A new report out this week from the Healthy Schools Campaign shows that a growing number of school officials across the country are choosing environmentally certified cleaning products. This is great news, because as the Healthy Schools Campaign CEO, Rochelle Davis, points out, “We know that how schools approach cleaning says a lot about how they value their students, staff, and the communities where they are located.”
We at Green Seal couldn’t agree more. Environmentally certified products keep kids safer and healthier. It is why we dedicate so much time and attention to developing the most rigorous testing for cleaning products and services, and Green Seal is proud to be the leading environmental certification of cleaning products and services in schools.
The report shone a spotlight on Maryland’s Howard County Public School System (HCPSS), which went above and beyond to create a world-class building environment that puts health first. HCPSS decided to get Green Seal 42 (GS-42) certified to make sure that they achieve their mission of making their schools a healthy place to work and learn. To receive this certification from Green Seal, they implemented their own rigorous rating system that monitors the health and cleanliness of each building in the district. They also made sure all of HCPSS’ equipment, cleaning tools, standard operating procedures and staff training complied with each requirement in the Cleaning Service Standard. It’s no coincidence that a school system where cleaning is seen as a health priority rather than just as a housekeeping duty, Green Seal is the certification of choice.
Green cleaning isn’t just an environmental issue. It’s a public health issue. And where our children are concerned, that can’t be said enough. Moving forward, I hope more businesses and public sector leaders see the necessity for Green Seal certifying more schools and spaces for children, families, staff, and the community. We’ve always been honored to play a role in keeping schools healthy, safe and clean for children. This study just proves it.
Green Seal has had the privilege of having many young professionals spend time with us as interns across our various departments throughout our 29 years. Our Interns have contributed to several important projects related to our mission of creating a greener economy. Each semester we welcome both in-office and virtual interns to help us stay at the forefront of marketplace sustainability. We are excited to introduce the two new passionate and talented young people gaining experience in our Science and Standards Department this fall.
Emily is a first-year Master of Science in Sustainability Management student at American University. Before coming to Green Seal, Emily recently earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in Sustainability also at American University. Emily is joining us in our Washington D.C. office.
What Emily is passionate about:
I’m passionate about food security and achieving social equity to meet that need. I’m also excited to learn more about the processes that make an impact in highly wasteful industries.
What Emily is working on with Green Seal:
I’m working on two big projects right now. The first is creating an informational document about hand sanitizer and seeing which Green Seal clients already produce hand sanitizers and if so what the claims of those brands are. I’m super excited to be a part of creating a potential new standard for hand sanitizers. I’m also working on a long-term project of trying to get my university GS-42 certified, and hopefully creating a guidebook for higher education institutions to be able to follow for GS-42 certification! I’m looking forward to meeting with university officials and getting their input to create a step-by-step user-friendly guide complete with which manufacturers to use and how to integrate training into their processes.
Why Emily is Excited to Work at Green Seal:
I am most excited to be around like-minded people who are also concerned about the health impacts of products we use every day. The people here are passionate, driven, and work so hard to improve the health and safety of people who might never have known they were in danger in the first place. I really feel this is a noble cause, and I can’t wait to soak up all the knowledge that I can during my short three months here!
Kelsie joins Green Seal after recently graduating from Depauw University with a degree in Environmental Studies. Kelsie is our virtual intern this semester and is based in Illinois.
What Kelsie is passionate about:
I’m passionate about the areas where business and sustainability can overlap, and as a result I want to get a Master of Business Administration in Environmental Management.
What Kelsie is working on with Green Seal:
Over the past month, I’ve already worked on several assignments. My first task was to review the GS-33 Standard for Hotels and Lodging Properties and identify a single-use plastic that is commonly used in hotels and lodging properties. Most recently, I investigated the environmental and health concerns of fluorinated chemicals (PFAS) and how these chemicals relate to the current Green Seal Standards.
Why Kelsie is Excited to Work at Green Seal
I am excited to work at Green Seal because it is a non-profit environmental organization that has the sole purpose to help companies and manufacturers make responsible decisions. I am an individual that is passionate to promote a more sustainable economy. Green Seal has given me the opportunity to learn more about the integral process to help shoppers know what products are genuinely healthier for the environment.
The Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills is the definition of luxury — an urban oasis surrounded by the decadence and glamour of West Hollywood, California. Through ongoing sustainability initiatives, their staff have learned that you don’t have to sacrifice guest experience or quality of service to be green. In fact, being green can improve guest enjoyment and impart a lasting impression that keeps them coming back. In this interview, Rex Umbay, the hotel’s Director of Engineering, explains why sustainability is important, shares the lessons he’s learned through the hotel’s sustainability journey, and offers practical “how-to” advice for other hotels looking to go green.
Read the full article, by Cerise Bridges, Certification Specialist at Green Seal, here.
Stratus Building Solutions is an international franchise company in the commercial cleaning industry, founded in 2006 and headquartered in Los Angeles, CA. Stratus was developed to provide environmentally friendly commercial cleaning services driven by dedicated, entrepreneurial, small business owners and regional support offices. Stratus has over 1,400-unit franchisees in 31 major cities across the United States.
Stratus is setting new standards in the building services and maintenance franchise industry by being the first to offer green janitorial with their proprietary, Green Seal Certified line of cleaning chemicals.
In 1994, Green Seal was one of the original founders of an international organization for Type 1 Ecolabels – the Global Ecolabelling Network (GEN). Although GEN has been a major advocate and motivator for its members (ecolabelling programs around the world), many in Green Seal’s community are unfamiliar with GEN.
To provide a general introduction to GEN, Green Seal hosted a webinar on January 12th that featured presentations from the Chair of GEN, Bjorn-Erik Lonn, and from representatives of Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) and the Nordic Ecolabel.
Check out our recordings of the presentations below.
“The idea is to clearly identify the environmental leadership products in the market, help consumers to find them, and enhance the consumer confidence that the product actually is more environmentally preferable, therefore fighting greenwashing.” – Bjorn-Erik Lonn, Chair of the Global Ecollabeling Network (GEN).
“For businesses, an ecolabel is an effective way of measuring true environmental performance, the whole lifecycle of the product and communicating these credentials to consumers. For government, ecolabels are a tool to encourage behavior change in both consumers and producers to long-term sustainability. ” – Shaila Divakarla, Standards and Technical Manager at GECA.
In 2017, Green Seal intends to host several related webinars that will dive into the purpose, processes, and positive market effects of Type 1 Ecolabels. Stay tuned for announcements of a future webinar that make take place in April 2017.
Questions or comments about this webinar? Email us anytime at Standards@greenseal.org.