Planning with Tomorrow in Mind: Developing a Sustainability Committee

A sustainability committee is a group within an organization whose mission is to find solutions that make it greener and more environmentally responsible — and put these ideas into motion. The committee has to work to mobilize people to make sure the best sustainable practices are implemented throughout the organization.

Once an organization is convinced that it’s in their best interests to strive to be more environmentally friendly, creating a sustainability committee is a great next step. Typically, the team will have two elements: a steering committee, which consists of management, and an action team that implements the plan.

The Sustainability Steering Committee

A steering committee is comprised of senior management as well as other key stakeholders (such as department representatives, and operations) who have the authority to make major decisions. The steering committee is responsible for maintaining project momentum, which is important especially when facing political hurdles brought on by change. They are also responsible for providing support to the action team and keeping them on track.

When building a steering committee and action team, their needs to be a coordinator who works with both teams. (In some cases, an outside individual such as a vendor, consultant, or green cleaning advocate can serve as the coordinator, but frequently these people play the role of key advisor to the coordinator.)

The primary role of the coordinator is team management and leadership.  Their specific functions include:

  1. Leadership: Coordinating the steering committee and action team.
  2. Communication: Ensuring the two groups have the information needed to make timely and informed decisions, while the management is kept aware of progress and that questions are answered quickly and accurately.
  3. Problem-Solving: Being aware of any problems that may be developing, coordinating efforts to deal with them quickly, and calling for outside assistance when required.
  4. Point of Contact: Serving as point of contact for all questions, communications, concerns, or other issues between the implementation teams, management, administration, staff and employees.
The Action Team

The action team (or green team if you prefer) includes the people who are responsible for the day-to-day activities and details involved in implementing the plan. They’re involved in everything from collecting the initial information that reviews the current situation to reviewing results and modifying procedures to achieve the desired results.

It can be difficult to choose the members of your action team. We recommend the following tips to help you come up with the best group:

  1. Include members from all aspects of your organization. This does not only include your office employees, but those who work in your plant or warehouse. Or those in the maintenance department, your contract service providers (i.e., cleaners, HVAC company, lawn maintenance, property managers, health and safety officers, waste management, pest management, etc.).
  2. Include employees who have expressed an interest. Those who are interested in improving the indoor air quality of your building and saving the environment should be highly motivated.
  3. Try to get those who are hesitant about the idea on board. These reluctant or skeptical folks could turn out to be the project’s biggest supporters.
  4. Invite customers or regular visitors to your facility to become members. Those with an outside perspective of your building bring a valuable perspective to your project.

Having the right members on your sustainability committee can make it easier to roll out sustainable practices across every segment of your organization. And having a sustainability coordinator who can work with the steering committee and the action team can help the groups work together.

Sustainability committees are capable of tremendous change within their organization and the greater environment, and creating a formal structure helps them make their biggest impact.

Get in touch

Allcare has the experience and expertise to advise your organization’s Sustainability Committee and even help facilitate its start-up if you don’t currently have one.

We advise on establishing Green Housekeeping programs as part of your organization’s sustainability efforts and assist in optimizing its institutional capacity around sustainability.

Making Cleaning Smarter with CleanTelligent

A message from Cleanteilligent sent to an iPad saying that a problem has been resolved
Cleanteilligent software helps facilitate communication between cleaning customers and clients.

CleanTelligent software helps provide Allcare Maintenance Services an open communication channel for clients, helping ensure that all services are delivered in a professional and timely manner.

Implemented in early 2012, this application helps managers and clients stay in constant communication, and helps make cleaning services more organized and simpler to manage for clients. Customers can expect to have their requests sent to the correct personnel and receive a response to your request – all within an hour.

CleanTelligent helps clients stay in the loop by keeping an archive of tickets, issues reported and response times, as well as notifications of requests made by others in the company.

Site inspectors also use CleanTelligent to deliver timely site inspection reports which they complete using Blackberrys and uploaded them immediately to a secure website that can be accessed by the individual client.

CleanTelligent has helped Allcare adhere to the highest levels of Quality Control and Training. In this special Q&A interview, we found out from CleanTelligent president Michael Jenkins about the importance of communication between cleaners and clients, the origins of CleanTelligent platform, and how it can help cleaning business work smarter.

Allcare: How did the idea of developing software for the cleaning industry come about?

Michael Jenkins: In the 1990’s, I was running a successful cleaning company in Salt Lake City, Utah. We used paper journals to communicate with our customers, who could communicate directly with the cleaners. We thought this was the best idea, but it turned out to be a huge mistake – it took the home office out of the loop and put the burden of being professional in the hands of the cleaners.

I had a friend in the software business.  We decided to write a web based journal for our clients to use. It was so successful that we broke off from the cleaning company and have since added other modules like inspections, scheduling, reporting, and much more. With the software, cleaning companies are able to have the automation needed to be more customer facing and productive.

Allcare: How does CleanTelligent software add intelligence to the delivery and monitoring of cleaning services and improve the way a cleaning business operates?

MJ: CleanTelligent is quality control software. It improves performance by helping cleaning companies to determine and exceed client expectations. CleanTelligent combines inspections, communication, and reporting.  These three factors are what determine performance and quality. When CleanTelligent gets involved in these processes, cleaning businesses have the ability to manage performance and ensure attention in real time to their clients through quality control.

Allcare: Will people and companies receiving cleaning services notice a difference in their service and options when their cleaning services provider uses CleanTelligent?

MJ: Absolutely, client retention is the #1 benefit we can promise to our users. Communication is the key to unlocking client satisfaction. With CleanTelligent, the cleaning services provider can generate reports to create company goals and prove performance to clients. The companies receiving the cleaning service recognize a big difference when they are able to simply submit work orders and view reports.

It has always been important to me that the software simply integrates into the cleaning company’s operations. This includes branding the software to the cleaning company. We don’t want the businesses receiving the cleaning services to recognize CleanTelligent as the solution; we want them to recognize service providers, like Allcare, as the solution. The software is branded to the cleaning company using it, positioning clients to recognize their service provider as the answer to their needs.

Allcare: What are some of the features that you’re particularly proud of, and which features are you planning to add in future releases?

MJ: It may not exactly be a feature, but I am most proud of the customization ability in CleanTelligent. Technology is not only for automation, but for empowerment. Each company has its own goals and needs. CleanTelligent is designed to be customizable so individual companies can maintain their standard and proprietary way of doing things. We set a general direction and then commit ourselves to creating the resources that our customers need to reach their full potential.

We plan to stay ahead of the current trends of mobility because of the communication it offers for our customers between them and their clients. We recently released our app for the iPad and Blackberry tablet. This makes it so that users can perform inspections and access information whenever needed. We believe the more freedom a company has with its operations, the better employees and management can reach full potential with quality control and client satisfaction.

For more information on CleanTelligent’s software, please visit cleantelligent.com.