This fall marks a new era in the Colleges’ commitment to the environment. Coinciding with President Mark D. Gearan’s American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, the HWS Buildings & Grounds department changed cleaning chemicals to those that meet with Green Seal approval.
Green Seal “provides science-based environmental certification standards that are credible, transparent, and essential in an increasingly educated and competitive marketplace. [Green Seal’s] industry knowledge and standards help manufacturers, purchasers, and end users alike make responsible choices that positively impact business behavior and improve quality of life.
With these new cleaning chemicals comes a new way of approaching the work of Buildings & Grounds. All vendors and suppliers working with B&G are being asked to provide green sensitive programs.
“Education and training is one of the benefits that B&G realizes as they work with green sensitive companies, says Howard Simmons, director of HWS Buildings & Grounds. Staff will be trained in the usage of the supplies. Dilutions may differ from previous products, and products may have different applications.
Along with other environmentally friendly steps, these changes are part of a larger recognition of the Colleges’ interest in the environment and are only one facet of the commitment to making a difference. Energy efficiency is one of the major goals of HWS Buildings & Grounds, and as such, B&G personnel are actively studying, understanding, and implementing ways to be more energy efficient, thus reducing the Colleges’ overall energy usage.
There is more work to be done, however, and as Associate Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies Tom Drennen said, “It’s not going to be easy, but it is the right thing to do — to begin down the path of making this campus more environmentally friendly.