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Green-Cleaning Carpet Boosts Corporate Sustainability Programs

CFR floor machines, chemicals and accessories aid environmentally conscious companies with the help of smart distributors, contract cleaners and facilities management teams.

Account Manager CFR Corporation

Almost 3,000 of the world's largest companies took part in the most recent Corporate Sustainability Assessment, which is used to create the annual Dow Jones Sustainability Indices. Launched in 1999, DJSI World ranks sustainability-driven companies based on financially material environmental, social and governance factors.

Another measure of corporate environmental efforts is the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings, Operations and Maintenance, or LEED:EBOM certification. LEED is the standard developed by the U.S. Green Building Council to recognize buildings that are best-in-class in terms of environmental sustainability.

Organizations that strive to achieve LEED certification or DJSI World rankings spend significant time, energy, and money ensuring that their facilities and operations meet these standards. That’s because compliance with such programs can result not only in a healthier and happier workplace, but in tax credits, reduced fees, low-interest loans and more. Can carpet cleaning contribute to these benefits? Absolutely.

Green Companies Find Green Partners

Many corporations have discovered that green-cleaning products and practices can support Sustainability Program goals. Environmentally friendly ways to care for carpet and textiles can earn points toward LEED certification, for example. They also can deliver the benefits of such standards regardless of certification.

While many companies want to be known for their environmentally friendly practices, most don't want to discuss the specifics of their cleaning programs. But some have found partners who take on the goals of sustainability in cleaning, and multiply the company’s efforts. Fort-Worth, Texas-based CFR, which designs and manufactures a range of eco-friendly carpet cleaning systems and high performance specialty tools, is one such partner. Along with the distributors, contract cleaners and facility managers who know and use its products, CFR has helped the sustainability-focused corporations reap the benefits of green cleaning. Here are a few examples.


Healthcare Products Manufacturer

One global healthcare products company employs more than 90,000 people in 130 countries and is committed to workplace excellence, “green innovation” and green processes for every aspect of its business. This company has been recognized around the world for its sustainability efforts, as well as been included on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for 11 consecutive years as of 2015.

The Facilities Management team that oversees the company’s sprawling Midwestern headquarters campus is as large and well-run as its research and manufacturing facilities. Technicians have detailed preventive maintenance and cleaning plans, and are empowered with sophisticated equipment. Every upholstered office chair on campus, for example, is cleaned, marked and cataloged on a regular schedule. And, the campus is so large that when they’ve cleaned the last chair, they restart the process over again.

That means chair cleaning equipment is essentially being used full-time. So Facilities Management purchased two CFR Pro 500 model extractors and 10 CFR Spotters for use at their corporate campus. The CFR Pro 500s are used to maintain the upholstered office chairs. The CFR Spotters are deployed throughout the campus buildings for carpet and fabric spot patrol.

A CFR Regional Manager recommended the equipment but, he said, “The company’s commitment to green innovation and processes drove the purchasing decision.”

The CFR Pro 500’s patented recycling technology and moisture-controlling atomization technology minimizes both the amount of water used and the amount that comes in contact with the carpet. This avoids damage and allows faster drying while using only about 20 gallons of water for every 15,000 square feet of carpet cleaned. This compares to 140 gallons for traditional hot water extraction methods.

In addition to conserving water, reduction in moisture extends the life of the fabric and doesn’t get the foam cushion wet during cleaning, producing a drier extraction process. The drier process contributes to improved indoor air quality.

With CFR’s technology eliminating excessive moisture, less mold, bacteria and allergens develop in carpets, resulting in fewer complications from allergies and asthma for building occupants. This fits well with the company’s goals of sustainability and operational excellence.


Outdoor Clothing Manufacturer

On another day, A CFR Regional Manager received a call from a DSR asking for demo assistance and advice for cleaning the corporate offices of a large outdoor clothing manufacturer and retailer based in Wisconsin. The company has a “very aggressive green footprint,” he said. “At several of their office buildings, they actually have ‘green aisles’ featuring workstations that are totally paperless.” The company’s other green initiatives cover everything from printer settings and power management to waste management and green technology.

So the Regional Manager recommended the CFR Cascade 20 extractor for the company’s carpet cleaning needs. It is the largest CFR model available and uses the same patented technology so it uses less water than traditional methods.

In addition, the CFR ECO cleaning solution line, which is formulated exclusively for CFR’s extractors, is recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under their Safer Choice Program.

CFR ECO chemicals are high-speed cleaning solutions that deep clean the fibers without damaging the carpet. The CFR ECO chemical line has also be tested by the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) and are listed under their Seal of Approval Program. CFR extractors also recover up to 50 percent more cleaning solution than traditional extractor tools and wands, so it uses fewer resources and produces less waste.

The head of the company’s custodial department and its purchasing group indicated that they were not only impressed with the cleaning capability of the Cascade 20, “but said they would actually earn brownie points themselves for greening another element of their business,” said the Regional Manager.


Medical Software Systems

The corporate campus of an employee-owned medical software systems company sits on 800 acres and encompasses13 buildings. The company started business more than 30 years ago and now boasts more than 5,100 employees and more than $1 billion in annual revenue. Green goals and sustainability are a long-standing way of life. For example, 99% of the company’s HVAC needs are powered by geothermal energy.

The corporate campus boasts more than 3.5 million square feet of floor space, and 1 million square feet more are planned as part of an upgrade project. Once the upgrade is complete, the company will have invested $25 million in carpeting alone.

Company management wanted to protect their investment while meeting their green goals.

The company’s contract cleaning partner has 125 workers on campus each day, and they use CFR Cascade 20 model extractors and CFR chemicals to get the job done. Compared to traditional extractors, CFR machines use less water. Less water in contact with the carpet means less damage to carpet fibers, faster drying, and longer carpet life.


How Carpet Care Choices Affect Sustainability Goals

One measure of corporate sustainability efforts is the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, a standard developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. According to CleanLink.com, the guidelines for LEED certification outline specific green-cleaning criteria for carpet care:

  • Vacuums and other floor machines must be certified by the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Seal of Approval or older Green Label testing program. In addition, vacuums must operate at sound levels less than 70 decibels.
  • Carpet extractors used for deep cleaning must also achieve CRI’s Seal of Approval certification. If equipment is battery operated, gel batteries are preferred. Guidelines also state that machines must be “ergonomically designed to minimize vibration, noise and user fatigue.”
  • Cleaning professionals will need to keep a log of all equipment purchases and note repair and maintenance schedules.
  • Carpet chemicals must meet EPA Safer Choice, Green Seal, or EcoLogo recognition or certification.