Green Cleaning at Ferris State University

Green Cleaning is cleaning to protect health without harming the environment. It is also about shared responsibility and stewardship. Occupants share the responsibility by communicating their needs and understanding the value of cleaning. Occupant activities can also have a tremendous effect on the cleanliness of our buildings; for example the coffee spill that goes unreported and turns into a stain which requires more aggressive methods to remove. Stewardship is about getting everyone in our buildings to care about our buildings.

The intent of our green cleaning program here at Ferris State University is to reduce the exposure of building occupants and maintenance personnel to potentially hazardous chemical, biological, and particulate contaminants, which adversely affect air quality, human health, building finishes, building systems and the environment.

We recognize that green cleaning is a significant component of indoor air quality, and that the contribution of indoor air quality to employee productivity is significant. We are committed to devoting the time and resources to perform these functions at an exemplary level. It is our policy to ensure that our building operates in an environmentally responsible manner and we demonstrate good environmental stewardship within our community. Our goal is to perform each of these strategies at the highest level of our abilities and comprehension.

It is our intent to engage in a green cleaning program that includes the following minimum sustainable green cleaning initiatives. Click on the subject title below:

  • For the purchase and use of sustainable hard floor and carpet care products meeting the sustainability criterion outlined in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

    For the purchase of cleaning equipment meeting the sustainability criteria outlined in LEED.

    Paper products – 3rd party green certifications and post-consumer recycled content.

    Skin Care – 3rd party green certifications and also technology that helps us not to waste product.

    Trash Can Liners – making sure that our liners are the right size and right thickness for our trash receptacles, using liners that contain post-consumer recycled content, only using liners when necessary.

    Cleaning Chemicals – daily cleaning chemicals that are 3rd party green certified when available and using specialty chemicals only in areas where needed and as little as possible. Our chemicals are dispensed through a system which allows us to use concentrated formulas that are diluted in the correct amounts with water. This saves chemical and cost.

    Cleaning tools – utilizing microfiber cloths, dusting tools, mops wherever possible. Microfiber technology captures the dust and dirt better than traditional methods.

    Cleaning equipment that is 3rd party green certified or that reduces the amount of water and chemicals used and that protects the surfaces and walls by having bumpers and guards.

    Entranceway floor matting, the right systems at all of our building entrances. This saves on the wear and tear of the floors and carpeting and studies over many years show that 70 – 80% of the dirt can be kept out of the building in the first place by using the proper matting systems.

  • To establish standard operating procedures addressing an effective cleaning and hard floor and carpet maintenance system to protect building occupants and to specifically address cleaning to protect vulnerable building occupants.

  • To develop guidelines addressing the safe handling and storage of cleaning chemicals used in the building, including a plan for managing hazardous spills.

    To develop requirements for staffing and training of maintenance personnel appropriate to the needs of the building. Specifically address the training of maintenance personnel in the hazards of use, disposal, and recycling of cleaning chemicals, dispensing equipment, and packaging.

    Environmental Health and Safety Policy

  • Auditing of the appearance and cleanliness of all areas are conducted on a quarterly basis using the APPA Custodial Staffing Guideline Standards.

    To provide for collecting occupant feedback and continuous improvement to evaluate new technologies, procedures, and processes.

    Environmental Audit Policy

  • Recycling – as we increase our recycling efforts, feedback and assistance from our staff and students is important. We will make sure that containers are in the right places and labeled properly for ease of use.

  • Our teams have begun the journey of implementing Lean principles into our departments also. This means that we have consolidated products and have only a few daily cleaning chemicals, we have standardized products across the campus and we have studied our processes and are doing things very efficiently. This is a journey so we will be reviewing this and making changes as technology changes in our industry.

    Training – we also make sure that our team receives proper training on new products and procedures and that is done annually.