The Housekeeping Services Unit of the University of Maryland’s Facilities Management (UMD) organization has achieved Green Seal GS-42 Certification. 

The certification indicates that the unit’s cleaning practices are among the healthiest and most sustainable in the industry.

GS-42 is a standard of Green Seal, an independent non-profit organization that develops lifecycle-based sustainability standards for products, services, and companies and offers third-party certification for those that meet rigorous criteria.

The certification means UMD has met the stringent GS-42 standard by reducing waste and encouraging the use of products and methods that are safer for humans and the environment.

The University of Maryland and Harvard University are the only institutions of higher education to date that have received GS-42 certification.

“Green Seal certification is a truly world-class accomplishment,” says Carlo Colella, UMD’s associate vice president, Facilities Management.  “It was achieved through a significant team effort led by Mr. Harry Teabout, Director of our Building and Landscape Services Department.”

Among the measures that were implemented in order for the university to meet the Green Seal requirements were the following:

· The replacement of floor burnishers that did not meet emissions and noise limits.

· Replacement of disposable materials, such as cleaning cloths, with washable, reusable alternatives.

· Installation of additional matting at building entrances to keep soil outside.

· Staff training on more effective cleaning techniques and the use of new equipment and products.

According to Scott Lupin, director of the UMD Office of Sustainability, “This [GS-42] achievement will lead to healthier building environments and safer operations for our employees.  It is an excellent example of merging the goals of campus sustainability with those of environmental health and safety.”