In today’s more environmentally conscience world many students are looking at an institution’s commitment to sustainability. The Princeton Review recently published a study that underscores what both colleges and universities have experienced over the past several years. It showed increasing numbers of students and parents who strongly considered a schools commitment to the environment when deciding where to attend. The study shows that 62 percent of students and 61 percent of their parents said that the college or universities commitment to environmental issues would make a difference in whether they applied and or attended.
Universities across the United States have taken these reports to heart. They have responded to this interest in environmental responsibility by increasing the schools environmental impact.
One university that has taken great steps in improving its environmental footprint is Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota. They are committed to streamlining operations that result in reducing waste, conserving energy, improving worker safety and protecting public health. Recently their sustainability focus extended into how they clean and sanitize public areas. In 2012, Hamline’s facilities services contractor ABM, introduced Ecolab’s new Hydris™ next-generation cleaning system as part of its ABM GreenCare® program. It offers an innovative way to help achieve the universities sustainability goals.
According to the company’s website, one Hydris unit dispenses three products: "A one-step disinfectant; an all-purpose sanitizer and glass cleaner; and a multi-surface daily floor cleaner. The unit fits into a typical broom closet and utilizes advanced mineral tablet technology and water to generate the equivalent of 5,000 ready-to-use bottles of cleaner per one case of 200 tablets. A typical customer location, such as a college or university, will use about two cases of Hydris mineral tablets per year."
By using the Hydris system they will eliminate an average of 770 pounds of plastic waste and reduces freight weight by more than 99 percent. This helps conserve transportation fuel consumption.
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Hamline Universities associate vice president for Facilities Services at Hamline University and president-elect of the Midwest Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers Lowell Bromander said, “Hamline University is always looking for ways to become more sustainable, efficient and environmentally sound. We use electric cars for our mail services and facilities crews, have waste reduction processes in our dining facilities, utilize solar panels, a green roof, and an energy-efficient design for our new university center, and we support a shared hybrid car service for students. When our maintenance contractor brought Hydris to our attention, we were really excited. It aligns with our commitment to sustainability and to reducing inefficiencies. It saves time, enhances safety for our staff, and further reduces our carbon footprint through fewer cleaning product shipments each year.”
"Using Hydris is very simple," said Jim Tarara, the vice president of Research, Development & Engineering for Ecolab’s Global Institutional business. "Mineral tablets inserted into the unit are mixed with filtered tap water to create a brine solution. This solution then flows through Ecolab’s patented three-chamber electrolytic cell, resulting in a product that is dispensed in the right amount and at the right dilution every time."
Tarara added, “Hydris can generate disinfectant solution with five-minute kill times for use as part of an infection prevention program or in response to flu or other outbreaks."
Another big plus is that all Hydris products are registered with the EPA1 as effective at killing MRSA, Norovirus, E. coli and odor-causing bacteria on a variety of surfaces, including glass and mirrors, finished floors, wood laminate furniture, washable walls, stone, metals, kosher metals, plastics and melamine surfaces.
Edited by Ryan Sartor