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How to Qualify as a Green Business

by | Oct 20, 2017 | Facilities Cleaning & Maintenance Tips

An experienced green janitorial services vendor is the perfect way for your company to capitalize on the Minneapolis Green Business Program while saving you money, and creating a safer and healthier place for your customers and staff.

Green Janitorial Services for Green Businesses

The City of Minneapolis has incentivized ‘going green’, with financial rewards for:

  • Energy Efficiency projects (up to $20,000)
  • Perc-free dry cleaning options (up to $35,000)
  • Aqueous-based paint booth systems (up to $25,000)
  • Petroleum solvent recycling equipment (up to $25,000)
  • Innovative ways to reduce pollution (up to $100,000)

According to the City of Minneapolis Government website;

[sic]…the City of Minneapolis is investing in businesses that promote cleaner, healthier, and more efficient business practices in our city.

The City is offering Green Business Cost Sharing awards up to $100,000 (no minimum request) for each business willing to invest in cleaner, greener, or more efficient technologies.

Green Business Overview

An experienced green cleaning vendor can be a valuable asset for businesses seeking funding to increase energy efficiency in their office’s while reducing pollution and waste.

 Reduce Energy Consumption

Buildings in the US consume approximately 39% of all energy and 68% of all electricity at an estimated cost of $2.00 to $4.00 per square foot, with costs expected to rise in the future.

This has created a significant environmental hurdle that must be addressed.

According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP);

What is particularly worrying is the rate of growth of emissions: between 1971 and 2004, carbon dioxide emissions, including through the use of electricity in buildings, is estimated to have grown at a rate of 2.5% per year for commercial buildings and at 1.7% per year for residential buildings (Levine et al, 2007).  Furthermore, the Buildings and Construction Sector is also responsible for significant non-CO2 GHG emissions such as halocarbons, CFCs, and HCFCs (covered under the Montreal Protocol), and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), due to their applications for cooling, refrigeration, and in the case of halocarbons, insulation materials.

Buildings and Climate Change

Tips to Reduce Energy Consumption

An experienced green janitorial services vendor can assist you and your business with reduced electricity, natural resource, and energy use, helping you qualify for programs like the Minneapolis Green Business Program.

  • Daytime Cleaning – Janitorial services account for approximately 25% of building light usage, and 7% of total energy consumption.  Switching to daytime cleaning schedules and coordinating custodial team activities with building security has been shown to reduce energy costs by up to 8% annually.
  • Cold Water – The average kitchen and bathroom sink faucet use approximately 2 gallons of hot water per minute.  Switching from cotton or cloth towels and mops to microfiber and green solvents will allow your business to reap the benefits of energy and water reduction through cold water cleaning practices by as much as 18%.
  • Energy-Efficient Equipment – High-efficiency, modern green cleaning equipment, specifically floor scrubbers, can reduce water consumption by up to 70% compared to older, conventional equipment, resulting in an additional reduction in cleaning detergent used, as well as associated costs.

For More Information:

Air and Water Quality Improvements

The availability of clean drinking water is predicted to be a major factor affecting global populations in the near future.

According to the US National Research Council Chemical Sciences Roundtable;

Most experts agree that water will be the next major environmental stress issue, rivaling and perhaps exceeding global climate change for technical and management solutions in the coming decades.

Green Chemistry: The Impact on Water Quality and Supplies

Additionally, the availability and quality of the air we breathe, especially considering the amount of time most people spend indoors, is vital to ensure public health and safety.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA);

A peer-reviewed 1997 EPA Report to Congress reviewed the benefits of the Act from 1970 to 1990, and concluded that in 1990 alone, pollution reductions under the Act prevented 205,000 early deaths, 10.4 million lost I.Q. points in children due to lead exposure, and millions of other cases of health effects.

Progress Cleaning the Air and Improving People’s Health

Tips to Improve Water and Air Quality

One of the immediate benefits of switching to green cleaning products and practices in homes, schools, and businesses is the improvement of indoor air quality, and the elimination of toxins introduced into the water supply via conventional cleaning solvents.

Green Seal Certified products are biodegradable, non-toxic, and environmentally friendly–meaning no toxic chemicals are released into the water supply, and no harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are introduced into the air.

Regardless of 3rd-party incentives like those from the Minneapolis Green Business Program, your business can take cost-effective steps right now that will improve your profits and productivity while reducing your company’s environmental impact.

  • Use Green Seal Certified cleaning products.
  • Switch out cotton/cloth mops and towels for microfiber.
  • Open doors and windows to improve indoor air flow and lower humidity.
  • Place live plants around the office to absorb ozone and toxins.
  • Only clean with cold water, and;
  • Replace outdated equipment with energy efficient appliances.

References and Resources


The Minneapolis Green Cost Share Program is meant to assist local businesses with updating their office buildings and operational procedures to improve the quality of living for everyone in the city while saving money, and eliminating unnecessary waste.

Due to increasing environmental and social pressures, progressive businesses that wish to grow in the future must adopt green and sustainable business practices.

Outsourcing your organization’s green needs to certified janitorial services vendor is a proven, cost-effective method to ensure rapid program implementation, translating into a faster return on investment.

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Looking for a commercial cleaning company to help you qualify for the Minneapolis Green Business program?

Vanguard Cleaning Systems of Minnesota can help you consider all your needs and options before you make a move. Download our free guide, “8 Steps to Hiring a Commercial Cleaning Company”