published Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

Cleaning outfit finds green offerings more reliable


by Brittany Cofer
  • photo
    Staff Photo by Tim Barber/Chattanooga Times Free Press Kathy Sok, president of Reliable Building Solutions Inc., talks about recently introduced eco-friendly cleaning products at her East Brainerd business.

* What: Green cleaning company that also sells eco-friendly products

* Company: Reliable Building Solutions Inc.

* Location: 6232 Airpark Drive

* How it's green: Owner Kathy Sok said the all-natural, non-toxic products her crews use, along with machines that consume 50 percent to 70 percent less solution and reduce the amount of water needed to clean surfaces, make up a large portion of how her company has become green over the past decade. "It's not just about the chemicals, and it's not just about the machine," she said. "It's about the complete system."

* Why do it this way?: Sok believes her company is ahead of the game when it comes to being green. When she first began mentioning eco-friendly options to clients 10 years ago, "they'd say, 'OK we'll go with a green toilet paper,'" she said. "It's so much more than that, though." Allergies initially led her to seek less toxic materials to use in the cleaning process, and eventually the practice caught on to the point that now clients request that their job be done in a green manner. "If it's not safe for me, I don't want my crews having to inhale those fumes, or the customer to either," she said.

* Advice for others considering green initiatives: "You have to have a complete approach," Sok said. She also recommends having a system to monitor efforts "to show if you're truly being green."

* Is environmentalism an essential part of the business and why? For years because of lack of knowledge surrounding eco-friendly initiatives, being a green business wasn't much of a help. Now that more people are aware of the options, she has a competitive advantage, she said.

-- Compiled by staff writer Brittany Cofer, bcofer@timesfreepress.com, 423-757-6476.



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about Brittany Cofer...

Brittany Cofer is a business reporter who has been with the Chattanooga Times Free Press since January 2010. She previously worked as a general assignment Metro reporter. In the Business department, she covers banking, retail, tourism, consumer issues and green issues. Brittany is from Conyers, Ga., and spent two years at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga., before transferring to the University of Georgia. She graduated from the university’s Grady College of Journalism in December ...

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