Green cleaning policy | U.S. Green Building Council
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LEED O+M: Existing Buildings | v4 - LEED v4

Green cleaning policy



To reduce levels of chemical, biological, and particulate contaminants that can compromise air quality, human health, building finishes, building systems, and the environment.


Option 1. In-house green cleaning policy

Have in place a green cleaning policy for the building and site addressing the green cleaning credits, goals and strategies, and personnel listed below. At a minimum, the policy must cover green cleaning procedures, materials, and services that are within the building and site management’s control, and include the organization responsible for cleaning the building and building site.

Address the requirements of the following credits:

  • EQ Credit: Green Cleaning—Purchase of Cleaning Products and Materials
  • EQ Credit: Green Cleaning—Cleaning Equipment

Goals and Strategies

  • Establish standard operating procedures addressing how an effective cleaning and hard floor and carpet maintenance system will be consistently used, managed, and audited.
  • Address protection of vulnerable building occupants during cleaning.
  • Address selection and appropriate use of disinfectants and sanitizers.
  • Develop guidelines addressing the safe handling and storage of cleaning chemicals used in the building, including a plan for managing hazardous spills and mishandling incidents.
  • Develop goals and strategies for reducing the toxicity of the chemicals used for laundry, ware washing, and other cleaning activities.
  • Develop goals and strategies for promoting the conservation of energy, water, and chemicals used for cleaning.
  • Develop strategies for promoting and improving hand hygiene.


  • Develop requirements for maintenance personnel. Specifically address contingency planning to manage staffing shortages under a variety of conditions to ensure that basic cleaning services are met and critical cleaning needs are addressed. Include a process to obtain occupant and custodial staff input and feedback after contingency plans are implemented.
  • Determine the timing and frequency of training for maintenance personnel in the hazards of use, disposal, and recycling of cleaning chemicals, dispensing equipment, and packaging.

Implement a high-performance cleaning program based on the above policy and track performance goals associated with this policy.

Option 2. Certified cleaning service



Clean the building with a cleaning service provider, either in-house custodial staff or a contracted service contractor, certified under one of the following:

  • Green Seal’s Environmental Standard for Commercial Cleaning Services (GS-42); or
  • International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA) Cleaning Industry Management Standard for Green Buildings (CIMS-GB); or
  • Local equivalent for projects outside the U.S.

Confirm that the building or contractor was audited by the third party within 12 months of the end of the performance period.

In addition, the cleaning contractor must develop goals and strategies for promoting the conservation of energy, water, and chemicals used for cleaning the building.

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