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Health in the Built Environment: Green Cleaning, Disinfecting, and Best Practices for Protecting Essential Workers

November 5, 2020 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm


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About this Event

How do we go about cleaning and disinfecting in response to COVID-19 without creating other negative long-term impacts on people and the environment? How do we select cleaning products and properly apply them in ways that will not be harmful to our essential workers who are charged with keeping our buildings clean and safe? At this event, we will hear from two experts who will guide us in best practices and recommendations for decision-making around cleaning during COVID. Steve Ashkin, known as “the Father of Green Cleaning,” will share information from training programs he has developed for the Service Employees International Union and the Building Services Contractors Association. He will also share a roadmap he developed for the LEEDS Safety First Pilot Credit on Cleaning and Disinfecting for COVID-19. Kara Rubio from Women for a Healthy Environment will also share a decision-making tool she developed to assist in guiding building owners and managers in selecting cleaning products and taking proper precautions when using them. Both speakers will offer thoughts on priorities and considerations for different building use types and answer questions from the audience.  


About our Speakers

Steve Ashkin, The Ashkin Group: Steve Ashkin has worked in the professional cleaning industry since 1981 and on the issue of Green Cleaning since 1990.  His involvement with the US Green Building Council dates back to 1993, and he has served on its national board of directors and in a number of volunteer capacities including the core committee that wrote LEED:EB:OM where he authored its cleaning credits.  Today, he is considered the “Father of Green Cleaning” and the leader of the Green Cleaning Movement.  During the past 30 years working on Green Cleaning, he has written four  books, published over 1,000 magazine articles, delivered hundreds of presentations, and trained thousands in the U.S. and around the globe.  Steve has developed Green Cleaning programs for government agencies,  standard setting organizations, non-government organizations, building owners, and leading product manufacturers. Steve’s recent efforts have focused on using green approaches to address the cleaning industry’s response to COVID-19, including the development of a new pilot credit for the LEED Rating System on Cleaning and Disinfecting for COVID-19 and training programs for frontline workers which have already trained over 7,000 workers in 2,300+ buildings.  


Kara Rubio, Women for a Healthy Environment: Kara is the Healthy Schools PA program coordinator for Women for a Healthy Environment (WHE). Kara received her Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Rochester School of Medicine. Kara joined WHE in 2018 and is passionate about creating green, safe, and healthy learning environments for children in the Southwest Pennsylvania region. In her role, Kara works closely with a diverse set of school stakeholders to provide technical assistance, translate current research into public health programming, write and deliver engaging curriculum, and collect and report on environmental health priorities for schools across the Commonwealth.  


This Event is Part of GBA’s Health in the Built Environment Series

GBA’s Health in the Built Environment Series seeks to draw connections between human health, buildings, and community design. This topic is more important now than ever and our series will explore a variety of research, implications, trends and tools for stakeholders and practitioners in the built environment.  Learn more about the series here.  


Event Fee

This event is free and we are grateful to our sponsors for making it possible. You provide critical support for the continuation of GBA’s education programs and help us grow our ability to provide scholarships for events and in-depth trainings for those who need them. Additional donations are made possible during the registration process if you wish to contribute. There is an option to add a suggested contribution of $20 to your registration. If you wish to contribute any other amount, you are welcome to do so on our Donations page. Any contribution helps advance our community’s work to create healthy and sustainable places where everyone can thrive. Thank you!  


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Thank you to UPMC for sponsoring the Health in the Built Environment series!




November 5, 2020
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Event Category:




Leslie Montgomery