To help school facility professionals identify and implement low- and no-cost measures that can make a big difference in indoor air quality (IAQ) without major capital investments, Green Seal and Healthy Schools Campaign have launched the Healthy Green Schools & Colleges program. The first slate of program participants include Cape Elizabeth School Department, Consumnes River College, Kansas City Public Schools, University of Georgia, and West Allis-West Milwaukee School District.
The Healthy Green Schools & Colleges program was developed in partnership with recognized school facility management leaders and covers the full range of facilities management practices, including cleaning and disinfecting; integrated pest management; sustainable purchasing; HVAC and electric maintenance; IAQ testing and monitoring; training; and communication.
“The pandemic has highlighted the importance of creating healthier indoor environments, yet many schools struggle to maintain facilities that support the health of all students and staff,” said Doug Gatlin, CEO of Green Seal. “This nationally available program addresses a critical gap by providing schools with the guidance and network to continuously improve the health and sustainability of their facilities.”
“Unhealthy indoor air, inadequate ventilation, and chemical exposure from cleaning and maintenance routines put the health of students and staff at risk and are linked to poor concentration and test performance,” said Rochelle Davis, President and CEO of Healthy Schools Campaign. “These conditions are disproportionately found in schools serving primarily low-income Black and Latino students, making this an important issue of equity. The Healthy Green Schools & Colleges program addresses these systemic challenges and is designed to be accessible for any school district or university that commits to providing safer, healthier indoor environments.”
The program offers school facility professionals a three-step process to improve IAQ and sustainability in their facilities:
- Assess: Schools complete a free online self-assessment to objectively measure their performance, discover their facilities’ strengths and weaknesses, and see how many points they score toward the Healthy Green Schools & Colleges standard.
- Commit: Schools commit to improving their performance by joining the Healthy Green Schools & Colleges program and gaining access to resources including guidebooks, training materials and a peer network of facility professionals on a similar journey.
- Improve: Participating schools use program resources to improve their performance at their own pace. Schools that reach the top level of achievement can apply for Healthy Green Schools & Colleges certification to earn public recognition for their verified expertise in providing healthy school environments.
The Healthy Green Schools & Colleges program is available to school districts, colleges, and universities whether they are just getting started exploring environmental health and sustainability improvements or are already implementing efforts.
Industry leaders in the manufacture and distribution of green cleaning products support the program, including Platinum-Level sponsors Diversey, Georgia-Pacific, Spartan Chemical Company, and Purell.