Game Plan

Water Conservation, Chemical Usage and Sustainable Cleaning Practices

With acres of grounds to maintain and more than 20 buildings to manage, the athletic department uses a lot of water. As part of our sustainability efforts, we are taking steps to control water usage and protect our streams. From a fertilizer and pesticide management program, to automated irrigation systems and low flow fixtures, we are committed to eliminating unnecessary water consumption.

Sweat, dirt and grime are everyday occurrences in athletic facilities. As such, cleanliness is of the utmost importance. We all expect clean and sanitary facilities, which requires significant effort and use of cleaning agents. Our cleaning standards will continue to be very high. However, we are committed to employing sustainable cleaning practices. That means we are taking steps to utilize green-certified chemicals and employing sustainable cleaning methods, such as reusing laundered microfiber towels instead of disposable wipes.

Athletics currently uses the (OS1) cleaning process at the Ross Academic Center, and will begin using it at Yost Ice Arena, the Marie Hartwig Building and Weidenbach Hall in summer 2013. OS1 is more than just sustainability. It's about being efficient but also includes sustainable components in the process.

What is (OS1)? As explained on, it is "a comprehensive, high-performance cleaning management system. It employs in-depth training, from the upper-management down to the cleaning worker level. (OS1) is based on standardized tools and cleaning procedures. The system is work-loaded to teams and each cleaning worker is trained and certified on specialized tasks. Workers are 'kitted' with specific tools and chemicals for each job function, which have been bench marked as the best practice by the (OS1) Users. This simplification of the cleaning process results in a safer, cleaner, healthier and easier working environment."

Results include:
• Dramatically improved custodial safety
• Reduced waste (chemical, material and labor)
• Going beyond compliance with HAZCOM law
• Reduced chemical usage
• Reduction of cleaning related accidents on the job
• Higher morale
• Lower environmental impact
• Balanced workload
• Improved training program
• Improved management of the overall cleaning budget
• Effective training for people with disabilities
• Compliance with ISO 9001 manufacturing standards

Long-Range Goals

• Protect streams and rivers by controlling use of synthetic land management chemicals
• Monitor water consumption and promote conservation
• Clean facilities using sustainable products and methodology while maintaining high cleanliness standards


• Investigate and utilize sustainable landscape management practices
• Ensure all irrigation systems are monitored and set at appropriate levels
• Utilize low flow toilets and fixtures where possible
• Review cleaning products and methods and identify opportunities to incorporate sustainable practices

Game Plan

Office of Campus Sustainability