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Stony Brook University Shines It’s Way to Receiving A Green Cleaning Award Honorable Mention Award

December 9, 2014

By Ryan Wolf

Stony Brook University earned the 2014 Green Cleaning Awards Honorable Mention by American School and University, the Green Cleaning Network and Healthy Schools Campaign, for its longstanding commitment to healthy and sustainable cleaning methods. Stony Brook was only one of four universities to be recognized by the Green Cleaning Awards for their green cleaning program in 2014. 

“The recognition Stony Brook University received by the American School and University, the Green Cleaning Network and the Healthy Schools Campaign, is really the culmination of a process begun many years ago by the university’s senior management. They recognized that a well-developed green cleaning program was not only something that was good for the natural environment, but also something that would create a healthier environment for Stony Brook’s students, faculty and staff,” said Connell Friel, Director of Custodial Services and Recycling & Resource Management. “I am very pleased and gratified to help bring their enlightened vision to fruition and look forward to establishing an even more robust green cleaning program in the future.”

Spearheaded by the West Campus’ Custodial Operations, which manages a total of 3,700,903 square feet, Stony Brook University’s Green Cleaning Program began in 2007 and has since seen many transformations in order to achieve a greater balance between health and the environment through the adoption of various sustainable cleaning methods.

Originating as a response to a directive from the Vice President of Facilities and to the NYS Executive Order #134, in which all state agencies were directed to reduce their environmental impact from cleaning, Stony Brook University’s Green Cleaning Program has transformed the ways cleaning is accomplished on campus and has made Stony Brook a more environmentally friendly and healthier campus. Since the time of the program’s creation, all custodial product purchases have become either green-seal certified or environmentally preferred.

Stony Brook University’s mission for attaining a healthier and more environmentally friendly campus does not stop at only focusing on greener cleaning products. The University’s vacuuming, stripping, and high-speed burnishing operations also promote health and the environment by primarily being performed in off-hours when the building spaces are unoccupied.  This results in a much healthier environment for building occupants, as air-bound particulates are not present when they are. When vacuuming with occupants present, the University utilizes HEPA-filtered vacuum cleaners whose high efficiency filtration traps 99.6% at 0.3 microns for improved indoor air quality.

Along with unilaterally pursing greener methods of cleaning, SBU also encourages the involvement of the campus and the wider local community through various programs including the Pre-Consumer Food Waste Composting Program, a comprehensive Move-Out Program, a Paper Reduction initiative, and the University’s Water Bottle Filling Station program. 

The Stony Brook community, students, faculty, and staff have always been on the forefront of the environmental movement. Over the last few years, Stony Brook University has not only converted its main cleaning chemicals and hand soaps to Green Seal Certified products, but has also incorporated the use of Active-Ion non-chemical cleaning spray bottles and ECO-H20 Non-Chemical Cleaning Machines, and will continue to seek out new environmentally friendly alternatives to traditional methods of cleaning on campus.

For additional information on this initiative, please contact:

Stony Brook University
Office of Sustainability