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. Stewardships 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
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
- For the purchase of cleaning equipment meeting the sustainability criteria outlined
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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,
- 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.