Six ABM Janitors Celebrate Graduating the Green Janitor Education Program

Graduates of the Green Janitor Education Program standing together holding up their new certificates

We have been collaborating with Unico Properties LLC to bring the Green Janitor Education Program to downtown Portland. Recently we celebrated six janitors of ABM Janitorial at the Moda Tower completing the program!

The Green Janitor Education Program provides education in green building practices to meet the latest energy, water, and green initiative standards. It covers topics like:

  • Energy efficiency
  • Recycling
  • Waste management
  • Water conservation
  • …and other sustainable and green cleaning practices

 

“Our janitorial staff are the eyes and ears of the building, and they are absolutely essential to the successful, sustainable operations of our properties.”
–Keren Eichen, Unico Properties Director, Real Estate Services

The Green Janitor Education Program provides us with the tools and resources we need to make sure we keep our jobsite safe, healthy, and environmentally friendly. Through the program, janitors are encouraged to take part in the building’s goals of better energy efficiency and building health. This means bringing recommendations on improvements to our worksites. These can include suggestions such as:

  • Use of different cleaning products, materials, or equipment
  • How to carry out best green practices to their daily work
  • and much more!

 

“What I have learned here, I can apply at work and at home. I am grateful they took an interest in us, and that counts, because we are essential workers.”
–Adela with ABM Janitorial at Moda Tower

 


Seventy-six percent of buildings who have used the Green Janitor Education Program to educate their staff have seen a drop in energy and water use, according to a research study, and GJEP buildings used 5.6% less energy on average than non-GJEP buildings. Janitors who complete the 30-hour program have the potential to earn higher wages while also earning more while participating in the program. Currently, the program is only available to buildings and janitorial contractors with workers covered under bargaining agreements with our union.

 

“Our hope is that every building in Oregon will join this program. This program is open to any building where Union janitors are working, which fortunately means most buildings in Portland. This is an investment in frontline communities… but this isn’t just about the buildings in which they work—this is about an investment in Portland’s immigrant and communities of color. We would love to see the Green Janitor Education Program in every building in greater Portland.”
–Maggie Long, SEIU Local 49 Executive Director 

 

To learn more about the program, contact Maggie Long, SEIU Local 49 maggiel@seiu49.org or 503.236.4949 ext. 256 

The Green Janitor Education Program is a national program developed by the Building Skills Partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council-Los Angeles, the Building Owners and Managers Association of Greater Los Angeles, and the Service Employees International Union. The program in Portland is financed through a partnership between Unico Properties, SEIU Local 49, ABM Janitorial, and through grant funding provided by the Portland Clean Energy Fund.

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