Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 74.49
Liaison Krista Bailey
Submission Date Dec. 17, 2020

STARS v2.2

Pennsylvania State University
OP-13: Cleaning and Janitorial Purchasing

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.60 / 1.00


Institution’s main cleaning or housekeeping department(s) and/or contractor(s) purchase cleaning and janitorial paper products that meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Blue Angel labeled (German Federal Environment Agency)

  • Cradle to Cradle Certified

  • ECOLOGO certified (UL Environment)

  • EU Ecolabel

  • Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified

  • Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) certified

  • Green Seal certified

  • Nordic Swan labeled (Nordic Ecolabelling Board)

  • U.S. EPA Safer Choice labeled

  • Other multi-criteria sustainability standards and ISO Type 1 ecolabels developed/administered by Global Ecolabelling Network and/or ISEAL Alliance member organizations

Cleaning products include general purpose bathroom, glass and carpet cleaners; degreasing agents; biologically-active cleaning products (enzymatic and microbial products); floor-care products (e.g., floor finish and floor finish strippers); hand soaps and hand sanitizers, disinfectants, and metal polish and other specialty cleaning products. Janitorial paper products include toilet tissue, tissue paper, paper towels, hand towels, and napkins.

Other cleaning and janitorial products and materials (e.g., cleaning devices that use only ionized water or electrolyzed water) should be excluded from both total expenditures and expenditures on environmentally preferable products to the extent feasible.


This credit applies to all institutions. 


An institution earns the maximum of 1 point available for this credit by purchasing exclusively certified green cleaning and janitorial paper products. Incremental points are awarded based on the percentage of expenditures on cleaning and janitorial products that meet the credit criteria. For example, if 50 percent of cleaning product expenditures were on Green Seal certified products and half were on conventional products, an institution would earn 0.5 points (half of the points available).

Points for this credit are calculated automatically in the STARS Reporting Tool as follows:



Annual expenditures on certified green cleaning and janitorial paper products


Total annual expenditures on cleaning and janitorial paper products


Total points earned







Up to 1




Report the most recent data available from within the three years prior to the anticipated date of submission.

Sampling and Data Standards

Institutions may track purchases over a full one-year time period, report average annual expenditures over a two or three year period, or estimate annual expenditures based on a representative sample. When using a sample, institutions should strive to ensure that the sample recognizes seasonal and other variations that influence purchasing behavior.  

At a minimum, the figures provided must include purchases made by all major housekeeping or cleaning departments, including outsourced or contracted service providers. Other expenditures on cleaning and janitorial products may be excluded at the institution’s discretion to simplify reporting.

Cleaning and janitorial products for which no certified alternatives are available may be excluded, as long as they are excluded from both the numerator (certified products) and the denominator (total purchases).

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.