Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.06
Liaison Andrea Trimble
Submission Date May 29, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Virginia
OP-13: Cleaning Products Purchasing

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.92 / 1.00 Andrea Trimble
Director - Office for Sustainability
Office for 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:

A best practice in green cleaning is to carefully assess each building and develop a plan to address floor surface types as well as any unique cleaning challenge brought on by things such as live plants, animals or poor ventilation. The plan to address these issues is mapped out in the form of a manual and also includes customer communication protocols and policies that govern quality inspections, powered equipment use and what to do in the event of an emergency.

In 2013, U.Va.’s Building Services department received national certification of its cleaning program by Green Seal, the leading organization that sets the standard for approved cleaning products and programs. As part of that certification, we made a commitment to develop site-specific manuals for most of the academic and public buildings where we provide services

This sample manual provides Standard Operating Procedures in place for cleaning the U.Va. building Minor Hall. Together with individual procedures, it includes specific information that is unique to maintaining the area and surfaces of this particular building, all with the primary purpose of cleaning spaces effectively while protecting human health, the building materials and the environment.

The procedures spelled out and referenced in this manual govern the following:
• cleaning protocols
• chemical handling and tracking requirements
• equipment maintenance and operation procedures
• communication protocols and requirements
• training and inspection programs
• reporting and record keeping procedures

These guidelines form the basis for training of our custodial staff in Minor Hall and a copy has been provided to the Facility Coordinator for the space. All occupants of Minor Hall may access and review the manual at any time. As always, we encourage their input and ideas for improving our program.

This manual and its procedures will be evaluated every summer for changes, updates and improvements.

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

The following Building Services cleaning products comply with Green Seal Standards:

• GS-01 Tissue Paper
• GS-09 Paper Towels and Paper Napkins
• GS-37 General Purpose, Bathroom, Glass and Carpet Cleaners
• GS-40 Floor Care Products
• GS-41 Hand Cleaners and Hand Soaps

Supervision inspects custodial closets weekly to ensure no household non-green chemicals are brought in by housekeepers. In addition to the Green Seal Standards, Building Services utilizes green microfiber technology, CRI (Carpet & Rug Institute) standards for vacuum cleaners, carpet extractors and purchase low decibels cleaning equipment when possible.

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:
338,000 US/Canadian $

Total expenditures on cleaning and janitorial products:
376,000 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:

Green Seal is the nation’s most recognizable non-profit entity that uses science-based programs to empower consumers and organizations to create a more sustainable world. The number one priority is to create standards that drive ‘cleaning for health’.

In order to reach certification, organizations such as U.Va. Facilities Management Building Services must meet very rigid and complex requirements. Products used must not only be sustainable and safe for people and the environment, they must also equal the quality results of their non-green counterparts. All cleaning procedures and processes must be clearly spelled out and documented to help support consistent, high quality results. Regular and intensive training is a key requirement.

With this certification, U.Va.’s cleaning program becomes one of only three higher education organizations in the country to be awarded this prestigious recognition.

Obtaining Green Seal’s endorsement shows that U.Va. custodial staff are helping to improve the environment, support the good health of employees and customers, and maintaining the buildings across Grounds by following the highest standards in the commercial cleaning industry.

As the first university in the state and third in the nation to achieve GS-42 certification, U.Va., through its cleaning program, has demonstrated that it places a high priority on the health of everyone who enters buildings across Grounds — whether they’re faculty, staff, students or visitors.

As part of achieving Green Seal certification, Building Services showcased its cleaning products and procedures at Bavaro Hall, which was built in 2010. Home to the Curry School of Education, Bavaro Hall spans 48,978 cleanable square feet and is situated at 417 Emmet St. South. The Sheila C. Johnson Clinic for Human Services — which provides integrated clinical services for individuals of all ages — is also located in Bavaro Hall.

Bavaro Hall was selected as our platform building for several reasons, including that the building is already green-friendly by virtue of its LEED gold status. We also felt that we had a strong and highly motivated custodial team in place there. Finally, we believed that the Curry staff would be supportive of the many initiatives that had to be undertaken as part of meeting the standards that resulted in our program's certification.

2014 will see the rest of our educational and general buildings across Grounds follow suit with training starting in February and continuing through the summer. The training methodology is a Train-the-Trainer concept, with front-line top performers and supervisors being trained on both demonstrating and teaching the new procedures, as well as providing oversight to ensure continuing compliance.

The Building Services custodial staff at U.Va. must learn over 50 procedures that set forth the what, when, why and how of cleaning for health. Each staff member takes pride in knowing that their services contribute to the health and well-being of themselves, the environment and all customers.

The most important benefit to our frontline staff is that they are performing their work in a safe environment using products and procedures that minimize any harmful effects from chemicals.

We also hope that as U.Va.’s custodial staff demonstrate doing everything possible to support the health of our faculty, staff and students, they receive the professional recognition and respect that they deserve.

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:

U.Va.'s internal (not contracted) custodial team is Green Seal certified.

The website URL where information about the institution’s green cleaning initiatives is available:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

Our website URL is http://www.fm.virginia.edu/depts/operations/buildingservices.html and here can be found descriptions of our top green cleaning initiatives.

Our website URL is http://www.fm.virginia.edu/depts/operations/buildingservices.html and here can be found descriptions of our top green cleaning initiatives.

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.