number of products to environmentally preferable alternatives each year).

  • List of Personnel Organized by Labor Category, with description of roles and responsibilities, shift hours, and geographic /territory assignment.

  • Detailed statement of Stewardship Coordinator responsibilities, including:
    • emergency preparedness and response;

    • training development and document management;

    • monitoring of hazardous materials storage and waste management;

    • tracking/reporting on waste generation/recycling;

    • recycling education/promotion;

    • chemical cleaning product evaluation for environmental preferability;

    • issuance of personnel protection equipment and product use guidelines;

    • management of hazard communication and other OSHA program requirements;

    • development of cleaning procedures and schedule; and

    • coordination of Building Stewardship Committee.
Building Stewardship Committee
  • Charter Building Stewardship Committee to consider and advise on environmental and cleaning issues related to the building operation.

  • Committee membership and recruiting, including

    • Building management representatives

    • Environmental management staff

    • Cleaning staff

    • Cleaning contractor management

    • Tenant representatives

    • Product manufacturers.

  • Scope of issues to be considered by Committee:

    • cleaning quality

    • indoor air quality

    • environmental aspects of cleaning/consumable products

    • recycling efforts..

  • Frequency of meeting and committee facilitation (chair, agendas, notifications, minutes, voting, etc.).
Environmental Criteria and Review of Products Selected for Use
  • Define criteria used to screen both chemical cleaning and other consumable products used in the building.

  • Review of products selected and how they meet criteria.

  • Attach MSDSs and relevant product literature as appendix.
Cleaning Guidelines
  • Summary table showing cleaning task, assigned product to be used, and appropriate use dilution.

  • Cleaning task procedure guides, including stepwise instructions to perform task, product assignment, proper dilution of product, personnel protection equipment requirements, and quality assurance criteria.

  • Product mixing procedures, including dilution and spill prevention methods.

  • Cleaning schedule, including summary of task frequency, task/rotation and inspection schedule for routine and high cleaning events, as well as equipment maintenance.

  • Deployment and management of cleaning use guides. How are these to be distributed and used by cleaning staff?
Safety and Health Program
  • Summary of accident prevention program and OSHA requirements.

  • Detailed OSHA mandated plans attached as appendices, including:

    • Hazard Communication

    • Personnel Protective Equipment

    • Respiratory Protection

    • Bloodborne Pathogens

    • Asbestos Management.
Hazardous Materials Management
  • Description and maps of storage areas in use in the building.

  • Itemization of materials routinely stored in each area.

  • Identification of incompatible chemicals requiring segregation.

  • Description of required area standards: ventilation; secondary containment; fire rating; placarding; emergency spill procedures posting; eye wash; spill kit.

  • Emergency spill response procedures, including: building and local agency notification; evacuation procedures; small spill cleanup; and major spill cleanup contractor.
Hazardous Waste Management
  • Identification of the types of hazardous waste generated

  • Description of proper containment, labeling

  • Disposal contractor to be contacted when waste is generated
Waste Minimization and Recycling
  • Identification of commodities recycled.

  • Diagram of recycling collection bin locations and collection frequencies.

  • Procedures for minimization of commodity contamination.

  • Contractors who pick up commodities and their pick-up schedules.

  • Volume and participation measurement procedures.

  • Waste generation trends (amount generated per month).

  • Recycling volume and participation trends (by commodity and revenues).

  • Comparison of waste diversion achieved with goal.

  • Other waste minimization operations.
  • Definition of Tenant Guidelines, including:

    • Eating in office space

    • Clean up of spills

    • Emergency contact numbers

    • Storage and use of chemicals in the building

    • Recycling

  • Promotion of recycling with incentives
Goal Measurements
  • Identify tracking and reporting methods that will be used to evaluate progress towards goals set in this Stewardship Plan.