Retendering the cleaning contracts for all ACT Public Schools was a daunting task. But Bridget and the Fresh Green Clean team provided the expertise and direction we needed to develop a solution that is flexible while providing the highest levels of integrity and protection for vulnerable workers.
Put your cleaning service to the test ...
In a nutshell ...
The Fresh Green Clean (FGC) Benchmark program helps you to deliver healthy, sustainable and hygienic cleaning services.
This program captures your whole cleaning process in a Cleaning Plan, pin-points the risks by assessing it against a rigorous criteria framework, and gives your facility a FGC Benchmark rating.
High Performance Cleaning
The FGC Benchmark is a framework of risk-based criteria, that is built on three goals for ‘High Performance Cleaning’ services:
- Healthy Cleaning
- Sustainable Cleaning
- Hygienic Cleaning
The criteria framework
Each FGC Benchmark Goal carries a suite of risk-based criteria, which in turn, are measured against optional auditing indicators that reference cleaning standards and guidelines.
The FGC Benchmark framework is used to assess how well your cleaning service:
- Prevents the risk of harm to the health of cleaners and building users
- Reduces environmental impacts, and support sustainable buildings
- Removes soil from surfaces, and prevent cross-contamination
Who is it for?
The FGC Benchmark program is designed for organisations that need their cleaning services to meet consistently high standards in quality, safety and environmental sustainability. This includes:
- Cleaning companies
- Aged-care and Healthcare services
- Education facilities
- Hotels and hospitality
The many benefits
The FGC Benchmark planning and auditing program offers the cleaning service and the building owners / users a wide range of benefits:
- Ensures high standards of cleanliness and evidence-based methods
- Prevents occupants and cleaners from being exposed to toxins
- Minimises waste and operating costs and improves efficiency
- Increases the uptake of environmentally Certified products
- Supports the environmental sustainability of the building
- Improves the cleaner’s skill and the perceived value of cleaning
- Identifies risk and potential problems at their source, and
- Independently rates your building/s for the standard of cleaning
More about the FGC Benchmark
We developed the FGC Benchmark program to solve a big problem: there are currently no Australian Standards against which the safety, sustainability and effectiveness of a cleaning service can be specified and measured.
While there are, of course, standards for management systems, and some for environmental product labels, the cleaning process (procedures, supply, storage, technique, laundering and maintenance etc) is left up to chance.
Yet it is the quality of the cleaning process that determines the standard of:
- Cleanliness and hygiene
- Health, safety and indoor air quality, and
- Environmental sustainability
So how are cleaning services being measured? Simply by how clean a surface looks.
Now, that may be OK when checking that bins are empty, but not when measuring the cleanliness of the surfaces people touch. Visual performance monitoring is very limited:
- It is highly subjective and time-dependant.
- You can’t visually measure or even see the soil that carries germs on a surface.
Furthermore, there are no standards, or even accepted guidelines, for stipulating and measuring quality, healthy or sustainable cleaning processes.
In fact, cleaning processes are generally only able to be evaluated:
- via conformance to prescriptive guidelines or specifications, or
- reactively after legislation has been breached, or an incident has occurred.
This is like shutting the gate after the horse has bolted!
ATP cleanliness testing (the outcome)
The FGC Benchmark takes a more scientific approach. We use ATP testing devices by Hygiena to measure cleanliness levels on frequently touched surfaces.
ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) is an energy molecule found in all living cells and organic matter, such as dust particles, food, bodily fats and fluids, and even bacteria. The level of ATP detected on a surface after cleaning, can tell us how effective or ineffective the cleaning was.
Following our rigorous ATP testing algorithm, we use Hygiena ATP testing devices to swab and measure the level of ATP left on the surface after cleaning, giving an accurate reading within seconds.
This result is compared to the auditor’s re-clean, and the comparison used to measure the effectiveness of the cleaning service’s products, tools and techniques on that surface.
Risk-based optional criteria (the process)
However, we understand that developing a cleaning service standard that is relevant to the multiple sectors that the cleaning industry services, while complying with a growing list of building rating systems, State-based healthcare cleaning guidelines, GHS and Safe Work compliance, Eco-label standards, and International Management Standards, would be next to impossible.
What is really needed, is an independent, risk-based and holistic set of criteria:
- flexible and independent enough to meet multiple standards and guidelines,
- non-prescriptive to encourage and encompass cleaning innovations,
- holistic by addressing health, environmental and building hygiene risks,
- yet specific and clearly defined to enable us to train, document and measure a cleaning service against it.
Impossible? No! We’ve done it – it’s called The FGC Benchmark.
What people are saying...
- Stuart Hunter | Senior Project Officer | Infrastructure & Capital Works | Education | ACT Government
“Your presentation was sophisticated and articulate as well as passionate and inspiring. What a great combination!”Neri Brown | Planning & Building Enquiry Officer | City of Kingston
“The Green Cleaning Project trials have opened new channels of dialog that have been beneficial to all aspects of managing the cleaning contracts.”Colin McKibben | Leisure Centre Manager | City of Yarra
Bridget Gardner of Fresh Green Clean is the pre-eminent exponent of green cleaning in Australia. Nobody else has undertaken the research, testing and application of green cleaning methods and procedures that she has. If more people had the same drive and commitment as Bridget, our society and planet would be a much cleaner, healthier and friendlier place.John Laws
Director of the Australian Cleaning Contractors Alliance (ACCA)