ICS Magazine

Large Canadian School District Goes Green

December 16, 2008

Peterborough, ON─December 16, 2008─The Kawartha Pine Ridge School District School Board, based in Peterborough, Ontario, is the latest major school district in North America to adopt Green cleaning systems and products.

According to Colin Munro, Manager of Operations for the district, the change will be implemented in January 2009.

The district educates more than 35,000 students in 77 elementary schools and 16 secondary schools. Including its administrative offices, it has more than 4.5 million square feet of space, and uses nearly 90,000 gallons of cleaning chemicals annually, including floor finishes, general purpose cleaners, degreasers and disinfectants.

“We realize that, given our size, we have a huge impact on the environment, as well as on thousands of people,” says Munro. “And we want to do what we can to reduce our carbon footprint.”

To get this change underway, the district distributed a “request for proposals” to major North American jansan manufacturers and distributors. Munro says the document explained “our dream and what we wanted to do as far as going Green.”

A number of companies responded to the request; those responding were then narrowed down to a small group that the district believed could best meet their needs.

“Over several weeks, we tested the Green-certified products of these companies in multiple school locations,” says Munro. “We also were looking for a manufacturer and distributor dedicated to Green cleaning that could help us with training and support.”

Mike Sawchuk, Vice President and General Manager of Enviro-Solutions-the company that eventually won the district’s contract-says this is the way the transfer process should be handled.

“We encourage clients to set up a ‘challenge,’ take their time and test the products in real-life situations,” says Sawchuk. “The end customer wants Green products, but they also must perform.

Munro expects more school districts in Canada and North America to adopt Green cleaning. “We tend to be in the forefront, a year or two ahead of other districts,” he said. “But this Green direction is moving forward throughout Canada.”