Green Cleaning – Financial Returns

An article in a trade journal recapped several studies that showed changes in pathogens and allergens and improvements in attendance at schools that implemented green cleaning, and from my reading of the summaries, green cleaning was the only change, so most of the benefit has to be either placebo effect or green cleaning (one study I’m not linking also had some facilities renovations – hence the effect of green cleaning was in conjunction with an overall healthier environment)

Impact of an infection control program in a specialized preschool

Summarizing, he implemented green cleaning in a school for a vulnerable population (Downs Syndrome), and observed :

46 % reduction in absenteeism.

24% reduction in total illnesses.

34% reduction  in number of doctor visits.


Another study – which I am having difficulty linking to by a Wake Forest professor didn’t measure lost days directly, but did measure decreases in potential pathogens of :


53% reduction in airborne dust

49% reduction in ambient VOC’s

40% reduction in bacteria

61 % reduction in fungi

In a child development lab on a university campus.

Green cleaning is actually cheaper, but even if it wasn’t, you could pay for a lot of equipment with those kind of changes to absenteeism.

We just did a proposal on a special needs school where the state reimbursement is per capita per day – a 2% reduction in their absenteeism would pay our costs for the year, and a 5% reduction would pay for the level of service they really need.


Bob Schriver


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