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Editor's Focus: Clean to green

Dec. 1, 2014
Now in its eighth year, the Green Cleaning Award for Schools & Universities honors those education institutions that have made the commitment to creating and maintaining safer and more healthful learning environments.

While not typically associated with the winter months, “green” is becoming more of a staple as temperatures plummet and landscapes go dormant.

But “green” in this instance does not refer to the color of the Christmas trees seen in many living rooms, or what we all have to shell out during holiday gift shopping. It refers to the recognition many schools and universities receive as part of the annual Green Cleaning Award for Schools & Universities—where winners are celebrated and profiled in the December issue of American School & University.

Education institutions have been embracing the move to green/sustainability in all aspects of the planning, design, construction, maintenance and operation of their facilities and business practices. The growth of green cleaning in education, as well as the sophistication and creativity being implemented by maintenance and operations teams, is tantamount to the commitment to health and welfare that is of paramount importance to schools and universities.

Currently, almost a dozen states have laws requiring or promoting green cleaning in schools. But education institutions in most states are being proactive in regards to establishing green cleaning programs. Administrators understand the importance of not only building and modernizing facilities that are more sustainable and environmentally friendly, but also of ensuring the operation and maintenance of buildings adhere to green principles.

Now in its eighth year, the Green Cleaning Award for Schools & Universities honors those education institutions that have made the commitment to creating and maintaining safer and more healthful learning environments, increasing the lifespan of facilities, and helping preserve the environment. Sponsored by AS&U, the Green Cleaning Network and the Healthy Schools Campaign, the awards program has recognized many exemplary teams over the years—all judged by an expert group of jurors made up of school and university professionals, and industry leaders.

Congratulations to the schools and universities selected for this year’s awards program (winners can be found here). Their successes can serve as inspiration as you initiate, expand and/or improve upon your own green cleaning initiatives.

About the Author

Joe Agron Blog | Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher

Joe Agron is the editor-in-chief/associate publisher of American School & University magazine. Joe has overseen AS&U's editorial direction for more than 30 years, and has helped influence and shape national school infrastructure issues. He has been sought out for comments by publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, ABC News and CNN, and assisted with the introduction of the Education Infrastructure Act of 1994.

Joe also authors a number of industry-exclusive reports. His "Facilities Impact on Learning" series of special reports won national acclaim and helped bring the poor condition of the nation's schools to the attention of many in the U.S. Congress, U.S. Department of Education and the White House.

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