Green Shield Certification
Urbana, Illinois — July 18, 2014 — University Housing at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has recently earned Green Shield Certification for its Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program, which relies on common-sense pest prevention techniques to eliminate pest problems through least-toxic methods. It is the second university program in the nation to earn the certification after undergoing a rigorous on-site evaluation by the IPM Institute of North America, Inc.
University Housing at Illinois includes 3.6 million square feet of residence halls and apartments on campus, serves a student body of 43,000, and is home to a diverse resident population of 11,000, including many graduate students and their children. IPM coordinator Diane Kiddoo's pest management team has to walk a fine line between quick, effective pest management and safe and environmentally-friendly methods. This led to her interest in IPM practices in the program. "Safety is huge," Kiddoo says. "We make an effort to find low toxicity products that work."
Many IPM techniques are basic and rely on common sense and teamwork to prevent pest problems. For example, the building service workers and crafts and trades who serve the program are trained to recognize and resolve pest-friendly conditions such as unnoticed openings where pipes or wires penetrate walls, providing easy entry for pests. Simply ensuring that exterior doors have effective sweeps between the threshold and the bottom of the door can reduce pest complaints by 65%, according to university studies. When pesticides are used, it's only as a last resort, and in controlled application conditions with less-toxic products.
Diane's expertise and years of experience have paid off for the campus in sharp reductions in pest complaints and in pesticide use. "This is a real success story, where pests have become hard to find," according to Dr. Susan Ratcliffe, University of Illinois entomologist. "Diane is passionate and fully engaged. She's training her staff and others to have the same mentality."
The IPM program at the University is just part of its commitment to improving sustainability. Two program facilities, the Student Dining and Residential Programs Building, and Timothy J. Nugent Hall, achieved the US Green Building Council LEED Silver status in 2011, earned by implementing strategies to reduce energy consumption, improve indoor air quality and improve staff morale and efficiency. University Housing has also been recognized for its green cleaning practice, receiving Gold Status, the highest level awarded, from the Schools of Illinois Public Cooperative. The Spurlock Museum, located on campus at Urbana-Champaign, has also achieved Green Shield Certification status as a facility.
Green Shield Certified is operated by the IPM Institute of North America, Inc., an independent, non-profit organization based in Madison, Wisconsin. Modeled after the Institute's award-winning IPM STAR program for schools, Green Shield Certified is available to pest control companies and services, as well as facilities other than schools.
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