By Mac Clevenger, Green Seal’s Marketing & Outreach Associate
This year I had the pleasure of celebrating Earth Day with (and at) one of Green Seal’s certified clients, Airlie. Airlie has been certified to the standard GS-33 Hotels and Lodging Properties since 2004. Certification to the standard GS-33 represents THE highest level of commitment to human and environmental health in the hospitality industry.
Earth Day is near and dear to both Airlie and Green Seal. After first introducing the idea for Earth Day at Airlie, Senator Gaylord Nelson selected Denis Hayes the first CEO and Chair of Green Seal – to organize the very first Earth Day in 1970. Following the success of the first Earth Day, Denis founded the Earth Day Network which eventually propelled the holiday to the international stage in 1990, organizing events in 141 nations. And now, at least according to Denis, Earth Day is “the largest secular holiday in the world, celebrated by more than a billion people every year.”
Continue reading “Earth Day with Airlie”
At the biggest Earth Day celebration in the world, Earth Day Texas 2016, two sustainability leaders—a nonprofit ecolabel and a windows manufacturer, discussed why consumers rely on them to make smart purchasing decisions. Green Seal’s President & CEO Dr. Arthur Weissman and Renewal by Andersen of Dallas’ General Manager Chris Pound shared the stage on April 23rd in Dallas, Texas and discussed the power of a credible ecolabel. Continue reading “A Window into a Credible Approach to Sustainability”
The theme for the 2015 Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher education (AASHE) Conference & Expo was Transforming Sustainability Education. One well-attended presentation involving Green Seal clients and staff was a panel discussion on “Building the Best Team for a Sustainable Operation”.
The engaging and interactive session provided insights and solutions from four points of view. Steve Gilsdorf, from Western Michigan University (with Green Seal certification for its cleaning service) represented C&U facilities managers. Danny Huffaker of Georgia-Pacific, and Burt Klein of PortionPac Chemical Company represented manufacturers of Green Seal-certified sustainable sanitary paper and cleaning products, respectively. Mark Stanland, Green Seal’s VP of Client Services, represented the third-party ecolabel that awarded their certification. Mac Clevenger, also from Green Seal, moderated the panel.
The panelists answered questions on whether green procurement guidelines are optimally working for housekeeping staff; how to easily identify the products and procedures that best protect staff, faculty, and student health; how procurement directors can source the best pricing and the most sustainable products; and how to be sure that the products and supplies purchased will meet performance expectations.
Green Seal also exhibited at the AASHE Conference & Expo, and traffic was heavy throughout the 2½-day show with many inquiries from facilities managers, faculty, and students about certified products and cleaning services.
By Eric Koch, Mister Kleen Maintenance Company, Inc. Sales and Marketing Specialist
The cleaning industry certainly has evolved throughout the decades. This is especially true as it relates to the environmental movement, and the push for a healthier atmosphere using greener products, processes, and equipment.
While the 1970’s saw the creation of the EPA and OSHA, along with our very first Earth Day, it wasn’t until years later that we started to hear people talk more about cleaning for a healthier environment — “Cleaning for Health”.
Just Make it Look Clean!
Cleaning for Appearance was the phrase and direction we often received from clients throughout the 1970’s, 80’s and midway through the 90’s. There was no concern on the chemicals being used and the impact this was causing to building tenants and our employees. Our main objective was to make it look clean regardless of the impact these harsh chemicals had.
Flash forward to today and the conversation has changed to use green products to clean without releasing harsh odors that other chemical laden products have. This is what our green cleaning program, known as Green Kleen, is centered on to provide a healthier environment for us all.
Yes, being certified as a green cleaning company to Green Seal’s GS-42 Commercial and Institutional Cleaning Services standard is a differentiator for our company. What many people don’t know, however, is how green cleaning is near and dear to our story. Continue reading “Green Kleening Your Community One Building at a Time”
By Kat Danaher, Green Seal Exec. Assistant to the CEO
What a beautiful day for an expo! Green Seal’s newest family member, Mac Clevenger, and I trundled down Eye Street with our booth-on-wheels and promotional wares. This would be a very consumer-facing event — a shift from our usual industrial and institutional (“I&I”) audience — and we were primed with messages and facts especially for these individuals.
- Did you know…..? The World Bank uses Green Seal-certified cleaning, floor care, sanitary paper, and hand soap products throughout this very facility! This creates tremendous health benefits for you, reduces environmental impact, and reinforces their sustainability leadership.
- Talk your child’s school about the benefits of green cleaning and the dramatic impact that using GS-37 cleaning products and GS-11 paints can have on students’ test performance, productivity, # of sick days, and air quality with reduced toxins, asthmagens, carcinogens, and VOCs.
- Ask your managers to join the Green Seal Green Office Partnership. Participation in the program increases the sustainability of your workplace, engages and educates employees, improves operational and energy efficiency, can reduce operational costs, annnnnd has great promotional benefits as well!
- Encourage the World Bank to increase and promote the sustainability of your food services here by applying for GS-55 certification!
- Check the Green Seal website for products that you can use in your own home like GS-8 cleaning products and GS-11 paints, and look for Green Seal-certified hotels when traveling.
Our gracious and well-prepared host, Sonal Patel of the World Bank’s Corporate Responsibility Program, had arranged prize giveaways and three kinds of legit, amazing hot chocolate, which definitely seemed to boost participation!
GS was one of about 20 exhibitors — including the Anacostia Watershed Green Roofs team at the booth next door — and we all saw a steady flow of WB employees and visitors during the three-hour event.
It was satisfying to see the light bulb go on when people realized that their building was cleaned by Green Seal-certified products, and to know that we’d planted a few seeds that might prompt these individuals to make their world a bit greener.
Quote of the day: “I mean, really… how many Environmental Science Ph.D.s does it take to turn off a light switch!?”
Kat, a Virginia native, graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in communication studies. Her professional experience includes over nine years of CEO-level executive support, as well as extensive event planning and logistics. She has enjoyed volunteering with several community-based nonprofits, including animal rescue groups and HIV/AIDS causes.
By Ben Walsh, Green Seal Project Coordinator
Have you ever wondered whether you could recycle that yogurt cup or pizza box?
Have you ever noticed a colleague throwing soda cans into the trash day after day?
Maybe you’ve wondered if the computers in the office were the most energy efficient. As a former office manager, I often asked those questions and maintained this curiosity when I came to Green Seal. What are the best ways I can make my office and our operations more sustainable?
Whether you own your office space or lease it, as an office manager you make operational and purchasing choices every day that can significantly reduce the footprint of your office and provide a cleaner, healthier environment for your staff. That’s where the Green Seal™ Green Office Partnership Program comes in. We are proud to announce the launch of this brand new pilot program.
Continue reading “How can my office be greener?”
By Summer 2013 Intern Jen Crino
A week ago, I was finally able to convince my parents to start composting.
To my surprise, my whole family was incredibly enthusiastic to learn about the process. This sparked the question, though – where did all of these food scraps and organic matter go before we had started composting?
As a college student studying environmental processes, I was bothered that I could only give them a bare-bones description of landfills and the different procedures that occur there, so I decided to do some research. Continue reading “A day in the life of your trash”
By Jake Anderson, Green Seal Summer 2013 Intern
One day as I was reading up on Green Seal’s standard for paints and coatings (GS-11), it struck me that there is so much I don’t know about the paint industry. GS- 11 lays out environmental, health, and performance requirements that must be met by wall, anti-corrosive, and reflective coatings and floor paints that bear the Green Seal of certification. Surely, this all sounds good to me and other environmentally conscious consumers, but my first question is: What on earth is a reflective coating?
Continue reading “An Intern’s Search for Knowledge – Reflective Coatings”
Aaron’s post is the first in a series of articles about LEED v.4.
By Aaron Green, Green Seal Winter 2013 Intern
At the 2013 Greenbuild Convention the US Green Building Council (USGBC) unveiled the latest version of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system, Version 4 (LEED v4). The new system ups the ante for any project seeking a LEED rating going into effect starting June 2015.
There are new requirements and credits as well as specific rating systems for schools, retail locations, data centers, and warehouse and distribution centers. The most significant change receiving a good deal of attention is the increased importance placed on transparency.
By asking for owners to make the building footprint available, the USGBC is effectively increasing the ability for future building teams to learn from current projects, and pushing the green building movement a large step farther. Continue reading “The USGBC Raises the Ceiling with LEED v4”