The Wellesley Facilities Management Department (FMD) is celebrating its win of a national award recognizing innovation in health-focused and environmentally-minded cleaning programs.
The FMD is the grand winner for K-12 School Districts of the 2018 Green Cleaning Award for Schools & Universities. This national award is presented by the Healthy Schools Campaign, American School & University magazine and the Green Cleaning Network.
“We are very proud to receive it, and yes, we do think it’s kind of a big deal – not just for [the Facilities Management Department], but really for the entire Town,” says Wellesley Facilities Director Joe McDonough, whose team covers 870,000 sq. ft. of school building space serving about 5,000 students (with a $162K cleaning budget).
Wellesley applied for the award in 2017 and received an “unofficial” honorable mention. “I think the implementation of the district-wide use of an ionized water cleaning system and FMD’s participation with the Sustainable Energy Committee, Wellesley Green Schools and WasteWise Wellesley on food recovery initiatives pushed us over the top this year,” McDonough says.
McDonough shared a copy of the extensive application that the FMD filled out to showcase its efforts, which have ranged from using green paper and cleaning products to implementing a building automation system that optimizes temperature, air quality, lighting, etc. Custodians are also trained to use green cleaning techniques, and FMD works with school nurses to support good hand washing practices among the school community. Students and others also play a big role, including by supporting food and other recycling programs.
The FMD was formed in 2012 with sustainability as a tenet of its mission statement.