April 23, 2021
BGIS North America Eliminates Non-Biologically Based Cleaning And Degreasing Compound Products From General Cleaning Specifications, Reducing Environmental Impacts By Over 90%.
Our Impact on the Cleaning Industry:
BGIS currently manages cleaning contracts for dozens of clients with an annual spend of over $175M. BGIS recognizes the environmental impact that the use of chemical-based cleaning products and their packaging has in the Corporate Real Estate (CRE) industry. In 2019, BGIS launched an open industry consultation with an objective to ensure our suppliers use the cleaning industry’s most environmentally sustainable cleaning consumables (solutions and paper products) to help create a more safe, sustainable workplace for cleaning staff and building occupants.
Solicitations were evaluated to help BGIS improve our specifications and identify manufacturers and distribution partners whose products would help execute on our sustainability vision. The best cleaning products were selected and mandated to be a requirement in our cleaning agreements with janitorial suppliers.
Proposal Evaluation and the Outcome:
BGIS Strategic Sourcing established Proposal Evaluation criteria and methodology and engaged the BGIS Green Team to facilitate a formal technical evaluation of the various proposals received from National Distributors, Cleaning Supply Companies and Janitorial Service Providers.
The proposal that showcased a product with Ecologo 2792: a Biologically Based cleaning solution which is effective for all surfaces, scored the highest and was selected for our specification. As a single concentrate, users can adjust dilution levels for various applications. This has resulted in many additional benefits including reduced transportation, packaging cost and ease of use for cleaners when compared to the normal practice of using several different cleaning products to complete work.
Throughout the remainder of 2019 and 2020, all BGIS janitorial procurements included Ecologo 2792 products as the specified and mandated cleaning solution. BGIS engaged all our leading strategic janitorial service providers to share the news and encourage them to pilot our new standard. Upon implementation of this standard, the BGIS Procurement Team received positive feedback from our industry suppliers and service providers. The BGIS Procurement team also received positive feedback from cleaning staff regarding the fragrance of the brand, which is derived from an all-natural lime extract solution.
Deployment and Accomplishments:
By Q1 2021, BGIS has established over $100M of new cleaning contracts in Canada with this new specification across our client portfolios. Forecasted benefits to the industry and the environment are summarized in the following table:
Validating our Decisions:
In March of 2021, BGIS engaged our Health and Safety leadership team to commission a detailed study to validate and confirm that BGIS will maintain the position of selecting biologically-based products (EcoLogo 2792) to replace chemicals for general purpose cleaning.
This review included confirmation of sustainability best practices as outlined in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Existing Building: Operations and Maintenance (applicable to operations in both USA and Canada) as well as a review of the sustainable cleaning product market.
Results of the Review:
Biologically-based cleaning solutions (certified to EcoLogo 2792) continue to be the leading sustainable choice which have benefits for building occupants, operational staff, cleaning staff, building materials and finishes, as well as the natural environment, as detailed below:
- Building Occupants: The use of these environmentally sustainable cleaning products eliminates toxic chemicals and waste indoors. This supports the indoor environmental quality of the building and reduces the risk of contaminants from toxic chemicals.
- Cleaning Staff: As safety is always an important priority at BGIS, the health of workers within the buildings we manage is of utmost importance. The Biologically-based cleaning solutions support the health of all workers, including cleaning staff in the building, by reducing and eliminating exposure to corrosive materials, highly alkaline or acidic products, and toxic fumes such as VOCs.
- Environment: These types of cleaning materials reduce the impact cleaning has on the environment as a reduction in packaging waste and a reduction of pollutants/contaminants that may contribute to a building’s effluent.
- Market Availability: EcoLogo 2792 certified products are generally accepted and available. There are currently 26 manufacturers referenced on their website: Main App - SPOT (ul.com).
- BGIS Service Provider Feedback: The specification was issued in 2020 to all BGIS strategic cleaning service providers. BGIS has received unanimous positive testimonials on performance of the biologically-based cleaners.
BGIS has concluded that biologically-based cleaning solutions ( EcoLogo 2792) reduce environmental impacts and supports employee and occupant well-being. These products also facilitate a superior cleaning experience within our managed buildings. This sustainable cleaning strategy will support:
- The natural elimination of odours by eliminating the bacteria that is the underlying cause. This eliminates the need to mask smells with synthetic and chemical based air fresheners.
- The ability to clean multiple surfaces to a superior performance with one cleaning product. This reduces the need for multiple types of cleaning products to be ordered and used within the building, further reducing GHG emissions and packaging waste. It also allows for improved efficiency of cleaning staff as they can use the same cleaning product for multiple surfaces
- The ability to ship concentrated non-corrosive product which can be diluted with water on site reduces the amount of plastic jugs and boxes to be shipped to a site with greater actual useable product using up less space at the location, and reducing the number of deliveries required. This results in reduced plastic to landfill, reduced cardboard and reduced GHG emissions from much reduced delivery requirements.
- The elimination of potential staining and wearing of building materials and surfaces that result from the conventional cleaning products that have high and low pH levels. By utilizing products that have pH levels as close to neutral as possible, we support the longevity of the buildings surfaces and materials as well as maintain their look and finish.
- Efficiencies are gained in reducing the administrative burden of SDS documentation.
As of April 2021, BGIS has implemented the use of biologically-based cleaning solutions in over 3500 locations across North America.
The BGIS approach for COVID-19 cleaning includes disinfection. Disinfectants are not included in the scope of this analysis at this time. BGIS will defer to published material by health authorities in their jurisdictions for recommendations related to disinfectants to combat COVID-19.
New BGIS Policy
As a result of our research, BGIS is very excited to officially announce our decision to eliminate the use of all NON-BIOLOGICALLY BASED CLEANING PRODUCTS for general purpose cleaning for all locations under our management.
In the coming weeks we will mobilize a communications and action plan that will facilitate this outcome.
We have the unique ability to significantly impact our environment and influence the cleaning industry to adopt more sustainable solutions and we are excited to take this action in support of our sustainability objectives.
BGIS Strategic Sourcing and Procurement