Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 71.58
Liaison James Gordon
Submission Date March 3, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Thompson Rivers University
OP-13: Cleaning Products Purchasing

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 James Gordon
Environmental Programs and Research Coordinator
TRU Office of Environment and Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an institution-wide stated preference to purchase third party certified cleaning and janitorial products?:

A copy of the green cleaning product purchasing policy, directive, or guidelines:

The green cleaning product purchasing policy, directive, or guidelines:

It should be noted that TRU has installed sixteen lotus Professional Cleaning Systems (see Notes section at the end regarding their environmental benefits). Located in all major campus buildings, these systems significantly reduce the amount of cleaning products needed.
TRU Green Cleaning Product Purchasing Guidelines
(as of November 2014)
TRU Facilities Services has the following ‘green’* cleaning product purchasing guidelines:
* ‘green’ cleaning products are defined as certified by Green Seal or UL Environment (EcoLogo) certified, or under similar multi-criteria sustainability standards for cleaning and janitorial products.

1. TRU Facilities Services will always purchase third-party certified ‘green’ cleaning products for all of it cleaning needs throughout the campus unless there are extraordinary reasons do to otherwise (such as if there is no ‘green’ equivalent for a cleaning product).
2. With all cleaning services contracts with outside contractors, TRU Facilities Services will always state in the contract that cleaning services companies must only purchase third-party certified ‘green‘ cleaning products for all campus cleaning needs unless there is no ‘green’ equivalent for a cleaning product, and, in that case, the Associate Director from TRU Facilities Services, or a designate, must sign on the contract that this is allowable.

A brief description of steps the institution has taken to ensure that the purchasing policy, directives, or guidelines are followed:

The Associate Director from TRU Facilities Services, ensures the green cleaning product purchasing guidelines are followed and regularly inspects janitorial offices and work spaces in all areas of the campus. Furthermore, to ensure open and regular communication with custodial staff, and has an 'open-door' policy so that any issues regarding proper use of cleaning products is addressed in a timely manner.

Does the institution wish to pursue Part 2 of this credit (expenditures on cleaning and janitorial products)?:

Expenditures on Green Seal and/or UL Environment (EcoLogo) certified cleaning and janitorial products:
137,000 US/Canadian $

Total expenditures on cleaning and janitorial products:
137,000 US/Canadian $

Has the institution's main cleaning or housekeeping department(s) and/or contractor(s) adopted a Green Seal or ISSA certified low-impact, ecological (“green”) cleaning program?:

A brief description of the institution’s low-impact, ecological cleaning program:

Again, as was stated earlier, it should be noted that TRU has installed sixteen lotus Professional Cleaning Systems which significantly reduce the amount of cleaning products needed.
TRU Facilities has a contract with L&J Diamond Maintenance Inc. to conduct all of its janitorial services throughout the institution. L&J Diamond Maintenance places a high value on promoting sustainable building operations and we are committed to playing our role supporting Thompson Rivers University in achieving its sustainability goals. Through implementing efficient and responsible cleaning systems and processes we are able to help encourage occupant wellbeing, environmental performance and to generate quantifiable economic returns. Our Green Cleaning program incorporates those goals through a best practices policy of continuous improvement that integrates innovative practices, standards and technologies derived from routine internal performance review and from our industry service partner’s insights and guidance.

A copy of the sections of the cleaning contract(s) that reference certified green products:

The sections of the cleaning contract(s) that reference certified green products:

This section--'D'-- is taken from the document 'TRU Green Cleaning program 2014 from L&J Diamond Maintenance', found here under Green Cleaning Products (go to page 2): http://www.tru.ca/sustain/initiatives/Purchasing.html

D. Cleaning Products – Chemicals

All of the cleaning products we use minimize environmental impact while maintaining acceptable cleaning standards. While more specific guidelines are outlined below, cleaning products generally meet the following characteristics:

1. A more neutral pH as compared to similar product types
2. A lower volatile organic content (VOC) as compared to similar product types
3. Biodegradable
4. Free of dyes
5. Free of fragrances
6. Minimal use of packaging materials
7. Manufactured from renewable resources
8. Free from antimicrobial agents (exceptions are made for the targeted application of disinfectants)

Additionally, while more specific guidelines are outlined below, paper products and trash bags have been selected to minimize the property’s use of original materials.

In accordance with building standards and client preferences, we strive to have all cleaning products meet one or more of the following standards for the appropriate category:

1. Green Seal GS-37, for general-purpose, bathroom, glass and carpet cleaners used for industrial and institutional purposes;
2. Environmental Choice CCD-110, for cleaning and decreasing compounds;
3. Environmental Choice CCD-146, for hard surface cleaners;
4. Environmental Choice CCD-148, for carpet and upholstery care.

Similarly, for any disinfectants, metal polish, floor finishes, strippers or other products which we could bring into the building and that are not addressed by the above standards, we strive to meet one or more of the following standards for the appropriate category:

1. Green Seal GS-40, for industrial and institutional floor care products
2. Environmental Choice CCD-112, for digestion additives for cleaning and odor control;
3. Environmental Choice CCD-113, for drain or grease traps additives;
4. Environmental Choice CCD-115, for odor control additives;
5. Environmental Choice CCD-147, for hard floor care;
6. Canadian Code of Regulations maximum allowable VOC levels for the specific product category.
Specifically, L&J Diamond Maintenance Inc. uses and will store the following chemicals:

1. Multi Surface Cleaner – Alpha-HP Multi Surface Cleaner (Green Seal GS-37);
2. Glass Cleaner – Glance-NA (Non-Ammoniated) (Green Seal Certified);
3. Disinfectant – EP 50 Greenseal/Ecologol disinfectant
4. Neutral Cleaner – Stride (Green Seal GS-37);
5. Floor Finish – EP 64 floor cleaner Greenseal/ecologo
6. Floor Stripper - Freedom SC (Green Seal GS-40).

Notably, all the above chemicals are purchased in concentrate form and all chemicals are diluted through a semi-automated dilution control system discussed below (with the exception of the laundry items).

Consumable paper products and trash bags meet the minimum requirements of one or more of the following programs for the applicable product category:

1. US EPA Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines for Janitorial Paper and Plastic Trash Can Liners
2. Plastic Trash Can Liners no thicker than 0.70 mils (17.78 microns)
3. Green Seal GS-09, for paper towels and napkins
4. Green Seal GS-01, for tissue paper
5. Environmental Choice CCD-082, for toilet tissue
6. Environmental Choice CCD-086, for hand towels
7. Janitorial paper products derived from rapidly renewable resources or made from tree-free fibers

Presently, the consumable products presently being used are:

1. Half Fold Toilet Seat Covers
2. Liners - BAG CAN LINERS 40x48
3. Liners – BAG CAN LINER 30x37
4. Liners – BAG CAN LINER 24x33
5. Toilet Tissue – KC 04460 toilet tissue
6. Hand Towels – KC 1980 multifold towels

Hand soaps meet one or more of the following standards:

1. No antimicrobial agents (other than as a preservative) except where required by health codes and other regulations (i.e. food service and health care requirements)
2. Green Seal GS-41, for industrial and institutional hand cleaners
3. Environmental Choice CCD-104, for hand cleaners and hand soaps
Presently, the hand soap being used is:
Rubbermaid 800ml hand soap
Chemical storage will be located in secure janitor’s closets. Importantly, cleaning staff maintains the smallest possible inventory of chemicals. Storage areas are checked daily to ensure that they are free from spills. Stock chemicals are reviewed periodically to ensure that none are leaking and that the expiration dates are not passed.
As a best practice, flammable liquids, acids, bases and reactives are stored separately at all times. Similarly, solid and liquid chemicals are separated to reduce the possibility of unwanted chemical reactions.
Each chemical container is labeled at all times and no improperly labeled chemicals are used. Further, we maintain a current (less than 3 years old) MSDS on file for each hazardous chemical used on-site and keep the MSDS in a location that is readily accessible to all employees.
Finally, we minimize product packaging through the use of concentrated cleaning products and dispensing equipment. Our dispensing system is outfitted with a backflow preventer and product dilution rates shall be regularly verified.

The website URL where information about the institution’s green cleaning initiatives is available:

Re lotus Professional Cleaning System - It should be noted regarding TRU's use of cleaning products, that the need to purchase them has been significantly reduced over the last couple of years because of the installation in custodial work stations throughout the campus of sixteen 100% chemical-free commercial cleaning systems known as the lotus Professional Cleaning System (http://www.lotuspro.co/). TRU plans to purchase another ten systems within the next few years so that all campus buildings will have one. As of May 29th, 2014, TRU had accomplished 25,600 gallons of 'zero-down-drain- contaminants because of using lotus PRO. That's as much as fits in a 18' x 36' swimming pool.
The frollowing is from the lotus Professional Cleaning System Background Information Memorandum (January 2009) Executive Summary:
The lotus® Professional Cleaning System (“lotus®”) is a commercial sanitizing and
cleaning system manufactured in an Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”)
registered site (EPA site registration number – 82126-CHN-001). The lotus® is EPAregulated and produces liquefied ozone, an approved sanitizer/disinfectant under the US Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) and United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”), for food and non-food contact surfaces. The system has been proven by third parties using Green Seal Environmental Standards for Industrial Cleaners (“GS-37 Standards”) as an effective bathroom cleaner, glass and chrome cleaner and neutral floor cleaner for use in away from home applications.
Numerous studies have proven that ozone is a broad range anti-microbial agent and
works faster than chlorine bleach. The lotus® meets Occupational Safety and Health
Administration (“OSHA”) and NSF International (“NSF”) safety requirements and is
approved by both NSF and Underwriters Laboratory (“UL”). The FDA has designated
liquefied ozone as Generally Recognized as Safe (“GRAS”) for food contact.

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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.