Green Cleaning

GREEN CLEANING: A Healthier Way to Clean

žWhen very few institutions were considering the harmful impacts of traditional cleaning products, Georgia Tech was systematically removing toxic chemical cleaners and replacing them with healthier and more environmentally-friendly products.ž

Indoor air at schools is often polluted and much of this pollution originates from cleaning products. Certain ingredients in cleaning products can present hazard concerns to exposed populations. Young people, especially those with asthma, are at a high risk from polluted air and chemical exposures from conventional cleaning products; if children are sick, they cannot learn.

Our Georgia Tech Green Cleaning program reduces chemical exposures and supports positive outcomes.
  • Protecting student’s and other building occupants’ health, thereby putting our students in a better position to learn.
  • Protecting the health of custodial staff who work closely with the cleaning supplies.
  • Protecting the environment by reducing potentially hazardous chemicals from being released.
Wind Energy

Turbines along the shore

Georgia Tech Facilities is pleased to announce its commitment to purchase products made with Green, E-ceritfied renewable wind power from Community Energy. By committing to use products made with wind energy, Georgia Tech Facilities is making a difference by supporting cleaner air and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

For more information, click here.

How do we do it?

  • Wind power is utilized for paper towel production.
  • Micro-fiber mops and rags as well as Green Seal certified cleaning agents are utilized. ž
  • Purchasing policies are regularly updated to support the procurement of green products and supplies.
  • Custodial staff undergo continuous training on green cleaning methodology and benefits, as well as how to minimize impacts to “vulnerable population” occupants such as children.
  • Backpack vacuums that have high-filtration, quiet operation and exceed HEPA requirements are employed throughout campus.

 

Green Seal Certified

Georgia Tech's Green Cleaning program is independently certified under Green Seal Standard GS-42
  • Protects Human & Environmental Health: Service uses nontoxic, biodegradable housekeeping products and limits workers’ and occupants’ exposure to chemicals and contaminants
  • Operates Efficiently: Service cooperates with the property to implement building-specific operating procedures and a green cleaning plan
  • Provides Education: Service trains custodial staff on effective cleaning and safety, and procurement officers on green purchasing
  • Communicates Effectively: Service communicates with owners, managers, and occupants to insure efficient and effective cleaning
  • Reduces Waste: Service implements a recycling program and uses minimally packaged, recyclable,and reusable materials
  • A Green Service That Cleans: Evaluated for effective cleaning procedures and practices

For more information visit www.GreenSeal.org

What is Ionized Water and Why Does It Work?

Ionization, a process also known as electrochemical activation, was discovered by British scientist Michael Faraday in the 1830's. The process utilizes an electrical charge to energize a mixture of tap water and natural minerals to create a powerful cleaner, degreaser and sanitizer. 
  • Powerful Sanitizer that is  80—200 times stronger than bleach, but without the harmful side effects. Thus it is safe for plants, animals and people.
  • Used in Health Care to threat wounds and burns – thus non-toxic.
  • Used to sanitize fruits, vegetables and other foods throughout the food industry. 
  • Kills 99.99 percent of harmful bacteria in less than 10 seconds.

Bill Nye Explains Ionized Water

Bill Nye The Science Guy explains the ionized water process, and its relevance to green cleaning. 

Video: 

Green Clean Awards and History

  • 2016: Georgia Tech's Green Cleaning program is independently certified under Green Seal Standard GS-42
  • 2015: Green Cleaning Award for American Schools & Universities (Grand Award, highest honors) 
  • 2013 & 2014: Most Green Award Georgia Tech Earth Day
  • 2010: Green Cleaning Award for American Schools & Universities (Honorable Mention)
  • 2010: Expand program to 160 tier-one custodians
    • Reduced number of cleaners used, simplifying the green cleaning program with a cost-effective option.
  • 2009: Established a pilot program with 25 custodians
    • Assigned handheld sprayers tracking them with a sign-in/sign-out procedure
  • 2008: Wind energy utilization in the production of paper towels and tissue products
  • 2008: Environmental Leadership Award Georgia Tech Earth Day
  • 2008: National Wildlife Federation Award for exemplary program in sustainability
  • 2007: Most Informative Green Award Georgia Tech Earth Day
  • 2007: Green Cleaning Award for Schools & Universities (Runner up)
  • 2006: APPA “Effective & Innovative Practices Award”
  • 2003: First-stage green cleaning implementation
    • Removed toxic chemical cleaners and replaced them with more environmentally-friendly products

Savings For Our Planet And The Bottom Line

After fully implementing the green cleaning program, a cost savings analysis revealed an annual savings of 84% over initial baselines. Comparable savings have been met year after year from reduced water usage, less chemical purchasing and new technology adoption.

  • Green cleaning equipment includes efficient scrubbers that employ foam cleaning, using 70% less water and 90% less chemical than traditional equipment.
  • Georgia Tech operates its own in-house laundry to wash micro-fiber mobs and rags; replaced residential washing machines (28 gallons of water per load) with front-load washers (14 gallons of water per load).
  • 56% reduction of chemical usage from 2008 through 2014. 

 

Demonstrating Green Cleaning Effectiveness

Woman demonstrating cleaning, surrounded by business professionals.

President Peterson and Cabinet listen to Green Cleaning demonstration by Tommy Little.

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Download a PDF file of our Green Cleaning Manual.