Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Porter Industries

September 19, 2010

A leading building service contractor (BSC) for more than 42 years, Porter Industries in Loveland, Colorado, always looks for ways to increase the value of its services in an increasingly competitive market.

Five years ago, Porter Industries drafted a new mission statement:

"To serve as a team of trained and trusted professionals Creating clean, safe and healthy environments Through continuous improvement And recognition of excellence!"

To execute this mission statement and help capitalize on new business opportunities in the area, the BSC looked for new programs to enhance its value proposition.

As a part of its first initiative, Porter Industries earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB) certification at the Gold level for its 9,000-square-foot headquarters.

To obtain the designation, employees divided up sections of LEED requirements and worked to ensure each requirement was met.

By working closely with a leading green chemical supplier, the BSC achieved all 14 possible points toward the certification for green cleaning, including use of sustainable cleaning products and materials, low environmental impact policies and exterior maintenance.

After obtaining certification, Porter Industries teamed up with Colorado State University to develop a three-part video on green buildings in order to help other companies green their operations.

"We saw the immediate improvement in the indoor air quality and health of our offices and wanted to help others learn how to do the same," says Steve Hendrickson, president and CEO of Porter Industries.

Porter also began using green cleaning programs in all of its customers'' facilities — not just the facilities that requested green cleaning.

The company made a substantial investment in microfiber and microfiber flat mop systems, using color-coded microfiber to help prevent cross contamination.

Working closely with its supplier, Porter phased in use of Green Seal-certified chemicals.

The company also enhanced staff training programs and actively communicates its green cleaning services so customers understand the benefit to their health and the environment.

Porter also has a LEED Accredited Professional on staff to consult customers considering applying for LEED certification.

Additionally, Porter Industries holds "Zero Waste" events to educate customers about the benefits of sustainability.

These events encourage customers to consider not only the impact cleaning has on a facility, but also the impact that recycling, floor matting, paint, lighting and other areas have on a building''s sustainability and human health.

Porter Industries was the first BSC in the country to earn LEED-EB 2.0 Gold certification for its company headquarters.

Working with distributors, Porter has held green cleaning seminars and other educational events that have generated a significant amount of new business, including a contract with the City of Boulder.

In 2004 and 2005, Porter Industries was the recipient of the Fort Collins Chamber of Commerce "Environmental Business Award" for indoor air quality (IAQ).

Last year, the Northern Colorado Better Business Bureau awarded Porter Industries its most prestigious "Torch Award" for business ethics.

While Porter''s green programs have generated new business, they have also had a positive impact on its operational expenses.

After the installation of new touch-free restroom fixtures and waterless urinals, the company achieved a 40 percent reduction in water bills at its headquarters.

Porter has also reduced its power bills by introducing a 10-kilowatt (kW) Photovoltaic system, solar tube lighting in its training center and by retrofitting its existing T-12 florescent tubes with T-8 tubes.

The company also has redesigned the landscaping around the headquarters building to further reduce water use.