Program prioritizes low- and no-cost measures to improve indoor air quality and sustainability at schools and universities
Washington, D.C. and Chicago, Ill. — Green Seal and Healthy Schools Campaign today announced the launch of the Healthy Green Schools & Colleges program to help school facility professionals identify and implement low- and no-cost measures that can make a big difference in indoor air quality without major capital investments.
The organizations also announced the first slate of Healthy Green Schools & Colleges participants, which include Cape Elizabeth School Department, Cosumnes River College, Kansas City Public Schools, University of Georgia, and West Allis-West Milwaukee School District.
The Healthy Green Schools & Colleges program was developed in partnership with recognized school facility management leaders and covers the full range of facilities management practices, including cleaning and disinfecting; integrated pest management; sustainable purchasing; HVAC and electric maintenance; indoor air quality testing and monitoring; training; and communication.
Healthy Green Schools & Colleges offers school facility professionals a 3-step process to improve indoor air quality and sustainability in their facilities:
- Assess: Schools complete a free online self-assessment to objectively measure their performance, discover their facilities’ strengths and weaknesses, and see how many points they score toward the Healthy Green Schools & Colleges standard.
- Commit: Schools commit to improving their performance by joining the Healthy Green Schools & Colleges program and gaining access to resources including guidebooks, training materials, and a peer network of facility professionals on a similar journey.
- Improve: Participating schools use program resources to improve their performance at their own pace. Schools that reach the top level of achievement can apply for Healthy Green Schools & Colleges certification to earn public recognition for their verified expertise in providing healthy school environments.
The Healthy Green Schools & Colleges program is available to school districts, colleges and universities across the spectrum, whether they are just getting started exploring environmental health and sustainability improvements or already are leaders.
“The pandemic has highlighted the importance of creating healthier indoor environments, yet many schools struggle to maintain facilities that support the health of all students and staff,” said Doug Gatlin, CEO of Green Seal. “This nationally available program addresses a critical gap by providing schools with the guidance and network to continuously improve the health and sustainability of their facilities.”
“Unhealthy indoor air, inadequate ventilation, and chemical exposure from cleaning and maintenance routines put the health of students and staff at risk and are linked to poor concentration and test performance,” said Rochelle Davis, President and CEO of Healthy Schools Campaign. “These conditions are disproportionately found in schools serving primarily low-income Black and Latino students, making this an important issue of equity. The Healthy Green Schools & Colleges program addresses these systemic challenges and is designed to be accessible for any school district or university that commits to providing safer, healthier indoor environments.”
Industry leaders in the manufacture and distribution of green cleaning products provide generous support Healthy Green Schools & Colleges, including Platinum-Level sponsors Diversey, Georgia-Pacific, Spartan Chemical Company and Purell.
Healthy Green Schools & Colleges will host a live program kickoff webinar with the program director and representatives from the first participating schools on Tuesday, October 4th at 1pm Central. Register here.
ABOUT HEALTHY GREEN SCHOOLS & COLLEGES
Healthy Green Schools & Colleges is a partnership between the Healthy Schools Campaign (HSC) and Green Seal, combining HSC’s extensive experience working with leading school facility directors and Green Seal’s globally recognized credibility in science-based standard development. Healthy Green Schools & Colleges provides school facility leaders nationwide with resources to transform the health and sustainability of school and university environments without making major capital investments. The multifaceted program includes education, certification standards and implementation guidelines; a network to accelerate the adoption of best practices, and recognition of the leaders who achieve success. Learn more at healthygreenschools.org.
ABOUT GREEN SEAL, INC.
Green Seal® is a global nonprofit organization with a mission to transform the economy for a healthier, greener world. Since 1989, Green Seal has applied rigorous standards for health, environmental sustainability, and product performance to its certification programs to empower better purchasing decisions. Green Seal has certified thousands of products, services and spaces from hundreds of leading companies and is specified by countless schools, government agencies, businesses, and institutions. Today, the Green Seal certification mark is a universal symbol that a product or service meets the highest benchmark of health and environmental leadership. Visit greenseal.org or connect with Green Seal on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
ABOUT HEALTHY SCHOOLS CAMPAIGN
Healthy Schools Campaign (HSC) works to ensure that all students have access to healthy school environments, including clean air, nutritious food, physical activity, mental and physical health services, and outdoor spaces, where they can learn and thrive. HSC provides school stakeholders with knowledge and leadership skills to have a voice in health and wellness policy; advocates for practical policy recommendations; and builds strong partnerships and coalitions to ensure that schools have the capacity to support and sustain a healthy school environment. Learn more at healthyschoolscampaign.org.