Harvard Maintenance is one of the largest and fastest growing providers of facility maintenance and management services in the United States. With offices in 10 states, their staff maintains roughly 320 million square feet of space on a daily basis. Instead of cleaning for appearance alone, Harvard focuses on Cleaning for Wellness with carefully chosen tools and methods, including ProTeam backpack vacuums.
Wellness is the Why
“Wellness is the why we clean,” said Jason Lee, Director of Sustainability and Process Optimization. “We clean a building without harming the environment, our employees, or the building occupants. It’s more than product selection; it’s the processes, the technology, and the equipment.”
In September of 2017, the company’s efforts were recognized with the Building Service Contractors Association International (BSCAI) Cleaning for Health Award, sponsored by ProTeam. Cleaning for Health is defined as “a cleaning regimen that helps dramatically reduce the levels of allergens and asthma triggers in the indoor environment.” A panel of five independent judges chose Harvard for their policies, procedures, and training that emphasizes the impact on the health of building occupants and staff.
“Harvard is extremely well regarded in their industry, even by their competitors,” said Jeff Stone, ProTeam National Sales Manager. “Their commitment to their employees and Cleaning for Wellness ties in very well to what the Cleaning for Health Award is all about.”
ProTeam, Harvard, and Cleaning for Health
Three decades ago, ProTeam was founded on the principle of Cleaning for Health when the company introduced the first lightweight backpack vacuum. ProTeam backpacks feature advanced ProLevel Filtration systems that capture many allergens and asthma triggers and remove them from the indoor environment. This results in less airborne and surface dust and healthier indoor air.
As part of their informed buying decision protocol, Harvard chose ProTeam vacuums not only to improve the health of indoor environments but also for their ergonomic and durable design. When fitted properly, the backpack vacuums require less energy and effort to clean the same space as an upright vacuum. With regular maintenance, backpacks last for many years, reducing the number of units that end up in landfills.
“Of all the vacuum manufacturers out there, ProTeam has the largest selection of Carpet and Rug Institute-certified products,” said Lee. “Recently, we have been migrating our inventory towards the 6-quart Super Coach Pro, which is comfortable for workers of smaller stature, and to the QuietPro for its low-decibel operation.”
Harvard makes decisions according to Harvard’s Inverted Pyramid, which emphasizes one of their core values of People First. They especially prioritize the needs of their 9,000 employees, so those employees can reliably deliver excellent service on a consistent basis.
Training and Proper Usage
In their training program, HarvardAchieve, employees learn why products and processes are chosen and how to use them correctly. They learn how color-coded microfiber helps prevent cross-contamination. The safety team helps them adjust the harnesses of their backpack vacuums and shows them how to use them to the greatest ergonomic benefit. This training program not only helps them retain employees, but it also helps with cleaning quality and customer retention.
“Proper use of the equipment is extremely important,” said Lee. “It is a key aspect of our service offering that our workers are very well-trained custodial technicians.”
Lee has been with Harvard for six years with 20 years total in facilities. His job title, Director of Sustainability and Process Optimization, gives a sense of his unique voice both in the company and the industry. He works to unify the economic, environmental, and wellness goals of Harvard into a set of processes that the cleaners and every corporate department use every day.
“Not many Building Service Contractors have a dedicated person like Jason,” said Kshanti Morris, Marketing Specialist for the company. “He is 100 percent committed to and passionate about sustainability and wellness” for the organization and our clients.
A Commitment to Wellness
The Harvard organization has certifications from five different organizations, including ISSA CIMS and Green Seal, along with recognition of methods by Underwriter’s Laboratories GreenGuard Gold program. They have taken a zero waste to landfill pledge, meaning all of the products that they purchase are eligible to be recycled, reused, or repurposed at the end of their lifecycle.
Due to the most recent Wellness Building Institute monitoring, Harvard is even subject to periodic indoor environmental quality testing by an outside party to assure they are maintaining their commitment to occupant wellness. All of these choices have cemented their place as an industry leader in healthy, responsible, sustainable green cleaning.
Learn more about the benefits of cleaning for health in this video.