NC State Earns Green Seal Certification

NC State is the first university in North Carolina to earn Green Seal Certification

September 20, 2019

University Housekeeping for North Carolina State University recently received the national Green Seal Certification for providing safe and sustainable cleaning services, according to an article published by the NC State University Sustainability Office. This makes NC State the sixth university in the U.S. and the first in North Carolina to earn the certification. 

Green Seal® is a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. that evaluates the sustainability of products and services. To earn the certification, the university’s housekeeping department met strict requirements regarding chemicals, equipment, procedures, and employee training and passed an extensive performance review and audit of the entire cleaning program, according to the article.

“Green Seal Certification affirms our dedication to sustainability and the health of our employees and the campus community,” said Ada Baldwin, director of University Housekeeping. “I could not be more proud of the entire University Housekeeping team for this accomplishment.”

According to the article, NC State began to implement green cleaning practices more than a decade ago. In that time, University Housekeeping has switched to chemical-free cleaning solutions, replaced mops and buckets with microfiber scrubbers, and adopted vacuums with HEPA filtration for improved indoor air quality. These practices have reduced water use, waste, and operational costs.

In addition to being environmentally friendly, the changes are also healthier for University students and staff. With fewer chemicals and improved air quality comes fewer odors and allergic reactions. The new microfiber scrubbers are ergonomically friendly and the HEPA filtration vacuums are quieter. Touchless bathroom disinfection systems reduce the spread of viruses and bacteria.

“What makes us stand out is that we adopted these products early and saw benefits early,” said Hezekiah Henry, a manager with University Housekeeping, according to the article. “We were very progressive in making our products and processes better.”

To maintain its Green Seal Certification, University Housekeeping will undergo an annual audit to ensure the chemicals, equipment, training, and processes employed continue to meet evolving sustainability requirements.

In related news, NC State has implemented a special composting program for the most iconic college waste item—empty pizza boxes. The university’s goal is to divert 70 percent of landfill waste by 2022. Learn more about the campus' sustainability practices.


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