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Easy Steps to Green, Sustainable Procurement | by EnvirOx

Guest Blog Post By Haley Snow, Marketing & Communications Manager, EnvirOx

You may not realize it, but there’s one surprising part of your staff that makes a huge contribution to the green-ness of your venue. It’s your custodial crew! These folks work hard every day to ensure that visitors to your venue have a clean, safe, healthy place to enjoy their favorite sports. Yes, cleaning is indeed a healthcare business!

And yet, custodial staff face dangerous working conditions, often due to harsh, toxic chemicals and inefficient and wasteful equipment or processes. 6% of all custodians are injured on the job each year due to chemical exposure and the janitorial industry is one of 5 industries that account for 20% of all work injuries. So how do we protect our custodial crew and PLAY GREENER ™?

Photo Credit: pexels.com

Photo Credit: pexels.com

Good news! All of these potential problems can be solved with a good green cleaning program. Greener cleaning methods and products can improve the health and safety of everyone in your venue as well as improve your environmental footprint. Specifically, green cleaning products can improve your indoor air quality, remove toxins and reduce waste. This becomes even more important in a sports environment; how many people walk through your doors every game? Tens of thousands? That’s how many people your cleaning program affects.

Remember; green is a spectrum. Even small changes can make your cleaning program greener. Here’s some quick, easy tips to start selecting green cleaning products for your venue– or at home:

Green Cleaning Certifications

Your Guide to Green Cleaning Product Certifications

  1. Look for green certifications.
    This is the single biggest, easiest improvement you can make. Most janitorial products, from paper to cleaning chemicals to trash can liners, can be Green Certified by a third-party certification company. These companies do all the legwork for you, testing toxicity, environmental impact, performance and results of products that claim to be green. Look for Green Seal, EcoLogo or Design for the Environment logos on products. An important note here; any product with a kill claim (like disinfectants) can’t be green certified, as the EPA regulates those products as pesticides.
  2. Use your vendor’s resources.
    Engage your vendors and suppliers in your efforts– it sends a message to suppliers about what’s important to you. At the very least, they should be able to point you to greener products, and they may even be able to do on-site audits or help you promote your new green cleaning program.
  3. Look at recycled content, biodegradability, VOCs, and safety data sheets.
    A manufacturer or supplier should be able to provide a complete picture of key green features– the features themselves will vary between equipment, chemicals and paper goods, but a vendor should always be able to answer why a product is “green.”
  4. Compare price vs. cost.
    When selecting any product, you always want to compare the upfront price vs. the actual use cost. What this means is you can pay twice the price for a piece of equipment that will last you four times as long as the cheaper version. This cuts the price of operation – the cost per cleaning – in half and saves room in the landfill. The same can be said for concentrated cleaning chemicals over ready-to-use products and microfibers over paper towels. Remember: reduce, reuse, recycle!

Ready to get started? Visit the Green Sports Alliance’s Green Cleaning Playbook for more information. Don’t forget to stop by the EnvirOx booth at the Summit! We’d love to hear how green cleaning is working for your venue or help you get your own green cleaning program off the ground.

References:

http://www.millonpeskin.com/blog/2013/11/the-workplace-dangers-facing-cleaning-and-janitorial-workers.shtml

https://greencleanschools.org/about/why-green-cleaning/

Touting Training: Importance of Staff Training in a High Performance Green Cleaning Program

By Mark Petruzzi

2017.04.28-NewsFeed-Touting Training in Greener Cleaning-IMAGE

My son recently won his first state championship event in swimming. Of course, I was tingly all over since it was also my first time as the father of the fastest 10-year-old-100-yard-breaststroke boy in the state. As I reflected on the hours of practice he’s invested to be successful in his sport, my thoughts naturally kept coming back to the importance of staff training in a high performance green cleaning program.

Some of these thoughts were due to my experience with the Green Sports Alliance Greener Cleaning Playbook. If you haven’t already downloaded and read it, the Greener Cleaning Playbook contains guidance, tools and resources needed to plan and implement a successful green cleaning program. Staff training is emphasized as critical to such a program (as do many other standards and guides for green cleaning programs from Green Seal, ISSA, the Healthy Schools Campaign and others), but it’s an element that’s often overlooked or given little regular attention.

As any sports fan knows, practice makes for better and higher-performing athletes. The same can be said for staff on your team — investing in training will result in better and higher-performing cleaning staffs.

Let’s say you’re currently using a team cleaning system, which is comparable to team sports like baseball, football, soccer or basketball. Each player has a dedicated role, and they work together on offense or defense to score or prevent points. Middle linebackers and point guards translate to restroom and light duty specialists, only your team cleaning staff has more opportunity to rotate through positions to reduce boredom and maintain fairness.

Read more here.

Target Field Honored as one of the ‘Greenest Ballparks in America’

By Rochelle Olson, Star Tribune

2017.04.25-NewsFeed-Target Field-IMAGE

Saving those leftover brats, burgers and chicken breasts from Target Field has helped the Minnesota Twins hit gold.

The team learned Saturday that Target Field achieved gold LEED certification for building operations.

The seven-year-old Minneapolis ballpark already had silver certification through LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED is the nation’s leading program in design, construction and high-performance green buildings.

Jase Miller, manager of ballpark operations for the Minnesota Twins, said fans should be proud of helping to make Target Field the greenest ballpark in America. “Together, we’ve kept thousands of tons of trash out of local landfills,” he said. “That’s a huge win not just for Target Field, but for the whole community.”

For the past five years, the Twins have donated unused food to local charities, including 213,622 cased meats, 34,488 hamburgers and 16,599 chicken breasts.

Beer cups, plates and nacho trays were part of 300 tons of trash converted to compost.

Target Field is the first to use Arc, a digital platform, to track sustainability, the team announced. With Arc, the Twins are able to track and increase alternative transportation, energy and water efficiency, waste diversion and recycling.

Through “aggressive recycling” and waste-to-energy programs, the Twins have kept more than 8,200 tons of waste out of local landfills since 2011, the team said. Some 3,213 tons have been recycled, while 2,755 have been sent to the nearby Hennepin Energy Recovery Center and 2,288 tons of organics have been composted, according to a news release.

The team hopes to improve those numbers this year with better equipment and training.

Team President Dave St. Peter said the team wants to honor “the power of sport to inspire, build the best fan experience and cause no unnecessary harm.”

Read the full story here.

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