GREEN CLEANING: A Healthier Way to Clean
When 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.
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.
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.
- 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
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.The recent increase in chemical costs is the result of the recent rise in the price of certain chemicals and the increase in chemical square footage (i.e. adding building EBB as a mini custodial zone increased the usage of chemicals.)
- 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.
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.