Working to develop a cleaning services specification
The family-owned EcoPro Cleaning Co. is New Zealand’s first and only commercial cleaning company to be licensed by Environmental Choice New Zealand.
The company, which started more than 40 years ago, had a mandate to deliver superior cleaning services focused on caring for, and maintaining, commercial premises. Its more holistic approach to commercial cleaning was unique at the time.
In 2008 EcoPro’s second generation owners Anne and Bob Quaid reinvented the business to offer clients an environmentally enhanced commercial cleaning service.
In 2009 Anne and Bob attended a cleaning industry trade show where they saw a Tonkin + Taylor presentation on the Environmental Choice cleaning specification. As a result, they collaborated with Environmental Choice to help develop the Cleaning Services specification which didn’t previously exist.
Anne says it was a great process to be involved in and because they helped develop the specification it became part of their business process.
They became the first Environmental Choice licensee to offer a cleaning service.
“We did our research and we made the changes and adjusted our methodology. We documented our process so when it came time for the audit we were okay. If we can do it, so can others,” Anne says.
“Our Environmental Choice licence, which is third-party verified, gives us that credibility we were seeking.”
The Cleaning Services specification is unique to others in that the licence applies specifically to individual cleaning contracts that the cleaning provider enters into meet the requirements of the specification. The EcoPro team is comprised of independent contractors.
EcoPro specialises in ‘eco cleaning’ services for commercial clients. Anne and Bob took their business a step further and their services now include an initial ‘eco assessment’ to review a client’s waste procedures (including recycling). This is followed by waste minimisation solutions tailored to the business.
Anne says by putting in place a few small changes and a simple reshuffling of a client’s waste procedures, they are able to significantly reduce a client’s waste to landfill.
“For example, by not using individual bin liners under desks you reduce the hundreds if not thousands of bin liners going to landfill.”
Clients see reduction of waste as well as cost savings. “We have seen a 72% reduction in plastic bag consumption which equates to a 57% saving in their consumables over a 12 month period.”
She says in addition to the environmental benefits there are also health benefits. “Not having a bin under your desk means employees have to get up from their desk and go to the kitchen which reduces our sedentary lifestyle.
“With loss of productivity costing business owners millions each year due to staff illness and absenteeism, the "value of clean" is certainly one that has a real impact on bottom lines.”
Over the years, EcoPro has evolved its products, processes and services to meet the demands of its clients and to remain relevant.
“We realised that if we didn’t change, we’d be left behind. We wanted to be the “real deal” which meant avoiding “green-washing,” she says.
Today’s businesses are starting to move toward sustainability and are implementing processes in their workplaces that will have positive social and environmental impacts.
Anne says some clients struggle to understand the benefits of the service. However once they see the numbers it starts to make sense.
She says “EcoPro offers businesses the choice to hire ‘environmentally preferable’ cleaning services. Those who see the value are excited about it.”
The EcoPro team are on a mission to create healthy environments. A healthy office means healthy workers, healthy workers equals increased productivity.
As New Zealand’s only cleaning company capable of providing a service licenced by Environmental Choice New Zealand they take pride in being industry leaders in environmentally friendly cleaning practices and methodology.
EcoPro is set apart from the rest. With more than 40 years experience in commercial cleaning with a vibrant, "early-adopter" attitude to doing business, they take the time to listen and understand individual needs and tailor their service to suit.
By using only environmentally certified products and specialised cleaning processes, EcoPro aims to eliminate toxic chemicals, minimise use of unnecessary plastic and reduce waste to landfill, creating a healthier working environment in which you and your staff can flourish.