Advocating for Green Clean Schools Policy

School leaders and state legislators across the nation are adopting common-sense green cleaning policies that help schools go green and stay green. These bills make a big difference right away by protecting the health of students and staff while minimizing the environmental impact of school cleaning. They also help schools sustain their green cleaning programs for the long term, through changes in staff or facilities.

At HSC, we believe policy is a powerful tool to promote green cleaning in schools and that on-the-ground leaders—school nurses, school facility staff, teachers, parents, and many others—can be some of the strongest advocates for lasting change.

In this section, you’ll find our guiding principles for green clean schools policy, and our time-tested Green Cleaning Advocacy Handbook. But first, keep reading for the good news: more and more states across the nation are already making green clean schools policy a reality.

States with Green Cleaning Laws

Ten states, plus Washington, D.C., now require green cleaning in schools.

In addition, nearly 20 states have some type of policy—either a legislative initiative or an administrative rule—encouraging environmentally preferable purchasing or green cleaning in government buildings in addition to schools. These policies vary greatly from state to state and do not necessarily include schools. For example, some states encourage or require state agencies to make environmentally preferable purchasing decisions. Others have policies or offer resources addressing green cleaning in other sectors such as restaurants or hospitals.

The following chart is here to help you reference your states’ laws on green cleaning in schools. As always, be sure to double check local regulations before embarking on a green cleaning program.

State Mandate or Recommended Guidelines? “Green” Defined by
Connecticut Mandate Dept. of Administrative Services
District of Columbia Mandate Dept. of General Services
Hawaii Mandate Dept. of Health
Illinois Mandate Green Governing Coordinating Council
Iowa Mandate Dept. of Administrative Services
Maine Guidelines Dept. of Education
Maryland Mandate Dept. of Education
Missouri Guidelines Dept. of Education
Nevada Mandate Dept. of Education
New York Mandate Office of General Services
Vermont Mandate Dept. of Health


Next, visit Develop Green Cleaning Policy to learn more about the development of state-level policy.