By taking a close look at how its custodians clean and what they use, the Sustainable Cleaning Program at Boston University (BU) is cutting costs for the school and offering several environmental benefits for its campus and students.
Thanks to the program:
- Students are breathing indoor air that is virtually free of toxic contaminants.
- The campus has increased water and energy savings by reducing material consumption and packaging waste.
- BU has reduced the amount of hazardous materials entering the waste stream.
So how has BU achieved such success, and what can others learn from its experience? Earth911 took a look inside its eco-friendly cleaning program to find out.
How It All Started
The university began its Sustainable Cleaning Program in the 1990s to increase efficiency and address concerns for worker safety.
A major first step was installing “cleaning command centers” to better manage chemical use, minimize packaging waste, reduce the carbon footprint and lower the chances of chemical-related injuries — all while meeting the cleanliness goals of the university.
The program has evolved over time as safer and more effective cleaning products became available, and it’s proved that even the most stringent cleaning standards can be met with 100 percent of the products certified by Green Seal and EcoLogo, the highest standards available for sustainable cleaning products.
The program was so successful that the university has since rolled it out campuswide.
Next page: Cleaning and Greening