As facilities push green and sustainable cleaning initiatives forward, there is some question on where matting fits into the mix. We took questions posed by readers and asked manufacturers to weigh in on how mats contribute to a green cleaning program.

Mark Roberts
Region Manager
The Andersen Company
Dalton, Georgia

JoAnn Durette
Vice President of Marketing
Mats Inc.
Stoughton, Massachusetts

Don Mistro
Senior Regional Sales Manager
Superior Manufacturing Group
Chicago, Illinois

How can matting be considered “green” and how can it contribute to a green cleaning program?

Roberts — Greener matting options are those that are made from 100 percent recycled content, or those that are derived from natural, self-sustaining organic materials. They contribute to green programs because the stop as much dirt as possible from being brought into the building, which requires the use of less energy and chemicals needed to maintain the facility. Some facilities use matting as part of their LEED-certified programs. This shows that your matting program is green and your company is committed to making a positive impact on the environment.

Durette — “Green” can mean different things to different people, but for the most part, qualifying for LEED points is certainly a fundamental set of standards for the building and cleaning industries. Some people, and LEED v2009, consider a product to be green if it is made of high levels of post-consumer recycled content such as coke bottles or rapidly renewable material, for example coconut husk fibers. Other “green” aspects of matting would include the product’s useful life or if chemicals and energy are used when performing routine maintenance.
Matting may help contribute to “green” in LEED v4 materials and resources if it has an associated EPD (environmental product declaration), a HPD (health product declaration) and/or low chemical emissions or VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) as certified by the Carpet and Rug Institute’s GLP (green label plus) program.  Regardless of material makeup, most matting products can help contribute to LEED’s indoor environmental quality by installing at least 10 feet of acceptable entryway systems at regularly used exterior entrances.
Matting can help contribute to green cleaning programs when products are selected that can perform optimally and require minimal maintenance in order to contribute to the goals set by the building owner for conserving energy, water and chemicals. Adhering to matting manufacturers’ recommended cleaning schedules and documented weekly maintenance routines can also contribute to Indoor Environmental Quality points for LEED v5 Building Operations and Maintenance green cleaning.

Mistro — Despite popular belief, green cleaning goes beyond recycling and using recycled material. The fact is that recycled material does not always perform at the same quality. Therefore, by using non-recycled material that performs at a higher level will often eliminate the need to use more chemicals to keep buildings clean that may be harmful to the environment.

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Mats That Defend Against The Elements