Queen's Gazette | Queen's University

Search form

Queen’s Custodial Support Services earn green cleaning certification with honours

Queen’s Custodial Support Services have transformed to become more sustainable and effective, attaining a significant certification for their achievements.

In late 2019, just a few months before the COVID-19 pandemic began, Queen’s Custodial Support Services (CSS) adopted a range of new environmentally-friendly cleaning products and practices. As the novel coronavirus began spreading in Canada, CSS used their newly adopted methods to raise standards of cleanliness across campus, helping to keep the community safe.

This exceptional work is now being recognized with a Cleaning Industry Management Standards – Green Buildings (CIMS-GB) certification with Honours, which is granted by the International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA Canada)  to organizations that are capable of delivering a comprehensive green cleaning program based on standards set by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), a worldwide voluntary green building rating system, for the maintenance and operation of existing buildings. Queen’s was granted Honours when ISSA found that the university exceeded the necessary requirements for the certification.

"I am very proud of the Custodial Support Services team for receiving this certification. It demonstrates their commitment to both high standards and sustainable cleaning practices,” says Donna Janiec, Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration). “As a champion of sustainability, I am especially thrilled that Queen’s has achieved this Green Building certification. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to our hardworking and innovative custodial team for keeping our campus safe and well maintained, especially during these unprecedented times.”

In addition to using green cleaning products, CSS is now also using reusable microfiber cloths and adopted an efficient colour-coded team cleaning system. Other new enhancements also include the use of robotic cleaners in several large spaces, such as the main floor of Mitchell Hall.

“I am very proud of what the frontline cleaning specialists have achieved at a time like this. I am equally proud of the work done by our custodial management team in implementing the change,” says Samuel Whyte, Director, Quality and Service Excellence. “Finally, I would like to thank the university leadership and broader community for their support.”

Union leadership of C.U.P.E. Local 229, which represents the CSS team, is encouraging their membership to take pride in this important achievement.

“This certification is a tremendous accomplishment for C.U.P.E. 229 Custodial Membership. We are proud to achieve this milestone during a pandemic. Thank you all for your hard work and dedication in achieving this accomplishment,” says Sherri Ferris, President, C.U.P.E. 229.

“Custodial Support Services’ move to greener, environmentally-friendly cleaning products and new procedures is a positive change that will benefit the health and safety of members moving forward,” says Steve Senechal, C.U.P.E. 229 Facilities Health and Safety Co-Chair. “Congratulations to all involved for you hard work and perseverance.”

"Attaining a certification of this level during a pandemic is an impressive triumph. In addition to the adaption of new technologies and greener solutions by our members, should also be noted. Congratulations and thank you to all custodial membership,” says Jesse Bambrick, C.U.P.E. 229 Chief Steward.

Learn more about the work of the CSS team on the Queen’s Facilities website.

Campus wellness

The recently-adopted Campus Wellbeing Framework recommends creating and maintaining inclusive, accessible, sustainable and inspiring indoor and outdoor places that promote learning, enhance social connections, advance active-living and contribute to overall personal, environmental and community wellbeing.  The cleaning achievements recognized with the CIMS-GB certification will facilitate improved wellbeing of the Queen’s community.

“The cleanliness of the spaces in which we work, learn, and live can have a large impact on wellness. The new green cleaning standards our Custodial Support Services team have achieved will help enhance the wellbeing of the Queen’s community when it is safe for more students, faculty, and staff to return to campus,” says Ann Tierney, Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs and Co-Chair of the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Wellness.

Learn more and read the Campus Wellbeing Framework on the Campus Wellness Project website.