ESG and the commercial cleaning industry

Prioritizing environmental, social, and governance goals.
Monday, July 17, 2023

More and more companies are looking for ways to increase their sustainability efforts, and commercial cleaners can help businesses reach their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals. In fact, recent surveys indicate that facility managers ranked cleaning third in importance for reaching some of their main targets, including water and energy consumption.

Standards and reporting of environmental, social, and governance elements are rapidly becoming critical for many businesses, so commercial cleaning companies need to know how to help support these priorities to keep providing the best value they can for their customers.


In a recent episode of Straight Talk! with Jeff Cross, Randy Burke, CEO of DCS Global, talks about focusing on helping businesses reduce their environmental impact. Using environmentally friendly products is a great option, as is adopting greener practices. But cleaners need to think beyond these options. Things like day cleaning, for example, means that cleaners may not need to turn the lights on as they clean certain areas, relying on daylight as they work.

71 per cent of cleaning companies are already focused on sustainability, whether or not their clients have made that request. While there is certainly value in facility managers upgrading equipment like smart toilets (and more) to go greener, cleaning companies can help boost sustainability without breaking the bank – because they’re already doing it.

Social responsibility

Part of social responsibility is keeping building occupants safe and cleaning for health is certainly a contributing factor. But Burke says it goes beyond that, extending to the way that staff are being treated, employment practices, fair wages, and more. Developing relationships with building operators where cleaners can communicate their practices and make sure they align with their customers is a step in fulfilling that part of their “social contract.


Third-party experts are an important part of maintaining governance, but it’s vital for cleaners to have something set up within their protocols to ensure that oversight is occurring. Burke recommends that you “get granular,” staying on top of your operations to make sure that you are handling everything according to protocols, your teams are trained, and you have adequate measures in place to handle it when things go wrong.

Not only is it important that cleaning companies recognize the importance of ESG, but they need to let their clients know that they are on the same page by record-keeping, creating standards, and training their teams to communicate these goals with their customers.

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