Communicating Green Cleaning Initiatives
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Frequent, two-way communication with everyone involved is critical to planning and implementing a green cleaning program. After the school successfully “greens” its cleaning operations, facility cleaning managers should share their story with the community and educate other stakeholders.
The best way to communicate goals is to educate and inform all stakeholders about the value of green cleaning and the purpose of the program, policy and plan. Stakeholders need to understand the reasons for the program, the expected benefits and their roles in the program’s implementation and ongoing success. This should build support and engage building occupants in the process from the start.
The most effective communication programs use more than one medium to reach intended audiences. This communication also should be integrated with the school’s overall communications strategy. The goal is to communicate milestones and spark conversations that will keep stakeholders engaged.
Some communication options include:
• A green team section in the school blog or newsletter
• Updates on the school’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest accounts
• Text message or email campaigns
• Daily loudspeaker announcements
• Earth Day celebrations
• Presentations at Health and Safety Committee meetings
• In-service educational programs
• Posting internal daily or weekly logs of cleaning schedule and procedures
• Press releases distributed to local news organizations
• Recycling events
• Simple flyers or bulletin board posters
• Staff emails
• Stickers on restroom mirrors
Once facility cleaning executives get the green cleaning program up and running, it is important to continue to keep the stakeholders informed of major or significant cleaning events and milestones. These can include major floor work such as stripping, scrubbing and recoating; carpet spotting or cleaning; pesticide application; and lawn chemical application.
Make sure to maintain open communication with all stakeholders, especially when something good happens. Not only does this keep teachers, students, parents and others engaged and excited about doing their parts, it will expand the understanding of the benefits of a green cleaning program. This means more resources for the custodial team to expand the program even further.
ROCHELLE DAVIS brings broad experience as a leader in children’s wellness and environmental health to her role as president and CEO of Healthy Schools Campaign, a national nonprofit organization she founded in 2002. She is also the co-chair of the National Collaborative on Education and Health, a national effort to support schools in creating the conditions of student health.
Learning About Green Clean Schools
For nearly a decade, Healthy Schools Campaign’s Green Clean Schools program has been changing the way schools clean, with great benefits for students, staff and the environment. This multi-faceted program helps schools clean better, smarter and safer.
“We are focusing on establishing a vibrant network of school facility managers and operators and moving forward the needle on the green cleaning movement,” says Rochelle Davis, president and CEO of Healthy Schools Campaign. “Green Clean Schools is based on the knowledge that transforming cleaning in schools is about more than simply recommending green products. It’s about providing practical how-to advice, but also about changing policy, recognizing success and learning from the remarkable leaders who are making change in schools across the nation.”
To learn more about Green Clean Schools and to download the free “5 Steps To Green Cleaning In Schools,” visit greencleanschools.com.