Ross has also updated his sweeping fleet to ensure the company is operating as efficiently as possible. For example, he now uses Nite-Hawk sweepers that run on Bio-Diesel or are hydraulically driven. He also runs some new dustless Elgin sweepers that require no water and prevent dust from escaping into the air. "In some point over the next couple of years we'd like to have every sweeper in the fleet as an environmentally friendly sweeper," Ross says.
The key to the certification process is research, Ross says. There are many companies offering green certifications, and the prices run the gamut. There are so many options for contractors to choose from including whether they want to certify the business, a particular practice, or all of its employees, Ross says. But no matter what certification you pick, a contractor needs to remember it is something that is earned.
If a certification or the cost seems too good to be true it probably is, Ross says. He suggests that contractors looking to become green certified stick to programs that have nationally recognized certificates.
After researching, Ross decided to earn his certification through the Green Business League. The program consists of multiple online tutorials and tests. Ross is still in the process of certifying his entire business, but he says the Green Business League certification generally will take between three and six months. Some certification programs will offer contractors the option of having a consultant come assess the property and suggest ways to make the business and its operations green.
But once a certification is awarded, the process does not stop there, Ross says. These green practices and processes need to be passed on to all the employees. And don't expect the changes to go smoothly right away. Ross says frustration is common. "Change is hard. Some of the policies we're putting in place take some training. But it's helped improve moral because we all have something we're striving for," he says.
Once Millennium achieves its certification, Ross plans to roll out a big marketing campaign. He believes the certification will open up networking opportunities and maybe even new jobs. He sees green certification as a way to get a leg up on competition.
But he sees a value to the customer as well. Not only can he offer them an environmentally friendly and efficient service, but he can also be a source for customers who are looking to incorporate green practices into their own businesses. Since he knows what it takes, he can offer his experiences and ideas to clients who want to do the same. Ross expects that Millennium Maintenance & Power Sweeping's green certification will be a win-win for everyone.