Faith Fitzgerald is the latest regional director and franchisee of Tidy Green Clean, the commercial cleaning business disrupting the world of office cleaning (and end of tenancy and retail and care homes and hospitality…). She’s living and working in the Highlands and Moray region and is building her team and her business with the support and backing of Tidy Green Clean. For Faith, it’s been Tidy Green Clean’s values around people, the environment and community, that attracted her to become a franchisee. That’s because it’s something that she has herself valued for a long time.
“I studied and then taught at the Highlands and Islands University campus in Moray. During my time there, I was a student of business and found myself fascinated at how the focus of the world and business was shifting towards sustainability and corporate responsibility. We had a new generation of people making buying choices based upon the ethical behaviour of business. We had a boom in social media usage, which provided abundant opportunity for people to share their experiences, thus putting pressure upon business to behave well. For the first time, business was now held to account on a global stage. It was no longer enough to pay lip service to a good cause – business had to take real action.
50 years ago, economist Milton Friedman argued that business had no social responsibility to the public or society. He firmly believed that the only social responsibility of business was to increase its profits in order to satisfy shareholders. Business was not a person and as such, could not possibly have responsibility beyond its own interest.
In opposition to this, some business leaders held the view that social ills such as poverty, long-term unemployment, pollution, and discrimination could and should be ameliorated by business. They held the view that, rather than taking from society in order to generate profits, business had a responsibility to become part of the solution – to give back to the very people who provided those profits.
There have been many changes in business and society over the last 50 years. In response to a changing tide, the UN Sustainable Development Goals were established in 2015. Seventeen goals focus on the direct action of humanity to sustain its health and the health of the planet. For example, Goals 14/15 address biodiversity loss, which is directly related to the use of chemicals and the waste generated by their use. International standard ISO 14001 focuses on the continual improvement of environmental performance in order to protect the planet and natural resources and so businesses also have global standards to achieve and keep up - if they choose to.
Although business has become ever more complicated with enterprises balancing many different priorities, we are now seeing a real shift in awareness and action when it comes to sustainability. Business is starting to lead the way, which is a real shift from the previous belief that only profits were important.
So what, you might ask? Well this is the backdrop and my motivation for why I was attracted to join TGC. I liked the ethical and innovative approach to cleaning and in business that can still be quite rare to see.
Tidy Green Clean is an ethical business. As an organisation, we only use environmentally friendly cleaning products and chemicals. The business earned accreditation to ISO 14001, environmental management systems, ISO 9001 for quality management systems, and ISO 45001 for health and safety management, and they did it as a matter of course because that’s how, they believe, businesses should operate. These accreditations benefit employees, customers and the environment we all operate in.
They have also invested in technology to improve how our teams clean and make life easier and more productive for our operatives. There are two innovations I particularly really like. Firstly we use an I-mop. It uses a fraction of the amount of water than traditional mopping, cuts out 80% of water waste, uses no harsh chemicals, and utilises reusable microfiber mop pads. Who could ask for more?
The other piece of kit we have is our Backpack Vacuums. These are light vacuum cleaners that are carried on your back like a rucksack! They light, use lower electricity and are easier, faster and safer to use then traditional vacuum cleaners.
I am excited about the future. I am recruiting my cleaning team and building my client bases, all with the support of TGC HQ, and my other regional director franchisees. Together we are an exciting and innovative team, dedicated to providing the best possible service whilst using safe and effective products which don’t harm the environment."