1. Have all employees been security checked and references verified?
All cleaners and all their team members should be thoroughly checked through the Ministry of Justice pre-employment vetting system. All cleaners and contractors must be photo ID-checked and references verified.
All EcoPro cleaners have been checked and verified prior to allowing them on site. EcoPro only uses already well established cleaning teams with a previous excellent record and all teams are thoroughly trained in security protocols.
2. Are service levels maintained in accordance with the schedule and environmental procedures?
Managers check standards against a Quality Assurance programme in order to maintain contractual obligations as set out in Service Level Agreements.
At EcoPro we use the latest technology to audit our cleaning teams. All clients are seen at least every two months, more if the client requires it. We use an app that marks the cleaners on around 48 different aspects, and these audits provide us with a clear picture of how each team is tracking, enabling us to spot issues before they even become a problem.
3. What is the rate of customer churn?
If client retention rates are less than 2 years, this could be evidence of poorly maintained standards. Ask the commercial cleaner you’re evaluating what the average rate of customer retention is.
Many of EcoPro’s clients have been with us for more than 10 years, some even 15-20 years.
4. Are skilled contractors and workers fairly paid?
Often cleaners are taken advantage of, treated poorly and paid low wages.
EcoPro believes in changing the way people think about cleaners. Our cleaners are self employed, not a franchise, which means more money in their pockets. We pay our teams fairly for every project, ensuring our cleaners are able to receive the equivalent of a living wage. This is necessary for self-respect and self-esteem – and you receive a higher standard of cleaning as a result. We support them to run their businesses, providing them with full training in green cleaning services and more eco friendly professional cleaning products to do the job. 20% of our cleaning teams have been with us for more than 10 years, and three of them since the 1990s!
5. Demonstrable cost saving benefits
The provider can prove the cost savings they’ve helped clients achieve. They do not make bold unverifiable claims.
EcoPro have researched the global cleaning industry and formulated some revolutionary techniques that can help any company save money. Our Green Cleaning Assessment enables us to take an indepth look into how a business is currently operating and make genuine suggestions to help improve systems with a close eye on saving our clients’ money.
6. Are their products, processes and services licensed by Environmental Choice NZ?
Environmental Choice NZ (ECNZ) recognises the genuine moves made by manufacturers to reduce the environmental impacts of their products and provides a credible and independent guide for consumers who want to purchase products that are better for the environment. Any business licensed by ECNZ, has undergone an exhaustive evaluation of its processes, products and people, in order to achieve internationally benchmarked standards.
For example, the cleaning chemicals used must be certified ‘eco-labelled’ products and carry the ECNZ eco-tick. The cleaning processes, including those for handling and best use of chemicals, must be ECNZ licensed and only the best possible equipment should be used. Where possible, licensed ECNZ alternatives on all washroom consumables must also be used. ECNZ certified commercial cleaning companies must also adhere to the ‘Principles for a Sustainable Property Services Industry’.
As a minimum requirement, an eco-aware commercial cleaner should be able to demonstrate adherence to internationally recognised environmentally-friendly cleaning standards. The full ECNZ Cleaning Services standard EC-45-16 document can be viewed on their website.
As the very first cleaning company in New Zealand to have their services licensed in 2009, EcoPro were at the cutting edge of implementation of the specifications and were able to make valuable recommendations to ECNZ with regards to how the specifications would work within the industry before they came into being. Being audited on an annual basis by ECNZ also means that we need to prove that we are still maintaining high standards in environmental best practise and the ongoing need to improve and find better ways.
7. If your building is Green Star rated, consider your cleaner particularly carefully
The New Zealand Green Building Council recognises buildings which create a healthy, efficient, productive and environmentally sustainable building for New Zealanders to live and work in. Building owners can have the building evaluated and rated based on the Green Star system, which is an expensive and rigorous process. Owners invest in the process because of demonstrable proof that healthy buildings result in fewer lost days due to employee sickness.
If your building is Green Star rated, the harsh chemicals and bleach based products used by an uninformed commercial cleaning company, can potentially compromise your green building eco-system. This can be counter-productive, in relation to reducing the number of lost work days due to sickness.
Again, as a minimum requirement, an eco-aware commercial cleaner should be able to demonstrate adherence to internationally recognised environmentally-friendly cleaning standards.
In 2010 EcoPro became the first and only cleaning company in New Zealand to become Green Star Practitioners with the NZ Green Building Council. As active members to this day, EcoPro ensure they have a voice in the building industry and their valuable input is highly regarded in these circles
8. Are they independently audited annually?
The company should be able to prove they are independently and annually audited by a recognised international standards-based authority.
ECNZ conduct an annual audit on EcoPro to ensure not only environmental best practise is being maintained in their every day activities but also that the eco-label is being correctly used in order to avoid Green Washing. In an industry rife with Green Washing, this is a very important aspect of what EcoPro are all about.