When it comes to investing in healthier, more sustainable cleaning programs, the facts are on our side. It’s finding the data to support our efforts that’s the challenge.

Researching and finding the facts needed to build a case for change can be difficult. That’s why I want to make sure you have access to the tools and resources I use to make the case for green cleaning.

These numbers are available to the public. Use them, share them and continue to build your case.

• Nearly 25 percent of schools have one or more buildings in need of extensive repair or replacement.

• Almost half of schools have reported problems related to indoor air quality (IAQ).

• There is an $8 billion budget shortfall on just operations and maintenance (O&M), and an additional $38 billion shortfall for renovation and construction.

• The state of buildings, including their level of cleanliness and IAQ, impacts student and staff attendance, comfort and performance.

• When schools aren’t cleaned properly, we accelerate the deterioration and reduce the efficiency of the school’s physical plant and equipment.

• Poor cleanliness increases the potential for school closings or relocation of occupants.

• Improper cleaning also creates negative publicity, adversely impacts community trust and creates liability problems.

Do your research to draw the connections between funding, health and performance. You can start by visiting resources such as The Center for Green Schools, 21st Century School Fund, National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities, and EPA Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools.

You’ll also need data specific to your own school in order to build your case. Find the answers to the following questions before building a strategy to drive change:
• How is O&M funded in your school?
• How much is spent on cleaning per square foot?
• How much is spent on cleaning per student?
• How many square feet are cleaned per custodial full-time employee (FTE)?
• How many students per FTE?
• What and by how much should your budget be increased or decreased?

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