First certified university in NC; rigorous requirements verify highest commitment to sustainability, health of staff, students and planet
RALEIGH – North Carolina State University (NC State) Housekeeping has earned Green Seal certification for innovative and responsible cleaning practices that are among the healthiest and most sustainable in the nation. As the first Green Seal certified university in North Carolina and only the sixth nationwide, NC State joins an elite group of leading schools, colleges and universities that have verified their commitment to place the health of students and staff first.
Green Seal certification is widely recognized as a global mark of proven leadership in human and environmental health. To earn certification, NC State Housekeeping met Green Seal’s stringent Cleaning Services Standard (GS-42) requirements for cleaning equipment and procedures, chemicals, employee training, product labeling, and communication. Green Seal conducts rigorous on-site inspections to verify each requirement before awarding a prestigious certification mark.
NC State Housekeeping’s sustainable cleaning program includes:
- Microfiber mops reduce water use by up to 95%, reduce cross-contamination, and are more effective than traditional mops and buckets.
- Floor mats at the entrance of buildings reduce the amount of soil and pollutants entering buildings.
- A water-based cleaning system allows housekeepers to clean most campus surfaces with technology that converts water, electricity and a small amount of salt into an effective cleaning solution. This reduces the amount of packaged chemicals shipped to, stored and used on campus.
- Vacuums have HEPA filters for superior indoor air quality and reduced noise levels, and they are more ergonomically correct.
- Green Seal certified cleaning products and hand soap protect indoor air quality and reduce chemical exposure, allergic reactions and asthma triggers.
- Dispensing stations pre-measure chemicals to save water, reduce employee exposure to chemicals and ensure proper dilution.
- Once a single-use item, floor waxing pads can now be regenerated for reuse up to 8 times, saving money and reducing waste.
- Floor scrubbers that use and convert water into an effective cleaning solution, which reduces the use of harsh chemicals.
NC State began its shift toward green cleaning more than a decade ago, responding to growing public concern about environmental and human health. While primary goals included improving air quality and reducing exposure to harsh chemicals, the university’s green cleaning program has also reduced operational costs, water use and landfill waste, and improved employee health by reducing chronic illnesses and ergonomic problems, according to university staff.
“Green Seal certification promotes University Housekeeping’s dedication to sustainability at NC State,” said Ada Baldwin, director of University Housekeeping. “The certification raises awareness regarding the well-being and health of our staff and campus community. It also demonstrates that environmentally responsible services and products can meet or exceed quality expectations and performance.”
“NC State didn’t just commit to green cleaning – they sought out the most rigorous third-party certification in the nation to verify that they are leaving no stone unturned in their mission to protect the health of their students and staff,” said Green Seal CEO Doug Gatlin. “Healthy education settings are critical for learning and can boost attendance, academic performance and staff and student morale. NC State should be extremely proud of the way they have reduced their environmental footprint and transformed their campus into a cleaner, healthier place to live, learn and play.”
Green Seal-certified cleaning services are the latest sustainability accomplishment for NC State. The university’s extensive sustainability programs include a focus on energy and water use reduction, waste diversion from landfill, sustainable food systems, efficient buildings, responsible land use and more. Explore more at sustainability.ncsu.edu.
Cleaning is essential to protecting health. However, cleaning products often contain harmful, flammable, or carcinogenic chemicals and asthmagens – sometimes even when they are advertised as “green” or “natural.” For decades, Green Seal has been a vital resource for proven-safer, proven-greener products and services throughout the country. Other Green Seal certified higher education institutions include Harvard University, Georgia Tech University, University of Virginia, University of Maryland, Western Michigan University and Montgomery College in Maryland. Learn more at https://greenseal.org/
ABOUT GREEN SEAL
Green Seal® is a global nonprofit organization with a mission to protect human health and the environment by accelerating the adoption of products that are safer and more sustainable. 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 a high benchmark of health and environmental leadership. Visit greenseal.org or connect with Green Seal on X and LinkedIn.