Softer benefits of
In our previous articles we outlined some of the building blocks
of sustainable cleaning including ingredients, formulations,
energy, water and packaging. In this final piece of the year we
focus on some of the less tangible or softer benefits.
A key objective of sustainability is to maintain a balance between people,
planet and profit. Businesses need to make a profit but they want – and are
expected – to do so while looking after their employees, customers and the
Removing complexity is a key objective. Simpler processes can usually be
completed more quickly which increases productivity. This can lead to lower
costs because the same people can do more work in the same time. It also
means those employees can be re-deployed to assist with new processes, take
on added responsibilities, and grow in their careers. Productivity gains add
value for guests and customers by leading to more healthy and hygienic
facilities because employees have more time to do extra cleaning such as
those little tasks that are easily overlooked.
Simpler processes should also make training simpler and quicker because
there is less to learn. Simplicity also promotes compliance with agreed
procedures because there is less risk of errors. That leads to greater cleaning
consistency which means better results and less need for wasteful, time-consuming
and costly repeat cleaning.
Making processes safer is also often an objective of sustainability. This is
good for the people doing the cleaning but it is also beneficial to bystanders.
Using fewer products or alternative formulations can help, but so can using
no chemicals at all such as when cleaning with microfibre. Simpler is also
safer by removing unnecessary steps and facilitating better training.
Supply chain cost and complexity can also be reduced with a simplified and
more sustainable approach. Using innovative products (such as multipurpose
formulations) or formats (such as ultra-concentrates) can reduce the number
and volume of different products needed for any cleaning programme. That
can save time and money right through the supply chain from initial
selection, to purchasing, to transport, handling and storage, to restocking,
and the ultimate recycling of the empty containers. Reviewing all the
products being used in a facility is a good regular practice because improper
products often make their way into buildings, complicating training and
Sustainability covers a wide range of sub-topics that are relevant to the
cleaning industry. There is much to think about but market, regulatory,
environmental and social forces are compelling businesses to act. We hope
our series of articles has provided some insight that will help businesses to
make progress in this important area.
Deborah Bland, senior sector marketing manager, Diversey, UK &
Ireland Tel: 01604 405311
Find more like this at: www.cleaning-matters.co.uk 33