When creating a green cleaning program, janitors can deliver best results by implementing a three-mat system at all entryways. To earn one point toward LEED v4, entryway matting needs to be at least 10 feet long, according to the Enhanced Indoor Air Quality Strategies credit.

A cleaning program should start with an outdoor scraper mat to remove large particles and moisture before they enter the facility. Immediately inside the entryway, use a scraper/wiper mat to stop any debris missed outside. Finally, an interior wiper mat can remove any remaining moisture and particles.
“With a three-mat system, a buyer can easily achieve the 10-feet minimum coverage required by LEED v4,” says Scott Andersen, vice president of sales at The Andersen Company in Dalton, Georgia.

While entry mats are important, Andersen says they are not enough for most buildings with average levels of traffic. An effective matting system includes mats installed at a variety of key areas—wherever a hard-surface floor meets carpet, inside and outside elevators, at stairway landings, between warehouse and office areas, etc.

“The most important thing to remember is that there is no one mat that can do the entire job to 100 percent,” says Durette. “There isn’t always enough space for 30 feet of matting, but choosing the right combination of products for the available space, foot traffic and potential weather will maximize performance.”

Finally, when shopping for eco-friendly mats, it’s important for buyers to do their homework. Research can help buyers avoid falling victim to “greenwashing,” or products that are labeled “green” without evidence to support the claim. Even though green certifications are currently unavailable for matting, manufacturers should be able to point to numerous ways that their products are eco-friendly, including post-consumer waste materials and manufacturing processes that reduce waste.

When customers are shopping for green matting, distributors should tell them to take the same precautions they would for any other product. Encourage customers to buy from a reputable manufacturer and point out that a low price may not live up to performance expectations. A quality mat, green or not, can last one to three years, while a cheaper product may only survive a few months.

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Cleaning Mats Per LEED Guidelines