Ashkin Detects Tipping Point with LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance
Bloomington, IN – After attending and presenting at the recent U.S. Green Building Council’s Greenbuild Conference held in Phoenix, Arizona, November 11–13, 2009, Green Cleaning and sustainability advocate Stephen Ashkin notes a change in direction that could have major implications for the professional cleaning industry.
Ashkin is president of The Ashkin Group and Sustainability Tool, Inc., and is often referred to as “the father of Green Cleaning.” He has been advocating for the use of cleaning products and systems that have a reduced impact on users, building occupants, natural resources, and the environment for nearly 20 years.
“I believe we are now at a tipping point regarding LEED* for Existing Buildings,” he says. “At the conference, a strong message was delivered on the importance of addressing the millions of existing buildings adopting the LEED EB:OM protocol.”
LEED EB:OM is a rating system based on a set of performance standards for the sustainable and ongoing operations of buildings not undergoing major renovations. According to Ashkin, the protocol is designed to address many of the daily operations of buildings with considerable emphasis on cleaning and maintenance.
Among its requirements are these:
· Purchasing and using Green and sustainable cleaning products for hard floors, carpets, and other surfaces
· Developing strategies for the safe handling of all cleaning products
· Training cleaning professionals on the hazards, use, disposal, and recycling of cleaning chemicals
· Collecting building occupant feedback to evaluate and improve new cleaning technologies, procedures and processes.
“This is so important for the [cleaning] industry because Green Cleaning is no longer viewed as just a requirement for LEED certification; [instead] it plays a key, ongoing role in keeping facilities Green and sustainable,” says Ashkin. “It rewards healthier, more thorough cleaning and encourages building owners and managers to invest in more effective, high-performing cleaning strategies.”
Ashkin has been involved with the U.S. Green Building Council since 1993 and is a former member of its national board of directors.
*Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
About Stephen Ashkin and The Ashkin Group
Stephen P. Ashkin is president of The Ashkin Group, a consulting firm specializing in greening the cleaning industry, as well as Sustainablity Tool LLC, an electronic dashboard that allows jansan companies to measure, track and report on their facility’s environmental impacts, He is also coauthor of both The Business of Green Cleaning and Green Cleaning for Dummies.
Ashkin has worked in the cleaning industry since 1981 and has held senior management positions in leading consumer and commercial product companies. He began his work on Green Cleaning in 1990 and today is thought of as the “father of Green cleaning”. For more information, visit www.AshkinGroup.com.