More hospitals and other healthcare facilities are moving toward sustainable operations based in part on the demands of patients, staff, residents and visitors. These organizations have already started to upgrade their lighting and choose low VOC paints for projects to lower their carbon footprint, but there is still work to be done. As facilities managers start to stock up on ice melting products in anticipation of winter , they are looking for more sustainable alternatives. Healthcare Facilities Today asked ice melt manufacturers on strategies for choosing sustainable products and the reasons there has been an uptick in those purchases in recent years.
How can facilities managers choose more environmentally friendly snow/ice products? How can sustainable options better protect equipment?
“I like to say that the most sustainable substrate is the one that lasts the longest. A concrete surface that’s preventively maintained may last many times longer than concrete that is unprotected and has to be torn out more frequently due to damage. By taking one simple preventive measure, you’re extending the life, sustainability and durability of the actual surface. If facility managers want to go one step further in long-lasting, durable and visually appealing concrete surfaces, they would be smart to choose an appropriate cleaner in the summer for stains like efflorescence, as well as a protective treatment to maximize longevity.”
— Jake Boyer, Business Unit Leader of PROSOCO’s Clean and Protect Group
“There are two certification standards that facility managers can look to. One of them is through the Safer Choice program through the EPA, and the other is Green Seal. The Safer Choice standards is a step in the right direction but only requires a 30 percent reduction in chloride to meet the standard. To meet Green Seal’s standard an ice melt cannot contain any chlorides, as well as meet a number of other performance and environmental criteria.”
— Nate Clemmer, CEO, Secure Winter Products
“Many facilities managers prefer portable, heated snow-melting mats over salt specifically because of their environmentally friendly nature. Heated snow mats clear sidewalks and pathways without the salty mess or need for harsh chemicals.”
— Hillel Glazer, President, Heattrak LLC