Beginning February 1, 2006, Swish Maintenance and Enviro-Solutions will begin a three-year contract with the University of Manitoba, providing all cleaning chemicals for use on campus. This will include floor and carpet care products, hand soap, trash liners, and dilution systems.

The University of Manitoba is one of the largest universities in Canada, with more than 28,000 students, 6,000 teachers and staff, occupying approximately six million square feet of space.

According to Wilson Brown, representing Swish Maintenance during negotiations, the University insisted that all cleaning chemicals and hand soap be 'certified' environmentally preferable by The Environmental Choice Program (ECP) or Green Seal.

"The University of Manitoba has an entire department responsible for making sure our campus is operated in an environmentally responsible and sustainable manner," says Jasmin Ismailovic, manager for caretaking services. "We believe green cleaning is healthier and safer for students, faculty, staff, visitors and cleaning professionals. As well, it is being environmentally responsible and as a major educational facility it is important that we are a leader for others."

According to Ismailovic, the University decided almost two years ago to switch to only environmentally preferable cleaning products and, for the past year, had been testing chemicals of four major manufacturers. "We evaluated them on cost, performance, and ease of use," he says. "We also wanted a chemical manufacturer that has a wide variety of products so we could work with just one vendor."