Root360 Case Study: Green Clean Maine
In 2007, Joe Walsh saw an unmet need in his community for a non-toxic alternative to the conventional professional cleaning services. Because the market need also aligned with his environmental values, he seized this business opportunity; and with a small start-up grant, his station wagon, two clients and a vacuum, Green Clean Maine was established late that year. Due to a strong focus on the triple-bottom line from the start, the business has grown steadily and today has 30 employees, 350 customers, and covers a 20-mile radius in Greater Portland.
Green Clean Maine offers cleaning services for homes and small offices using cleaners made in-house with all-natural, plant-based ingredients. The company is also committed to being green and reducing its environmental impact in all areas of operation. Green Clean Maine is carbon-neutral through the use of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs), has only EPA SmartWay-certified vehicles in its fleet, and has developed cleaning processes that require no additional water use and utilize reusable cloth rags (no paper used).
While the “environmental net benefit” inspired him to start the business, Joe says it’s the social benefits that motivate him today. Green Clean Maine provides its customers with more than just a clean house or office; it also gives them the gift of free time, peace of mind, and a healthy, non-toxic home or work environment. For its employees, Green Clean Maine offers annual raises, incentive bonuses, up to five weeks of paid time off, and a daytime-only work schedule. The business also has extensive employee development programs, which include conflict resolution training, career skill-building, and advancement mentoring and training. Internally, Green Clean Maine’s policies and systems result in strong risk management, data-driven decision-making, and high adaptive capacity.
This focus on sustainability, and a desire for continuous improvement, led Joe to Root360. “Taking the Root360 benchmark survey helped me get a true, holistic picture of where our small company stands on our sustainability initiatives. The resulting sustainability analysis wraps up the process with focus and actionable takeaways.”
Engagement with Root360 has inspired Joe to:
- Calculate projections for how and when Green Clean Maine will be able to offer medical benefits
- Improve the employee coaching and evaluation systems, and the manager training program
- Increase the focus on employee engagement in effort to lower the high rate of turnover and absenteeism
- Put the business’s sustainability processes and policies into writing (e.g., purchasing and vendors, transportation, etc.)
- Begin reporting on sustainability initiatives