SCA Tissue has joined with cleaning industry leaders and the nonprofit Healthy Schools Campaign to promote green cleaning in schools by co-sponsoring a free multimedia guide that is designed to demystify the green cleaning process for school officials.

The Quick and Easy Guide to Green Cleaning in Schools, which was officially launched Oct. 5 at the 2006 ISSA Interclean Show in Chicago, consists of an eight-page full-color handbook that outlines five simple steps for setting up a school green cleaning program. Those steps provide advice on switching to green products and equipment, adopting new cleaning procedures, introducing green paper and plastic products, and involving all school stakeholders in the process.

The printed handbook is accompanied by a CD-Rom that contains practical advice, sources to help schools learn more about green cleaning procedures and help in locating environmentally friendly products.

The Healthy Schools Campaign (HSC), an Illinois-based independent nonprofit organization, will initially print and distribute 50,000 copies of the free guide through national educational associations, school authorities, district purchasing agents and school administrators. Additional printings are expected as support for the campaign grows.

“We are proud to be part of this cooperative effort to provide practical assistance in the effort to make our schools more environmentally safe and help them move toward a more sustainable approach in cleaning and sanitation,” said Joe Raccuia, President and CEO of SCA Tissue.

Each school day, an estimated one in five Americans — 53 million students and five million school staff members — attend our nation’s schools. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), half of that school population may be exposed to polluted indoor air, lead, asbestos, chemical fumes, pesticides, molds and other toxins, along with overcrowding and poor sanitation.

“There is widespread recognition that the quality of the school environment can have a significant impact on the health and performance of students and staff members,” HSC Executive Director Rochelle Davis said. “This is a great opportunity for us to partner with the cleaning industry and the education community to promote products and practices that can make school healthy places to learn and work.”

Working closely with HCS in development of the guide was author Stephen P. Ashkin, a leading national expert on green cleaning and a 25-year veteran of the cleaning industry in which he has held key management positions in leading commercial and household product companies.

“With several states looking at indoor air quality programs and New York State requiring green cleaning in both public and private schools, it is just a matter of time before green cleaning becomes the standard,” Ashkin said. “Schools will need to have access to the information and products to comply.”

In addition to SCA Tissue and the nine other corporate sponsors, eight professional organizations representing the nations’ school administrators, school boards, teachers and parents will promote the guide by distributing it to their members at conferences and trainings. The organizations include the American Association of School Administrators, American Federation of Teachers, Association of School Business Officials International, Chicago Department of Environment, National Parent Teacher Association, National Association of State Boards of Education, National School Plant Management Association and Parents for Public Schools.

As part of the campaign, HSC will post portions of the guide, along with sponsors’ product listings, at www.greencleanschools.org.