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The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.76
Liaison Kimberly Williams
Submission Date Feb. 27, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

George Washington University
OP-13: Cleaning Products Purchasing

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Mark Ellis
Sustainability Project Facilitator
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an institution-wide stated preference to purchase third party certified cleaning and janitorial products?:

A copy of the green cleaning product purchasing policy, directive, or guidelines:

The green cleaning product purchasing policy, directive, or guidelines:

The George Washington University has contracted its housekeeping management through ARAMARK as its primary housekeeping service manager. As part of this contract ARAMARK exclusively uses Green Seal certified cleaning practices, which have been used on campus for more than five years.

A brief description of steps the institution has taken to ensure that the purchasing policy, directives, or guidelines are followed:

GW and ARAMARK are in the process of transitioning all of its purchased cleaning products used on campus to "blue cleaning" products that substitute electrically activated water (EAW) for chemicals used previously in its green products (see: http://www.aramark.com/PressRoom/PressReleases/ARAMARK-Blue-Cleaning.aspx). Please refer to the link above to learn more about ARAMARK's blue cleaning program, and the health and environmental benefits it offers beyond those of existing green cleaning products. Additional links are provided below on the specific blue cleaning technology implemented to date on GW campuses.

In FY13, we made our most significant investment in using blue cleaning EAW solutions in lieu of Green Seal, chemical-based cleaning products. To date GW has installed 8 Orbio machines (see: http://www.tennantco.com/am-en/equipment/innovations/innovations/5000-sc) and 25+ ec-H20 machines (see: http://www.tennantco.com/am-en/equipment/Innovations/Technology/ec-h2o) to process tap water into a electrically charged blue cleaning water solution. In addition, GW implemented microfiber cleaning at its Mt. Vernon and Virginia campuses to cut down on use of chemicals and paper-based cleaning cloths/towels. Such measures have reduced GW's total expenditures on cleaning products by more than $20,000 in FY14 relative to FY12.

Does the institution wish to pursue Part 2 of this credit (expenditures on cleaning and janitorial products)?:

Expenditures on Green Seal and/or UL Environment (EcoLogo) certified cleaning and janitorial products:
20,111 US/Canadian $

Total expenditures on cleaning and janitorial products:
20,111 US/Canadian $

Has the institution's main cleaning or housekeeping department(s) and/or contractor(s) adopted a Green Seal or ISSA certified low-impact, ecological (“green”) cleaning program?:

A brief description of the institution’s low-impact, ecological cleaning program:

A copy of the sections of the cleaning contract(s) that reference certified green products:
The sections of the cleaning contract(s) that reference certified green products:

Contract, Exhibit B1:

Whenever possible, ARAMARK will utilize the latest cleaning technology in providing
housekeeping services. This includes Blue and Green Cleaning techniques and the
utilization of Orbio™ and ActiveIon™.

ARAMARK will achieve and maintain CIMS (Cleaning Industry Management
Standard) certification for all three Campuses. The certification will coincide with the
execution of this Agreement. The CIMS certification is not transferable to GWU if
ARAMARK is no longer providing the Services to the University.

The website URL where information about the institution’s green cleaning initiatives is available:

This initiative directly impacts goals and targets set forth in the George Washington Ecosystems Enhancement Strategy, which was released November 2012. This Strategy calls for the university to source products that reduce the impact on biodiversity, climate and water. As a large urban university, GW purchases a significant volume of products to support its faculty, staff and student community. Sourcing raw material inputs, processing and manufacturing paper and transporting it to GW impacts natural, human and economic capital on a global scale.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.