Statement from Green Seal CEO Doug Gatlin on the Biden Administration’s Clean Air in Buildings Challenge

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I applaud the Biden Administration’s announcement of a Clean Air in Buildings Challenge, which encourages building owners, schools, colleges and universities to take key steps to improve indoor air quality and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The pandemic made creating healthy school environments an urgent national priority and brought to light the serious under-investment in school facilities nationwide. But the fact is, even before the pandemic, nearly half of U.S. schools reported indoor air quality problems that put the health of students and staff at risk.

Green Seal and Healthy Schools Campaign’s Healthy Green Schools & Colleges Standard offers specific, detailed guidance that closely align with the Biden Administration’s ventilation guidelines, and that will help schools and universities implement the White House recommendations without making major capital investments.  

Unhealthy indoor air, inadequate ventilation, and chemical exposure from cleaning and maintenance routines continue to present systemic challenges in school districts. On top of health concerns, these issues are linked to poor concentration and test performance in students, adding preventable barriers to achievement.

I welcome the White House spotlight on prioritizing clean and safe indoor air quality in schools and all buildings. Combined with the Biden Administration’s $122 billion investment in schools in the American Rescue Plan, we have a rare opportunity to encourage health- and sustainability-focused upgrades to school facilities to help keep students, staff and all building occupants safe and healthy during the pandemic and beyond.

ABOUT GREEN SEAL

Green Seal® is a global nonprofit committed to making sustainability everyone’s business. The ecolabelling movement we pioneered decades ago has helped people make informed purchasing decisions and driven the marketplace toward healthier, greener choices. Hundreds of the world’s leading companies carry our certification on their products, services, and spaces to quickly signal how they’ve met a high benchmark of health and environmental leadership. Look for, partner with, and lean on Green Seal, so you can make healthier, safer choices with confidence. Visit greenseal.org or connect with Green Seal on X and LinkedIn.