Real Lives: Roger makes clean break after 24 years at the helm

Roger Green set up Spotless Commercial Cleaning from his student flat
Roger Green set up Spotless Commercial Cleaning from his student flat
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Tributes have been paid to Roger Green, the founder of a local cleaning company, as he leaves his business after 24 years.

Mr Green has stepped down as chief executive of Spotless Commercial Cleaning 24 years after he started the company from his student flat in Edinburgh.

The former student of Swedish and metaphysics built Spotless up to be one of Scotland’s leading commercial cleaning companies, worth more than £10 million annually, and employing 1100 UK staff.

He is also respected for raising the status of cleaning as a service and a career, due to his ethos of investing in good pay, training and progression opportunities for staff.

It has been a remarkable journey for the entrepreneur, who started cleaning part-time as a student.

His drive and determination in the early days were complemented by the support of Margaret Stevens, who still works at Spotless 22 years on.

She said: “I was introduced to Roger to help him with running the business. He was just a laddie then and was working from a student flat. I would mend his trousers just before a meeting and have his suits cleaned, and my daughter Tracie would type the contracts because Roger couldn’t type.”

The Spotless team, three-strong at the time, found a flat in Annandale Street, later moving to Causewayside and finally Peffermill Estate as the company grew.

Mr Green was a hugely successful businessman, winning contracts and developing strong client relations, which many attribute to his honest, respectful character.

Ms Stevens added: “Everyone is struck by Roger’s impeccable manners. His honesty, integrity and kindness towards everyone, from the cleaners to his clients, has earned him great respect over the years.”

Mr Green has often spoken of the valuable contribution of cleaners in the workplace, and believes it was worth investing in paying, training and motivating staff. He enabled all the key managers to become shareholders.

This ethos paid off, resulting in a team of long-standing, committed staff, high levels of client satisfaction and an expanding customer base.

Two of the top directors were on the cleaning staff, and now control multi-million pound budgets.

Mr Green, who lives in Gifford, East Lothian, worked relentlessly as he grew the business, until a health scare in 2006 prompted him to scale back hours and draft in help.

He is now looking forward to spending more time with his family while exploring other ventures.

He said: “I am going to miss going to work every day. There are managers here who I have worked with for more than 20 years. I know that I can move on to a new stage in life secure that Spotless is in great hands.”