Green Cleaning

Our Standard Cleaning Service

Green CleaningFacilities Maintenance Operations (FMO) Green Cleaning Program is now the standard service offering for our entire cleaning operation. While occasional deviation from this approach can be accommodated, we strongly encourage our Harvard clients to adhere to Green Cleaning principles.

Green Cleaning Defined

Green Cleaning is defined as "cleaning to protect health without harming the environment" (Steve Ashkin).  Procedures and products are utilized which contribute to healthy surroundings for building occupants and cleaning staff, and minimize the impact of cleaning operations on the environment. Building cleanliness is not solely evaluated on appearance. Instead, an equal emphasis is placed on the environmental sustainability of cleaning operations and overall building health. FMO recognizes Green Seal™, the EPA’s Design for the Environment, Environmental Choice’s EcoLogo and the European Union’s Ecolabel for its green cleaning products.

In March of 2011, FMO Custodial Services became Green Seal™ (GS-42) certified. Green Seal™ is a non-profit organization that certifies products and services which meet rigorous environmental safety standards. The scrutiny applied to product manufacturers and service providers seeking this certification is immense. For instance, during FMO’s application process, Green Seal™ inspectors came to Cambridge to conduct detailed reviews of operations and staff performance. FMO was also required to submit more than five hundred pages of documentation detailing how its cleaning programs live up to Green Seal™ standards. So what are some of those standards?

  • Each building must have a customized cleaning program to meet its specific environmental needs
  • Products must be registered as "environmentally preferable" by Green Seal™
  • Procedures must be designed around the environment and health of building occupants
  • Procedures must comply with strict environmental safety regulations

"Green Seal™ certification is very difficult to achieve," said Associate Director for Custodial Services Jason Luke. "This was a multi-year process that required our group to adjust our cleaning products and procedures as well as invest in new equipment. It really required us to change the way we approach our daily cleaning assignments." Staff was also required to complete 24 hours of specialized training in product selection and use, as well cleaning techniques with new equipment.

For more information contact Jason Luke, Associate Director of Custodial and Support Services at 617-495-7847, or email jason_luke@harvard.edu

This cleaning service meets the Green Seal™ Standard for Commercial and Institutional Cleaning Services, GS-42, by reducing waste and avoiding products that are harmful to humans and the environment.

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