Fri Aug 27th, 2021
It started with an idea in 2014 after Custodial Supervisor Jess Baidwan earned Green Building expert certification (CIMS–GB); why not try to certify one building on campus? Which building and how long would that take? Answer: In 2015 the Leonard Burch Building was certified green and according to available data, was the first on any American Indian Reservation. In 2017 the Clean Team pushed to earn certifications for seven buildings on campus, this status was maintained through 2020.
Then for 2021, during COVID-19, a stretch goal was set out for the team; what if…we could certify 21 buildings on campus? How could we arrange the work, team up, improve conditions in the building to gain points, organize the proofs and submit them in a timely fashion? The 2021 stretch goal was achieved!
Awarded by the Academy of Cleaning Excellence, this award is the result of years of hard work and commitment to ensuring that our campus is providing clean, healthy spaces for working, playing, and healing.
The 21 buildings are: Emerald Level: LCB, Multi-Purpose and Chapel, J&R Administration (4). Jade Level: SunUte, Museum and Cultural Center, Health Center, Dental and Optical Clinic, MCB, Justice Center, as well as Academy Complex (12). Turquoise Level: Higher Education Complex, Central Receiving, Tribal Housing/ Election Board, Property and Facilities (5). Total: 21.
This was done choosing a variety of technologies, including electrolyzed water, simplifying chemistry campus wide, well-chosen sustainable equipment and a very well-trained staff; including six team members who now hold a CIMS-GB certifications.
What set Baidwan on this path to green? “As the Clean Team we are the frontline for healthcare … going green is important because it is our mission to keep everyone safe and healthy,” Baidwan said. “Our short-term goal is to reduce exposures and the long-term goal there should be happier, healthier people and lower absenteeism. Electrolyzed water has always been in the mix as a part of our evolution in the Green Building Certifications, it really makes it possible to replace harmful chemistry for the Team with active, safe alternatives.”
“I am proud of the Clean Team’s commitment to Green Buildings, and the hard work expended to accomplish this amazing stretch goal this year!” Baidwan said. “The greatest merit is deserved by the Team as they embraced the goal and its purpose.”
The Clean Team members are Jeremy Rock, Ramada Cloud, Elaine Trujillo-Taylor, Loretta Chee, Mary Taylor, Fred Romero, Damon Tung, Eric Chee, Joe Nevaquaya, Sherry Castillo, Jasper Abeyta, Elouise Toledo, Nyla Abaroa, Jared Meier, Levi Timms and Supervisor Jess Baidwan.