On April 22, 1970, more than 20 million people mobilized for the first Earth Day to call for increased protections of the planet. Inspired by the 1960s Vietnam War protests, Earth Day started as a national environmental teach-in led by Sen. Gaylord Nelson, Rep. Pete McCloskey and Denis Hayes, an activist. They planned the teach-in for April 22, between spring break and final exams, to maximize student participation. The event grew from their vision as millions participated in rallies and marches, fueling the environmental movement in the United States.
More than 50 years later and now a global movement, Earth Day continues to foster appreciation of the earth’s environment and raise awareness of environmental problems, including water and air pollution caused by toxic cleaning chemicals.
Didlake has a long track record of providing sustainable green cleaning that meets rigid federal agency standards, provide healthier environments for occupants and protect the planet. Through ISSA, the Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association, Didlake has Cleaning Industry Management Standards (CIMS) – Green Building (CIMS-GB) certification with honors for all its custodial contracts. Implementation of the standard establishes Didlake as a high-performance, customer-centric organization with consistent, quality services.
As a CIMS-GB certified custodial services provider, Didlake demonstrates its commitment to green cleaning and sustainability, and assists customers with achieving the maximum number of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) points. Didlake’s management team includes an ISSA Certified Expert (I.C.E.) who ensures that employees understand the intent and application of the standards and processes required to achieve green building excellence.
CIMS-GB certifies that Didlake standardized all custodial operations across all sites, ensuring consistent delivery of services. For example, janitorial closets and carts across all sites have the same basic set-up with the same green chemicals. Additional supplies are added if needed to meet specific customer requirements. Didlake also uses a sustainability template to define its approach to sustainability for each custodial contract. This helps Didlake ensure it meets CIMS-GB requirements, such as purchasing 75-plus percent sustainable products, by category, for every contract.
Didlake first achieved CIMS-GB in 2013 and completes a recertification process validated by a third party every two years. At its next survey, scheduled for March 2022 in Hampton Roads, Va., Didlake will have a new efficiency program to showcase.
Didlake was already using cleaning equipment that uses minimal chemicals and environmentally friendly batteries, but is now implementing standards for managing that equipment. Last summer, the U.S. Navy added Environmental Energy Managers to two of its custodial contracts with Didlake. The Environmental Energy Managers identified the need for a more proactive approach to maintaining the equipment for optimal use, and developed checklists of maintenance procedures and inspections. Training and implementation of the checklists and inspection began in February. As the procedures are defined and the inspection templates are finalized, they will be entered into Didlake’s CleanTelligent® software for tracking proactive care and maintenance per piece of equipment. Looking ahead, Didlake plans to apply the equipment maintenance and management process to all contracts.
“We are creating a healthier and safer environment for our employees as well as our customers by using more innovative, energy efficient equipment that reduces the potential for chemical exposure. We’ve also added environmentally preferred equipment safeguards to increase employee safety and reduce potential damage to building surfaces. Additionally, filtering systems to capture fine particulates result in cleaner air,” said Rebecca Crampton, Quality and Environmental Manager, who oversees Didlake’s sustainability initiative and certification. “Our business is people, our service is environmental, and we have an obligation to make a positive impact on the world around us by prioritizing both.”