Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia recently received the co-grand award in the College/University category of the 2010 Green Cleaning Award for Schools and Universities, sponsored by American School and University magazine, the Green Cleaning Network and Healthy Schools Campaign.
Additionally, UGA is the second university in the nation to receive certification for the ISSA’s (Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association) Cleaning Industry Management Standard Green Building certification with Honor’s designation.
UGA’s original green cleaning pilot project, implemented in Old College in August 2005, was so successful and popular among building clients that the Physical Plant moved toward formalizing the green cleaning program to include the entire campus of resident instruction buildings. There are currently 212 buildings being cleaned under the total green cleaning program.
The main focus of the green cleaning program is to improve indoor air quality in buildings, substitute hazardous chemicals with safer, environmentally-friendly cleaning products, reduce employee workplace accidents, and standardize employee work practices.
Over the past three years, more than 500 hazardous cleaning chemicals have been eliminated from inventory stock and replaced with just two daily cleaners with environmentally-friendly compounds.
“The UGA Physical Plant Building Services team has worked tirelessly to improve business process standards, incorporate workplace safety metrics, increase awareness of sustainability in the custodial process, and improving professional development,” said Kim Thomas, assistant director of services. “Our employees are the frontline safety and public relations ambassadors to the campus for our department and are extremely proud of their role in supporting the academic mission of the university. These two awards demonstrate our commitment to UGA and help make this a wonderful campus for our students, faculty and visitors.”
Building Service employees and supervisors are required to attend a two-week hands-on and academic training session prior to beginning their permanent assignment. Employees eligible to advance in building service positions are required to participate in the Building Service Worker Academy,. The academy is an established and consistent method of standardized work methods based on green cleaning practices, worker safety training and customer service. To date, nearly 275 employees and supervisors have completed the academy.
For more information on the UGA Physical Plant Division’s sustainability initiatives, see http://gogreen.uga.edu/greenclean/greencleaning.html.