Facilities Services

Ithaca College Green Cleaning Commitment

This is our pledge to promote a safe and healthy Campus Community by providing top-notch cleaning services and building maintenance, while committing to continually investigate and explore newer, more sustainable products and processes that are user friendly, fiscally responsible, and protect the environment.

Our cleaning chemicals will be Green Seal certified (Green Seal Industrial and Institutional Cleaners, GS-37). If a Green Seal certified product for a specific use is not available, then a product will be selected that is “Environmentally Preferable” (GS-42), or that minimally does not contain toxins and other hazardous chemical compounds. If a non-green product must be used, it will only be used for an isolated issue that can only be resolved by using that product.

If a green product does not exist in a given product category, then product use will be minimized or eliminated. Evaluation of future developed product options will continue in the identified category. Naturally derived bio-based products are preferred.

The numbers of cleaning products that we use are minimized to facilitate training and simplify the cleaning program.

Cold water is being used when mixing chemicals. Adequate dwell time (in accordance with product specifications) for chemicals is required to maximize product efficacy and minimize product use. Cleaning is first attempted without chemicals when appropriate (i.e. with microfiber wipers) before cleaning chemicals are used.

We strive to eliminate or minimize the use of harsh disinfectants and use only as needed at primary contact points (i.e. bathroom sinks and toilets). Hypochlorites (bleach) and phenolic disinfectants will not be used except for bloodborne pathogen cleanups. A quaternary disinfectant will be used for certain cleaning applications. H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide) based cleaning products and H2O2 based disinfectants will be the standard disinfectant product option.

IC Facilities Services will continually test environmentally-preferred products from a variety of manufacturers to stay on the cutting edge of product development.

Any selected cleaning products will have adequate dilution control systems, preferably a closed, unalterable proportioning system with required backflow and cross-connection protection. (However, any dilution control/proportioning system is preferable to manual dilution. Other options include packet dilution, measured dilution occurring within the product packaging, manually measured dilution and dilution within the trigger sprayer unit.) Product systems that reduce packaging waste, have recycled-content packaging, and can be recycled, are preferred.

IC is currently evaluating and testing cleaning systems utilizing ionized or electrolyzed water as a cleaner, and those utilizing liquefied ozone as a cleaning agent. These systems eliminate cleaning chemicals and return to a water state within a short time period.

Floor sealers, finishes, strippers and finish-maintainers generally need to be used as a complete system for maximum effectiveness. Restorative floor care operations occur on an as-needed basis, not on a predetermined frequency schedule. Green Seal certified product systems (Green Seal Environmental Standard for Industrial and Institutional Floor Care Products, GS-40) are utilized. In addition, the following options will guide the IC Green Cleaning Program in hard surface floor care:

  • When possible, we do not seal or finish floors (i.e. natural stone - PRW ground and 1st floor, concrete - Park Business floors, etc.).  Unfinished floors do not require stripping and re-application of sealer or finish, eliminate the need for costly maintenance procedures, and are typically more slip-resistant.
  • If finish is required (i.e. floor type, floor protection, appearance), then a Green Seal certified system will be used. IC will continue to evaluate new Green Seal certified floor care systems as they become available. Note: environmentally preferred floor care systems are being phased in at application. Since removal of all previous products is required prior to application, which means disposing of all the generated waste, it is best to exhaust the life cycle of the currently applied product and only then replace with an environmentally preferred product.
  • We will use a dust collection mechanism when using high speed burnishers.
  • Notice of restorative maintenance operations will be given to building occupants. Restorative maintenance operations will occur during times of minimum building occupancy.
  • Auto scrubber or mop-on restoration products are being used in lieu of spray chemicals.
  • Recycled content scrubbing and burnishing pads are being used.
  • Equipment is selected and utilized properly to minimize water use. Our staff is continually being trained in these procedures.
  • Orbital scrubbing/stripping machines that do not require the use of a chemical stripper and minimize water use are being used as appropriate.
  • Auto scrubbers that use electrolyzed water as a cleaning agent instead of cleaning chemicals should be used as appropriate.
  • Auto scrubbers are being equipped with chemical control system to regulate chemical use. Machines are low-water use (up to 70%), low-chemical use (up to 90%) and have a noise level of less than 70dBA.
  • Environmentally-responsible equipment batteries are being used (i.e. gel and AGM).

Paper is no longer used as a cleaning tool. Instead, re-useable, launderable, microfiber cloths are used to reduce paper waste. Chemically Treated Dust Cloths are not used. When possible and effective, microfiber cloths and mops replace other disposable cleaning tools (i.e. sponges, scrub pads, cloth rags, cloth mops, dusters) with shorter life cycles to minimize waste. When possible, microfiber cloths are used without chemical cleaning agents to minimize chemical use. Microfiber dry mops or reusable untreated dry mops will be used in place of chemically treated dry mops. Microfiber wet damp mopping systems will be used when possible, as well as recycled content PET plastic wet mops.

All vacuums meet or exceed Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) requirements for efficiency (CRI Green Label Testing) and have a noise level of less than 70 DBA. HEPA or high-filtration systems are required to adequately contain particulate matter and maintain indoor air quality at recommended levels. Vacuums are inspected regularly and bags should be changed in accordance with manufacturers’ specifications.

Notice of restorative maintenance operations (extraction) will be given to building occupants. Restorative maintenance operations occur during times of minimum building occupancy. Our staff is trained to conserve water, and low-water usage carpet extractors are being utilized. Carpet cleaning is conducted so that carpets dry within 12 hours to protect against mold and mildew.

Entrance matting systems are reviewed to ensure maximum soil containment, consistent with GS-42. Less soil entering the building requires less cleaning, and provide better indoor air quality for occupants. Entrance areas are vacuumed, swept, mopped and dusted frequently. We are purchasing matting products made from environmentally preferable materials (i.e. rubber) and recycled materials (100% post-consumer PET recycled fiber and 15% post-consumer recycled tires). This is matting that can be recycled, and matting manufactured in an environmentally-responsible manner.

Automatic Aerosol Deodorizers are not used because these products which contain high levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).

Urinal blocks and urinal screens are not used, as many contain hazardous materials. Waterless urinals are now more frequently installed to conserve water.

We use a Green Seal certified hand soap with recyclable packaging.

Our Paper products are Green Seal certified (Green Seal Standard for Tissue Paper, GS-1 and Green Seal Standard for Paper Towels and Paper Napkins, GS-9).

We do not use Multi-fold and C-fold towels, as dispensing is wasteful, and it is difficult to control use.

Facilities Services purchases vehicles to conduct campus operations that consume less fuel or use alternative fuel sources.

IC has trained custodians to turn off lights and other powered equipment (as directed) when leaving work areas, and to only turn on lights as necessary to complete cleaning assignments.

IC is using environmentally-friendly ice-melt in areas immediately surrounding buildings.