Luther College Green cleaning (1)

Luther College
Facilities Services/Environmental Services
Decorah, Iowa, 52101
At Luther College, the new Sampson Hoffland Laboratories building has been built and will be
maintained as a sustainable building. To this end, we have created Luther College’s Green
Cleaning Practices. This program is being piloted in Sampson Hoffland with the expectation to
expand it to the complete campus. The Green Cleaning
Practices includes the use of green cleaning chemicals, employing cleaning processes that benefit
public health and the environment, and purchasing environmentally preferable custodial
Green cleaning is defined as cleaning to protect health without harming the environment. It has
been found that widely used cleaning products can have serious adverse effects on the health of
building occupants and custodians. At the same time, these cleaning products are harming the
environment. Green cleaning is a widely accepted movement to make cleaning for the health of
building occupants and custodians a primary concern, while minimizing the harm to the
environment through better purchasing practices and cleaning processes. Green cleaning means
emphasizing the environmental sustainability of cleaning operations and overall building health
(i.e. indoor air quality) and not solely evaluating building cleanliness based on appearance.
How does green cleaning work?
Green cleaning is more than just substituting chemicals; it involves choosing cleaning processes
that improve the health of a building. Methods include preventing dirt and dust from entering the
building and using effective and efficient cleaning methods, such as HEPA filtration vacuums
and microfiber cloths. The focus on the process of cleaning means that custodial training is an
integral step in the process; in addition, comprehensive training is required to ensure that
custodians are using the products in a safe and efficient manner. Green cleaning also takes into
consideration the product’s entire life cycle, favoring concentrated products that are packaged in
reduced, refillable, or recyclable packaging. The products used in Luther College’s Green
Cleaning program are certified by Green Seal’s GS-37 standard. Green Seal is an independent,
non-profit certification program.
Benefits of a green cleaning program
Building occupant health benefits: Most people spend a vast majority of their time indoors,
forcing them to be exposed to the chemicals that are used in buildings. The chemicals used in
cleaning products have been linked to multiple chemical sensitivity syndrome, allergies, contact
dermatitis, headaches, dry eyes, nausea, dizziness, and fatigue. Instituting a green cleaning
program helps to improve indoor air quality, which in turn, helps to increase workers’
productivity, decrease absenteeism, and reduce medical and insurance costs.
Custodial health benefits: Custodians spend their entire day working with harmful chemicals,
giving them an increased chance of injury. Cleaning chemicals can cause many health problems
for custodians, including: eye damage, skin burns, headaches, asthma, organ damage,
reproductive disorders, and cancer. The Janitorial Products Pollution Prevention Project
estimates that the average custodian uses about 23 gallons of chemicals per year, of which 25%
Luther College
Facilities Services/Environmental Services
Decorah, Iowa, 52101
are hazardous. Switching to green cleaning products and processes decreases the overall use of
chemicals and hazardous products, which decreases risk of injury to custodians.
Environmental benefits: Cleaning products contain many ingredients that produce harmful
environmental effects. Two examples include volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that
contribute to photochemical smog, tropospheric ozone, and carcinogenic indoor air quality, and
phosphates and nitrates that contribute to eutrophication in waterways. Luther College’s Green
Cleaning Practices reduces the ecological impact of its products by reducing its overall cleaning
chemical use and by purchasing products whose environmental impacts have been tested and
proven to be minimal by Green Seal Standard 37.
Custodial products
Luther College has used Baywest Grean Seal Certified paper products for some time. This
includes our paper towels and toilet paper. Conventional paper products are often manufactured
with virgin pulp, and are bleached with chlorine, which releases dioxin. Dioxin is a known
carcinogen that also damages immune systems, reproductive health, and cause countless other
serious health problems. In addition, Luther College uses recycled content trash bags across
campus. The janitorial staff is also trained to reduce the number of trash liners used when trash
bins can be emptied into a larger bin without needing to replace the liner.
Luther College Facilities Services- Environmental Services researched Green Cleaning with our
main custodial supplier, Weber Paper Company. During this research, Weber Paper was able to
supply Luther College with the proper third party certified green product, based on the product
category ( Greenseal, Ecologo, DFE). Weber Paper was also instrumental in setting up the
training and providing this training to the custodial workers in Sampson Hoffland Laboratories.
These objectives will be met through the implementation of GS-37 certified cleaning products by
Spartan Chemical Company. Additionally, the custodial staff is being trained in “green”
procedures and techniques including:
Dilution management systems for chemical use to reduce packaging waste
Microfiber cleaning products to minimize use of disposable products, and to improve
indoor air quality
“Green” certified automatic scrubber to minimize water and chemical use
Proper “green” product application
Luther College
Facilities Services/Environmental Services
Decorah, Iowa, 52101
Luther College Facilities Services
Luther College Green Cleaning Practices
Statement of Purpose
Reduce impact on health of both occupants & custodians
Reduce impact on the environment
Meet sanitation, appearance and other service considerations
Meet budgetary considerations
Reduce liability
Luther College Green Cleaning Practices
Approved and Prohibited Chemicals and Practices
Performance Evaluation
Chemicals that are approved for use must be Green Seal (GS) Certified, which means that
they are in accordance with the GS-37 (Industrial and Institutional Cleaners), GS-09(Paper
Products), or GS-40 (Floor Care) performance standards. A list of currently approved
products is below. This list is constantly evolving as new products become certified under
these standards. The approved vendor in conjunction with Luther College Facilities Services
will evaluate new products as they become available.
Cleaning Products
Any GS-37 cleaning product is approved for use in the building.
Manufacturer Products
Currently the following products are approved for use in the Sampson Hoffland Laboratories
 Spartan Clean by Peroxy
 Spartan Biorenewable glass cleaner
 Spartan Green Solutions All Purpose Cleaner
 Spartan Green Solutions Industrial Cleaner
Paper Products
Green Seal certified and recommended products will be used in the building,
however, Green Seal Certified products are preferable to Green Seal Recommended
products, or products that merely meet EPA requirements. Unbleached products with
a high post consumer waste content are preferred Refer to “Green Seal Choose Green
Report: Bathroom Tissue and Paper Towels” available at or contact
manufacturer for more information on products, such as percent of post consumer
recycled content.
Manufacturer Product Green Seal Status
Luther College
Facilities Services/Environmental Services
Decorah, Iowa, 52101
Bay West EcoSoft Roll Towels Certified
EcoSoft Folded Towels Certified
EcoSoft Toilet Tissues Certified
EcoSoft Toilet Specialty Products Certified
Floor Care
Our floor care at this time uses Boost auto-scrubber by Clarke that allows us to do
chemical free stripping. This machine also reduces general water and chemical usage
for daily cleaning by 50% to 70%.
Trash Bags and Liners
Recycled content trash bags should be used whenever possible. Green Seal does not
recommend products and no set standards exist.
Manufacturer Product
Pitt Plastics Hi Density liners will be used.
Approved practices are ones that limit the amount of dirt entering the building, help
to improve indoor air quality, reduce their impact on the environment, and minimize
the amount of cleaning chemicals that are needed and reduce overall waste due to
Entrance matting systems to prevent soil from entering the building.
Microfiber cloths will replace disposable paper towels to minimize waste.
Recycled cotton cloths can also replace paper towels to minimize waste.
Microfiber dry mops will replace chemically treated dry mops to minimize chemical
and water use.
HEPA or high-filtration vacuums to improve indoor air quality.
Dilution control systems to allow for the use of concentrated products to minimize
packaging and the environmental effects associated with shipping diluted chemicals.
Floor care systems: Unfinished floors are preferable, to eliminate the need to seal or
finish the floors. Green Seal certified finishers are recommended if finishing is
Trash liners should only be replaced when necessary; garbage should be dumped into
the main trash barrel and liners should be left in the receptacle if they are clean.
The following chemicals are prohibited, in accordance with GS-37 and GS-8
Alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs)
Luther College
Facilities Services/Environmental Services
Decorah, Iowa, 52101
Dibutyl phthalate
Heavy metals including arsenic, lead, cadmium, cobalt, chromium, mercury, nickel,
or selenium
Optical brighteners & chlorine bleach (sodium hypochlorite)
Ozone-depleting compounds
Ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA)
Nitilotriacetic acid (NTA)
Petroleum or petrochemical compounds
Phenolic compounds and glycol ethers
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) (must be less than 10%)
Carcinogens and reproductive toxin
The following ingredients are found in floor care systems and are prohibited (in addition to
the above list):
 Zinc
 2-Butoxy ethanol (EGBE)
 Aqueous ammonia
 2-Methoxyethanol or ethylene glycol monomethyl ether (EGME)
 2-Ethoxyethanol or ethylene glycol monoethyl ether (EGEE)
 Non-concentrated products should not be used.
 Paper towels should not be used for cleaning.
 Trash liners should not be removed if they are clean.
 Automatic aerosol deodorizers that contain high levels of VOCs are prohibited.
 Urinal blocks are prohibited.
 Chemically treated dust cloths are prohibited.
New employee training will be completed prior to working in SHL.
Annual employee training will be completed on existing and new products and
Quarterly audits of procedures will be completed.
Annual employee performance appraisals will also include a section that will be
devoted to green cleaning procedures and how the employee is performing to
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