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Ashkin Group release

May 11, 2009
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Bloomington, Indiana – The Ashkin Group’s new sustainability workshop, The Operational Approach to Sustainability, has just been accepted into the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Education Provider Program.
This highly respected program allows facility managers and others to access “high-quality, peer reviewed courses for professionals seeking to enrich their knowledge of Green building theories, techniques, practices, and trends,” according to the USGBC.
The half-day workshop was developed by Stephen Ashkin, President of the Ashkin Group, and Cynthia Schultz, the organization’s Director of Sustainability Practices.
According to Ashkin, the goal of the program, which is designed for the professional cleaning industry as well as other industries, companies, and organizations, is to help organizations become more sustainable.
“By focusing on operations, we are moving the issue beyond [a company] simply publishing an annual sustainability or corporate responsibility report,” says Ashkin.
“Instead, this is a hands-on program teaching managers such as those responsible for sales, human resources, facilities, distribution & transportation, and cleaning, etc. to make a real difference on the environment, health, and their organization’s bottom-line.”
Ashkin adds the Workshop will help managers indentify the metrics important to them and which they have some control over, “and with this information, they will be able to understand how their decisions are affecting sustainability and their company’s triple bottom line: profits, people, and planet.
The Workshop includes four hands-on, group exercises that guide class participants through the process of identifying and measuring key sustainability indicators and then using this information to implement their own sustainability programs.
The four exercises include:

- Defining sustainability

- Understanding the three components of sustainability (environmental, social, economic)

- Identifying sustainability indicators

- Developing a prioritized “action plan” to implement a sustainable program.
“One of the components that makes this program unique is that it involves exercises, not long lectures with lots of note taking” says Ashkin. “There are no ‘talking heads.’ Instead, participants learn by doing, which makes learning fun, more effective, and much easier for class participants to take this information back to their offices and implement [sustainable] changes in their own facilities.”
Ashkin says final details as to when and where the workshops will be held as well as charges for the workshop are now being determined.
He anticipates that many of the “early adopters” of Green Cleaning will be some of the first to sign up for the new workshop. “These are the people who like to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to sustainability and protecting the environment,” says Ashkin. “I am grateful that many will likely be from the professional cleaning industry.”
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