Demand for Sustainability in Higher Education Drives Market Interest in Ecolab Hydris™ Cleaning System

Recent study of prospective college students shows on-campus sustainability efforts factor into where they apply or attend
Sep 24, 2013 9:30 AM ET
Ecolab's Hydris™ cleaning system uses all-natural mineral tablets and tap water to dispense three powerful cleaning solutions that are EPA registered as effective at killing MRSA, Norovirus, E. coli and odor-causing bacteria on a variety of surfaces.

ST. PAUL, Minn., Sept. 24, 2013 /3BL Media/ -- For many students, an institution's commitment to sustainability has become a prerequisite in their higher education selection process. A recent study published by the Princeton Review underscores what colleges and universities have experienced for the past several years — increasingly, students and parents consider a university's commitment to the environment in deciding which school to attend. According to the study, 62 percent of students and 61 percent of their parents said knowing about a university's commitment to environmental issues would make a difference in where they apply or attend.

Universities have responded to this interest in environmental responsibility with increased focus on their facility's environmental impact, including water and energy use, and the amount of waste they generate.

Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn., is one institution that has taken many steps to improve its environmental footprint. The school is committed to streamlining operations, reducing waste, conserving energy, improving worker safety and protecting public health. This deep focus on sustainability extends into the way they clean and sanitize public spaces. In 2012, Hamline's facilities services contractor ABM introduced Ecolab's new Hydris™ next-generation cleaning system as part of its ABM GreenCare® program, offering an innovative way to help achieve Hamline's sustainability goals.

A single Hydris unit dispenses three products: a one-step disinfectant; an all-purpose sanitizer and glass cleaner; and a multi-surface daily floor cleaner. The unit fits into a typical broom closet and utilizes advanced mineral tablet technology and water to generate the equivalent of 5,000 ready-to-use bottles of cleaner per one case of 200 tablets. A typical customer location, such as a college or university, will use about two cases of Hydris mineral tablets per year.

Use of the Hydris system eliminates an average of 770 pounds of plastic waste and reduces freight weight by more than 99 percent, helping to conserve transportation fuel consumption.

"Hamline University is always looking for ways to become more sustainable, efficient and environmentally sound," said  
Lowell Bromander , associate vice president for Facilities Services at Hamline University and president-elect of the Midwest Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers. "We use electric cars for our mail services and facilities crews, have waste reduction processes in our dining facilities, utilize solar panels, a green roof, and an energy-efficient design for our new university center, and we support a shared hybrid car service for students. When our maintenance contractor brought Hydris to our attention, we were really excited. It aligns with our commitment to sustainability and to reducing inefficiencies. It saves time, enhances safety for our staff, and further reduces our carbon footprint through fewer cleaning product shipments each year."

"Using Hydris is very simple," said  
Jim Tarara , vice president of Research, Development & Engineering for Ecolab's Global Institutional business. "Mineral tablets inserted into the unit are mixed with filtered tap water to create a brine solution. This solution then flows through Ecolab's patented three-chamber electrolytic cell, resulting in a product that is dispensed in the right amount and at the right dilution every time."

Tarara went on to say that Hydris was engineered with a focus on safety. The use of personal protective gear, such as goggles, gloves or an apron, is not required when using the dispensed solutions.

"Hydris can generate disinfectant solution with five-minute kill times for use as part of an infection prevention program or in response to flu or other outbreaks," Tarara added.

Hydris products are registered with the EPA1 as effective at killing MRSA, Norovirus, E. coli and odor-causing bacteria on a variety of surfaces2, including glass and mirrors, finished floors, wood laminate furniture, washable walls, stone, metals, kosher metals, plastics and melamine surfaces. Hydris cleaning products are an alternative for specific facility-based cleaning requirements or daily cleaning of public spaces.

Hydris advances Ecolab's leadership position in the industry and provides airports, college campuses, hospitals, long-term care facilities and commercial building managers a cost-effective and sustainable cleaning system. For more information about Hydris and other Ecolab commercial cleaning solutions, visit

About Ecolab

A trusted partner at more than one million customer locations, Ecolab (ECL) is the global leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies and services that protect people and vital resources. With 2012 sales of $12 billion and 44,000 associates, Ecolab delivers comprehensive solutions and on-site service to promote safe food, maintain clean environments, optimize water and energy use and improve operational efficiencies for customers in the food, healthcare, energy, hospitality and industrial markets in more than 170 countries around the world.

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1 The product is registered with EPA as an antimicrobial product. The registration number is 1677-241.,P8_RINUM:511821,1677-241

2 Product claims are registered with U.S. EPA and an updated label may be in review with state agencies. Please review product label for Claims and Directions for Use.


Ecolab Inc.

Roman Blahoski