At a Glance
More than 13
Janitorial contracting and construction clean-up services
Garett Mahoney founded GreenClean Janitorial, LLC because he was worried his German shepherd, Wiley, might happen upon some poisonous chemicals under the sink or eat from a floor recently mopped with bleach. When Mahoney, an entrepreneurial studies graduate from the University of New Mexico, first spoke to contacts in the clean-up industry about the types of green services available in Albuquerque, he found the landscape dry. So, in 2010 he launched his own cleanup company with the idea of training and certifying all the employees as LEED APs, a distinction that few other operations and maintenance companies around the country can lay claim to—and that zero can lay claim to in Mahoney’s region.
“We’re the first and only janitorial contractors [in the region] with LEED AP-trained personnel,” he says. “In some cases, you’re basically paying for membership when it comes to operations and maintenance certification. But LEED AP is a truly educational program.”
The GreenClean venture was a quick success. By the end of November 2011, Mahoney had relocated to a larger warehouse and employed a staff of 13, and he was expecting to be able to hire six more by December.
Top 5 Products used by GreenClean
1. Spartan Chemical’s Clean by Peroxy is a proprietary all-purpose cleaner formulated to quickly remove everyday soils, including greasy residues.
2. Spartan Chemical’s Green Solutions Floor Seal & Finish contains no glycol or formaldehyde, very low ammonia, and only trace amounts of zinc.
3. Microfiber mops are machine-washable, use less water and fewer chemicals, and can last for years.
4. HEPA vacuums trap fine particles—such as pollen or dust-mite feces—that can trigger symptoms in allergy and asthma sufferers.
5. Green Seal-certified paper products are 100% recycled and made entirely from recovered fibers.
GreenClean earns about half of its revenues through janitorial contracting—servicing commercial offices, veterinary hospitals, and medical facilities, among others. This is where Mahoney sees the highest degree of interest in his company’s eco-friendly strategies, many of which help facilitate and maintain GreenClean’s clients’ own LEED goals and certifications. A high-performance green-cleaning program establishes standard operating procedures for cleaning and maintenance. Waste stream audits and good waste-management policies help customers manage trash (GreenClean employees separate waste at the end of the day into what can be recycled, what can be composted, etc.) and reduce the amount they send to the landfill. GreenClean also performs APPA custodial effectiveness audits, straightforward assessments that basically to determine how clean an existing building is, Mahoney says.
The company earns the rest of its revenue primarily from post-construction cleanup, where there’s less of a push for sustainable practices. Restaurants, for example, are often not as confident about the strength of green cleaning products in meeting disinfectant standards, according to Mahoney, and a tighter economy overall discourages more eco-friendly investments.
“Green was great a few years ago,” Mahoney says, “but construction clients are still going bottom-line for the most part [right now].” The GreenClean founder is confident that interest in green practices will rebound once funding grows more secure.
GreenClean also provides carpet and upholstery cleaning; tile and grout restoration; restaurant-inspection preparation; pressure washing; car detailing; and floor stripping, sealing, and finishing. Its products and equipment are approved by the USGBC, an organization the company actually belongs to, and in addition to the necessary LEED documents and procedures, GreenClean also has and knows those stipulated by OSHA for license and certification (including HAZCOM procedural plans, bloodborne pathogen exposure plans, and respiratory protection programs). Mahoney even founded his own GoGreen Club, a professional affiliation that connects and advertises area companies that support green initiatives and sustainable development.
The long-term results of Mahoney’s efforts depend on the economy and consumer spending on eco-friendly practices. But for now, thanks at least in part to his company, Albuquerque inhabits a much greener patch of the desert. ABQ