3 Ways the Philadelphia Eagles Clean Green

With plans to install a solar array at the team’s Lincoln Financial Field Stadium and an impressive recycling program that currently diverts 84 percent of all its trash from landfills, it’s no surprise that the Philadelphia Eagles have also put green cleaning into play.

Lauded as one of the greenest teams in the NFL, the Eagles have also put the green cleaning challenge to Aramark, its facilities management company. “They asked us to source the most eco-friendly cleaning products and practices,” says Kevin Hughes, Aramark facilities general manager at Lincoln Financial Field.

In addition to greener cleaning products, Aramark employed some revolutionary, new cleaning technologies. Here, Cleaning Green magazine checks in with Hughes to get the dirt on the Eagles’ revolutionary green cleaning program.

Method #1: Charged H2O

When the Eagles asked them to green up their chemical cleaning solutions, Aramark looked to a new technology that employs electrically charged water. “We use spray bottles that have an ionator that gives a negative and positive charge to water—it acts as a general cleaning product,” says Hughes. “So, we’re not using any chemicals at all with this system.”

The battery-operated spray bottle systems are used to clean everything from office areas to all the glass in the entire stadium. “Because we are cleaning with water, we’ve also reduced our inventories and our costs.”

With a built-in system akin to the ionator spray bottles, but on a much larger scale, Aramark uses large drive-on cleaning machines to clean up bigger areas such as concourses.

Method #2: Stripping Pads

Instead of using stripping chemicals to rid floors of wax, Aramark switched to a 17- by 21-inch floor pad that utilizes diamond dust to take build-up off with friction. “Bits of diamond in the pad help to burnish the wax right off the floor,” says Hughes. “It just becomes a dust.”

Method #3: Green Seal Cleaners

The initial push for green cleaning supplies came from the Eagles after its team management asked Aramark to supply a list of all the chemicals used in its cleaning products. “They did an analysis of those ingredients with a laboratory,” says Hughes, “and they asked us to pull some of the chemicals off our list. We were able to isolate the ones we needed to remove and also to source better products.”

Aramark made a concerted effort to locate and purchase Green Seal-rated products for all other cleaning needs. Still, some challenges remain. “We’re still looking for eco products for metal polish and sanitizers for restrooms and First Aid rooms,” says Hughes. “We always keep an eye out for new products.”

The initial costs to launch this green cleaning program were noticeable, but Hughes says an earn-back is expected within two to three years. The benefits of working with green cleaning products are also a factor that outweighs the additional upfront cost.

“The biggest piece of it is the safety,” says Hughes. “It’s huge to know that the products we bring in here are safer for our staff and for everyone else that comes into this building, as well.