Kilroy Realty Corporation Boosts Engagement with Green Janitor Education Program

Overview

Kilroy Realty Corporation sought to find ways to engage janitorial staff in helping the company reduce energy and water consumption and increase recycling rates across its 13.2 million-square-foot commercial real estate portfolio. The solution was to participate in a Green Janitor Education Program, a joint effort by the U.S. Green Building Council Los Angeles Chapter, the Building Owners & Managers Association of Greater Los Angeles, Building Skills Partnership, and the Service Employees International Union. The program offers trainings to help janitorial staff understand the science behind green cleaning, how to identify energy and water waste in a building, and how they can play a part in improving building sustainability.

Kilroy felt their janitorial staff could leverage their proximity to daily building operations, thereby playing a key role in identifying any problems around energy and water waste, recycling compliance, and other issues that may not be readily apparent to facility and sustainability teams. For example, janitors can report water leaks, malfunctioning operating sensors on lights, or tenant spaces that are contaminating the building’s recycling stream. Janitors are employed by Kilroy’s janitorial services vendors, and the training was paid for through the janitorial union’s education fund. Kilroy worked with all their janitorial companies to require that all janitors in Kilroy’s buildings participate in the program.

The Green Janitor Education Program involves 30 hours of training and two exams. The sustainability team at Kilroy measured success through in-person feedback received from janitors at their graduation ceremonies, all of which were attended by a member of the sustainability team. Participants stated that they felt empowered to report more issues to building foremen than they had before. They also reported that they were already implementing the enhanced sustainability practices they learned both at work and at home. A sign of success for Kilroy was having all their janitors complete the program, as well as inspiring other landlords in the area to help their own janitors participate in the program.

The program also featured a Green Cleaning component, which led to, for example, a 3rd party verified $21,600 annual cost savings on a single campus through reductions in energy and water use. The green cleaning program follows the LEED for Existing Buildings certification standards and contributes to LEED points, in addition to creating a healthier building for staff and tenants overall.