Green Cleaning Program

Amherst College is committed to cleaning practices that protect our employees, students, and the environment. We strive to reduce chemical use whenever possible, through innovative cleaning systems, changes to cleaning practices, and staff training. Additionally, we strive to reduce material and energy use in all of our cleaning practices. Our Green Cleaning Program includes the following elements and goals:

  • Over the past 5 years, we have been installing Tersano Ozone Systems into our administrative, academic, and residential buildings. These units transform ordinary tap water into an effective toxin-free commercial cleaner by infusing it with ozone, creating a sanitizer that can be used to clean floors, counters, walls, etc. Approximately 50 % of our space is cleaned with these systems now, and our goal is to outfit all applicable buildings in the next 1 - 2 years.
  • The Tersano Units have replaced all chemicals in these buildings except for disinfectants needed for specific areas and where harsher cleaners are needed. When we do use chemicals, we adhere to the following policies:
    • All chemicals are Green Seal Certified
    • All staff are trained once a year by Environmental Health and Safety on safe chemical use, and by our custodial managers on reducing overuse of chemicals, ensuring that we are only using chemicals when necessary and not using any more than required
    • We use dispensing systems that reduce overuse of chemicals
  • Whenever possible we purchase materials made with recycled content. This includes all paper products (toilet paper, paper towels) and cleaning supplies like mop heads and dusters.
  • We have a goal to move to all compostable trash liners within the next 1 - 2 years, which would help significantly reduce our single use plastic on campus. 
  • We routinely analysis and update our practices to reduce material and energy use and create healthy work environments. Some examples include:
    • Reducing the frequency of private office cleaning to once a week (saves on material use particularly trash liners)
    • Moving away from carpeting to reduce allergens, vacuuming
    • Moving towards flooring material that does not require re-coating with wax