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Green and clean

Newer, safer cleaning products way of the future

Clean and green – that’s the idea behind a pilot project Facilities Management in St. John’s is heading up at Memorial.

The idea is simple: to replace conventional cleaning chemicals with products that are more environmentally friendly, which improve the health and safety of the university community and which are much more effective than conventional cleaners.

Green cleaners are cleaning chemicals certified by Green Seal or Environmental Choice, independent non-profit organizations which set environmental standards for products. Green Seal is the American organization that sets standards for companies in the U.S., while Environmental Choice, the Canadian standard with have the Government of Canada Seal of approval. These chemicals have been certified by these independent organizations and have met stringent environmental and occupational and safety standards.

Facilities Management has been testing green chemicals such as floor finishes, floor strippers, carpet shampoos, bathroom cleaners and items such as microfibre cloths for the past two years. Last year officials tested products in the University Centre, as well as the Science, Physical Education and Engineering Buildings. The results were overwhelming.

“By far, green cleaners out-perform traditional conventional products,” said Rick Lawes, custodial supervisor. “These products are certified to be safest products on the market for the custodian, the customer and environment which ties into the Sustainability Program here at Memorial.

“We will be using less of the green chemical than conventional chemicals due their effectiveness and dispensing systems. They improve air quality with their low volatile organic compounds, too.”

Mr. Lawes said the change is necessary to ensure that Memorial is doing everything to improve the health and safety of the university community by using safest and environmental products that are available.

“Our mission statement is the pursuit of excellence in delivery of services. If we are not using the best products for our staff and customers, we are not living up to our commitment,” he said.

Facilities Management hopes to start using green cleaners in all of its buildings in the near future.

Kent Budden, manager of Custodial Services in Facilities Management, said that by participating in the pilot project, the university was able to identify the program that would suit it best.

“The contract was awarded to Avmor and this allow Facilities Management to bring in both the dispensing system and green chemicals that best fit the needs of the campus,” he said. “We are now working with Avmor and their representative distributor, B and B Sales, to further develop the green cleaning program by continuing to test new green products and introducing only the most effective ones. We expect that the program will continue to grow and develop throughout the life of the contract.”