Impact On Learning
Weber State University
The ease and efficiency of cordless backpack vacuums combined with Team Cleaning®—a flexible, efficient, and cost-effective cleaning system for custodial operations—results in heathier campus environments, as well as contributing to an institution’s green cleaning goals.
PROJECT: Cordless and Green Cleaning
LOCATION: Weber State University
INSTITUTION: Ogden, UT
COMPANY NAME: ProTeam
It has been about a year since Miguel Lopez shifted his vacuum fleet to ProTeam® GoFree® Flex Pro cordless backpack vacuums, and he’s glad he did. Lopez can point to several reasons to go cordless, but as the custodial manager of Weber State University, there’s one he values most.
“Efficiency is number one.”
It has to be; the cleaning needs of a university are particularly varied and demanding. Weber State University’s facilities total about 2 million square feet. That’s a lot of ground to cover, even for Lopez’s staff of about 50 full-time and 112 part-time workers.
What’s more, Weber’s student body alone is 27,000—a number that doesn’t include faculty and other employees. And because it’s a university, there is unique ebb and flow to the occupants of Weber State University’s varied facilities.
“The scheduling is pretty tight,” observes Lopez. “We have to plan around the classroom schedules, which start at 7 a.m. and continue into the night. So a lot has to get done before 7 a.m. or after 10 p.m.”
“We have 65 ProTeam battery-powered backpack vacuums,” Lopez explains. “With these, you don’t have to worry about plugging and unplugging the vacuum. That saves a lot of time.”
Lopez’s cordless fleet fits into a larger, time-tested efficiency strategy, Team Cleaning®.
Each member in a Team Cleaning system specializes in a focused set of tasks, and coordinates their efforts to maximize efficiency and productivity.
“We implemented Team Cleaning about six years ago,” says Lopez. “And we have refresher training every year. Team Cleaning is the very best system we’ve used.”
Lopez has been able to take full advantage of the Team Cleaning method, using the time saved by his cordless vacuums
for other tasks.
“We could allocate more time to detailed cleaning, high and low dusting, window cleaning. Wherever we need it the most.”
Efficiency may be number one, but Lopez’s equipment purchasing decisions must also consider other important factors—chiefly, ergonomics and environmental health.
“Our GoFree Flex Pro vacuums operate at a low decibel level. That’s good for our staff, and lets them clean in more situations.”
Lopez also strives to uphold and advance his green cleaning goals for the university.
“We use green cleaning chemicals, and I’m looking for greener options for trash bags,” says Lopez. “We want to be as environmentally friendly as possible.”
IMPACT ON LEARNING
Setting and achieving green cleaning goals is so important to Weber State University that its Energy and Sustainability Office has created a Green Department Program. The program promotes green practices by setting rigorous standards for attaining four levels of certification.
“We’ve nearly achieved Gold Certification, and we’re not going to stop there,” says Lopez. “All the equipment we get has to help us achieve our green cleaning goals.”
Naturally, improving indoor air quality is an important part of any green cleaning agenda.
“ProTeam vacuums have a great filtration system. The students and faculty breathe better.” IOL
The U.S. EPA’s study, “How Does Indoor Air Quality Impact Student Health and Academic Performance?” indicates that substandard environmental conditions, such as inadequate cleaning, can cause chronic health problems for building occupants. By focusing on improving their custodial cleaning program, Weber State University is promoting student success.
This article originally appeared in the April/May 2019 issue of College Planning & Management.