Green Seal and Healthy Schools Campaign Launch First National School Air Quality Standard

Healthy Schools Campaign (HSC) and Green Seal have announced a pilot Healthy Green Schools & Colleges Certification Standard to help school leaders identify and implement low-cost or no-cost measures that make a meaningful difference in the quality of indoor air in schools.

The pilot standard is publicly available for any school district or university to use today to improve the air quality in their facilities. It is designed to be implemented at the district or university level to ensure organizational-level commitment to standard operating procedures, resource distribution, and maintenance of facilities that support the health of all students and staff, and the environment.

The 9 school districts and 10 colleges and universities that signed up as early adopters during the development of the pilot standard will now formally begin implementing it to provide data and guidance on threshold levels of certification. The full Healthy Green Schools & Colleges curriculum, including self-assessment tools, educational resources, peer network and certification opportunities, will be available this spring.

“The pandemic has made creating healthy school environments an urgent national priority and has brought to light the significant underinvestment in school facilities nationwide,” said Doug Gatlin, CEO of Green Seal. “This national standard fills a critical gap to provide schools with the resources and network necessary to ensure the quality of school facilities that every American student deserves.”

“Unhealthy indoor air, inadequate ventilation, and exposure to chemicals during cleaning and maintenance routines are linked to poor concentration and poor test performance among students. These conditions are disproportionately found in schools primarily serve low-income Black and Latinx students, making this an important equity issue,” says Rochelle Davis, President and CEO of the Healthy Schools Campaign. “The Healthy Green Schools & Colleges program is designed for any school district or university that is committed to providing safer and healthier indoor school environments, whether they are just starting on this path or are already leaders.”

“This standard is so important to our field of work,” says Lazell Ofield, director of care and storage services for Kansas City Public Schools. “The goal for all of us in this line of work is to provide a clean, green and healthy space for our staff and school communities. We now have an actual document to go through, monitor, and adjust as needed to achieve those goals. »

“What we need most right now is support.” says Jodi Krause, assistant director of residence hall housekeeping at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “From my perspective, this standard guides us and brings us together to make healthier, safer and more sustainable decisions.”

About the standard

The one-of-a-kind standard for healthy and sustainable facility management was developed in partnership with K-12 and university facility managers from the Healthy and Green Schools and Colleges Steering Committee and with input first users, responders and the public. It covers the full range of facilities management practices, including:

Cleaning and disinfection to reduce the risk of exposure and injury to cleaning personnel; reduce the risk of virus transmission; reduce exposure to environmental health hazards; and meet the health needs of students.

Integrated pest management to protect occupants from environmental health risks and improve indoor air quality in schools.

Sustainable procurement to ensure that school or university district purchases reduce negative impacts on the environment and human health and help reduce the spread of infectious diseases, while providing efficient functional performance.

HVAC and Electrical Maintenance to provide proactive, preventative, planned and reactive maintenance of all installed HVAC appliances and appliances to maximize their useful life and improve the indoor air quality of school facilities.

Indoor air quality testing and monitoring to ensure processes, procedures and tools are in place to monitor indoor air quality, while balancing the impact of HVAC on energy consumption energy and helping to identify opportunities to improve indoor air quality.

Training to ensure that cleaning and maintenance staff work in the safest and most efficient manner possible and receive appropriate training to promote health, safety, sustainability, sanitation and minimize the spread of infectious diseases through their work.

Communication to encourage cleaning staff, management, school building administrators, employees and students to practice clear, effective and fair communication to build trust.

Sustainable Procurement to ensure that school district purchases reduce negative environmental and human health impacts and help reduce the spread of infectious disease, while providing efficient functional performance.

HVAC and Electrical Maintenance to provide proactive, preventative, planned and reactive maintenance of all installed HVAC appliances and appliances to maximize their useful life and improve the indoor air quality of school facilities.

Indoor air quality testing and monitoring to ensure processes, procedures and tools are in place to monitor indoor air quality, while balancing the impact of HVAC on energy consumption energy and helping to identify opportunities to improve indoor air quality in schools.

Training to ensure that cleaning and maintenance staff work in the safest and most efficient manner possible and receive appropriate training to promote health, safety, sustainability, sanitation and minimize the spread of infectious diseases through their work.

Communication to encourage cleaning staff, management, school building administrators, employees and students to practice clear, effective and fair communication to build trust.

About the program

The standard will be the centerpiece of a comprehensive program launching this spring to help school facility management professionals transform the health and sustainability of school campuses. First, a self-assessment tool will allow schools to objectively measure their current performance in indoor environmental health and sustainability, while guides, training and tools will help facility professionals identify and take the next steps.

Then, the standard’s point-based grading system encourages schools to continue improving at their own pace, with support from a network of peer facility managers across the country who are on a similar journey. . Schools that achieve the highest level of success can seek third-party certification, earning public recognition for their verified expertise in providing healthy school environments.

Learn more about the Healthy Green Schools & Colleges standard and program here.


Source link