“Our motto in the department is we clean with your health and welfare in mind.”
On October 11th, University of Virginia’s Building Services achieved Green Seal Certification to our GS-42 Standard, making them one of only three currently certified higher education facilities teams in the US. Since then, these environmental leaders have been enthusiastically spreading the word about their achievement.
Watch Ms. Buckingham speak to CBS 19 News below!
Anchor: Welcome back to CBS 19 News at 5. This is UVA Today. We’re joined by Vibha Buckingham, she’s the Associate Director for Building Services, to talk about how UVA is just the third college in the nation to win a Green Seal for environmentally-safe cleaning services. Vibha, thank you so much for coming in. We see you have the Green Seal certification right here—she brought it in. Tell us, what is the Green Seal and why did UVA go after this certification?
Buckingham: Well, there is a third party not-for-profit group called Green Seal, and they are nationally recognized and respected for setting standards for sustainable cleaning practices, use of products and equipments for different groups of people. So, for a group like ours that provides cleaning services, GS-42—that is the name of the certification. It’s very prestigious and it feels good to have. It’s hard work to get it.
Anchor: I bet. What did you have to do to get this?
Buckingham: Naturally, I’d like to say I didn’t do it alone. I have a tremendous team of people who work with me—that’s my department.
Anchor: Hundreds, I would imagine.
Buckingham: Yes, and we spent hundreds upon hundreds of hours doing research, writing procedures, protocols, setting up inventory systems, repairs systems, looking at the products that we were using [to ensure that they are] health[ier] for the environment, users of the buildings, equipment that it has adequate filtration and noise levels. So it’s really quite involved. People don’t think of cleaning requiring this level of effort and science.
Anchor: But it’s so important. What does this mean to UVA and to community at large?
Buckingham: Oh, it means great things. I love UVA naturally. I love working there. And I know that UVA is extremely committed to the quality of academics that they offer to the students. But this means that they are just as committed to making the experience of the students whole and healthy. Our motto in the department is we clean with your health and welfare in mind.
So the institution is behind it so that we are preserving our historic buildings better, so that there are less toxins and different types of pollutants in the air. The people who are using the product and applying it, that they’re healthier and their exposure is minimized.
So it’s really a great accomplishment, and you had said earlier that one of three in the nation…is it okay if I mention who they are?
Buckingham: So one university is Harvard, the second is the University of Maryland, and we’re the only higher ed[ucation] institution in Virginia to have it. And the reason for that is that it is not easy. It takes true commitment and it is a way of life.
Anchor: Vibha Buckingham, we appreciate it. We are out of time. Congratulations on getting Green Seal certified for cleaning products used by the staff at UVA. We appreciate it.
Buckingham: Thank you for having me.