With winter in full swing, green typically isn't a color that comes to mind. Yet, not a day goes by when green doesn't work its way into the conversation at schools and universities nationwide.
Education institutions are making the move to green in all aspects of the planning, design, construction, maintenance and operation of their facilities. From designing buildings to achieve LEED certification to adopting green principles, the greening of America's schools is gaining momentum. Most recently, the Clinton Climate Initiative and the U.S. Green Building Council announced the creation of the Green Schools Program to reduce energy consumption of education buildings across America.
But just building green schools or retrofitting them to become more sustainable and environmentally friendly is not enough. A commitment must be made to ensure that the operation and maintenance of facilities adhere to green principles — thereby creating safer and more healthful learning environments, increasing the lifespan of facilities, and helping preserve the environment.
To honor those institutions that have made this commitment, American School & University created the “Green Cleaning Award for Schools & Universities.” Working in conjunction with the Green Cleaning Network and the Healthy Schools Campaign, the awards program recognizes education institutions that have established exemplary green cleaning programs.
A green cleaning program goes beyond just chemical and equipment choices. It includes policies, procedures, training and shared responsibility efforts that minimize the impact of cleaning on the health of building occupants and staff, and that protect the environment as a whole.
Beginning on page 31, winners of the inaugural program are profiled. The competition bestowed a Grand Award and Honorable Mention in each of three categories: school districts, colleges and universities.
For information on how you can enter next year's “Green Cleaning Award for Schools & Universities” program, contact Julie Hall at [email protected].