Monthly Archives: December 2016

Sustainable Restroom Operations

By Anne Cosgrove
Facility Executive

Green restrooms can be defined as facility spaces that are resource efficient, feature products with minimal negative impact on the environment, and help to promote occupant and facility staff health and wellness. (Photo: Bigstock.com)

Green restrooms can be defined as facility spaces that are resource efficient, feature products with minimal negative impact on the environment, and help to promote occupant and facility staff health and wellness. (Photo: Bigstock.com)

Whether managing numerous restrooms across multiple facilities or overseeing a handful of these spaces, facility executives understand the impact of these facility areas is at an all-time high. Discussions around hygiene, wellness, and the role buildings can play in occupant health are part of the daily discussion for many, even in mainstream media. Green building programs and certifications, whether focused on the whole building or specific products and processes, continue to evolve. And facility management professionals should evaluate their current green restroom practices to ensure they are operating with the best options available for their situation.

The employees, students, customers, and visitors who utilize a facility’s restrooms come away with an impression of the organization overall, for better or worse. Meanwhile, operations and maintenance for the facilities department are affected daily by the equipment installed in these spaces. And as has been the case for a number of years, the environmental friendliness of restrooms are also at the forefront. Equipment choices coupled with maintenance practices go a long way to provide restrooms that are comfortable for the end-user while also easing maintenance and reducing related costs for the facility.

One way for facility management leaders to evaluate the efficiency of restroom maintenance is by taking a look at how current practices address: surfaces; air quality; and environmental impact. By taking these three aspects into account, this can lead to decision that improve the occupant experience, while also saving time and money.

Read the full story here, including sections about our members University of Washington and Excel Dryers.

Women Athletic Directors Lead Two of the Top Five College Football Programs

By Rachel DeSchepper


“This is huge!”

That’s what Patti Phillips exclaimed from her office the morning of December 5, as she typed out an email to us, her staff: “Two of the top five teams currently have women athletic directors, and Western Michigan is #15 right now…another woman AD. This is such an important milestone for women— it shows that women CAN run successful big-budget football programs, despite the myth that they can’t.”

We get emails like this that celebrate our members from Patti often. (They’re frankly the best part of our jobs!) This time, however, the celebration is particularly groundbreaking: To our knowledge, there have never been two teams with a top five ranking in the College Football Playoffs with a woman leading their athletics departments. But this year, Jen Cohen’s University of Washington Huskies are ranked #4, the Pac 12 champs, and headed to the Peach Bowl; Sandy Barbour’s Penn State Nittany Lions are ranked #5, the Big 10 champs, and headed to the Rose Bowl; and Kathy Beauregard’s Western Michigan Broncos are ranked #15, the Mid-American Conference champs, and headed to the Cotton Bowl. Are you kidding? As Patti says, “women rock!”

“The more women we see in these [AD] positions, the more likely we’re going to have more women who know that they can do it,” Cohen says in a phone conversation last Wednesday. “I think that that’s impactful and that tells a story for other women.”

But as we all know, getting to this point in a woman’s athletic career—especially at a Power 5 school, or on the Bowl Championship level—is not without its challenges and misconceptions. “Women don’t play football. So the question is always how does a woman manage a big-time college football program?” Barbour tells us. “The fact of the matter is, we manage it the same way we oversee wrestling or ice hockey, or some other sport we have in place. Having Jen and I with teams in that top 5, and us going to the Rose Bowl and Washington going the CFP … I think that starts to dispel that myth a little bit.”

For Cohen, who was promoted to athletic director at UW this past June and is in her 18th year at the university, past experiences helped pave the way to her new role. “These jobs are all about fit: Do you match up with what this institution represents, and what this athletic department stands for, and what this community believes in? This has been a great cultural fit, and it’s been the right partnership for the university and for me,” she says. “With all that being said, I’m not sure if anything prepares you for this position until you’re in it. The biggest challenge is really understanding leadership at this level: You’re working to bring hundreds of employees, hundreds of student-athletes, thousands of fans and community members all together under one mission. That’s an unbelievable task. I’m constantly learning and growing and evolving.”

Read the full story here.

Congratulations to our member, UW, for their great season thus far!


Green Seal Proposes Cleaning Product Standards Revisions


Green Seal, a partner of the Green Sports Alliance, is inviting comment on proposed revisions to nine cleaning product standards. The third-party environmental certification organization welcomes comment from a diverse group of stakeholders including product manufacturers, public health experts, environmental organizations, and other interested parties. The comment period will be open through Monday, January 16, 2017. Those interested in commenting can register to submit feedback and view all relevant documents via an online forum.

The proposed revisions are intended to improve consistency, clarity, and to ensure that the requirements are practical for manufacturers while still maintaining current leadership levels of environmental and human health protection. Additionally, some standards require updates to account for changes in the market and the commercial availability of new technologies.

In most cases, the proposed revisions are not expected to immediately require reevaluations of currently certified products or changes in their formulations. Complete details of the standard revisions can be found here.

Read the full call for feedback here.

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