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Have you got your green credentials?

19/07/2011

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Traditionally the cleaning industry has a rather poor environmental reputation, resulting from its heavy use of energy, water and chemicals that can cause a wide range of environmental problems.

We talk to three cleaning companies in various areas of the industry who enlisted the services of EcoVate. Part of Middlesex University, EcoVate was launched in 2009 to help businesses make a contribution towards reducing their environmental impact while making potential financial savings through better waste, resource and energy management. The project is free and part financed by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Eligible SMEs are able to benefit from between two and five days of free environmental business advice to reduce costs, increase efficiency and improve environmental performance.

Catherine Bentham from Corner-2-Corner Cleaning Services recognised that standing out from her competitors as a green cleaning company would give her business an edge that could provide a number of unique business opportunities and benefits. Amongst these was being ‘fit to supply’ to clients with ever stricter green criteria.

EcoVate suggested that the first key action should be to develop a Green Procurement Policy to complement their Environmental Policy. This would set out guidelines for purchasing, and would help the company consider resource requirements whilst taking into account the entire lifecycle of products before purchasing decisions are made.

The work to develop green procurement guidelines highlighted just how confusing it can be to make environmentally-sound decisions when purchasing cleaning products. As Corner-2-Corner are often reliant on their clients to provide the cleaning products they use on site, EcoVate advised that a list of recommended cleaning products and suppliers, based on environmental credentials, could make these decisions much simpler for environmentally-aware businesses and households.

This list is now provided to all relevant clients, improving awareness of the sustainability issues associated with cleaning amongst their customers, whilst supporting their goal to reduce the environmental impact of their activities.

Grosvenor Contracts has built its business to be an innovative, environmentally responsible company, with a reputation for developing low energy, non-polluting cleaning solutions.

One of its pioneering services is the OTEX ozone-based cleaning and disinfection service, which cleans hospital linen at low temperatures and without harmful detergents. Disinfection rates are equal to, or better than, traditional water heated solutions, resulting in significant energy and water savings.

Integrating environmental sustainability into their business operations, Grosvenor Contracts had already achieved ISO 14001 certification when it contacted EcoVate. Its next aspiration for continued environmental improvement was the achieve carbon neutral status.

Grosvenor Contracts’ commitment to environmental sustainability was recognised at the 2010 Green Business Innovator Awards where it was the winner of the Green Business in the Service Sector category.

Director, Mark Godley, said “We are extremely proud of this new award…many of the changes we make are not only sustainable and ‘green’ but are enabling us to provide choice to a market place which is usually monopolised by the larger suppliers”.

Author Information

The EcoVate project provides free tailor-made environmental support to eligible Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in London on environmental issues including waste, water, energy, transport, and supply chain management.

The project is part financed by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Eligible SMEs are able to benefit from between two and five days of free environmental business advice to reduce costs, increase efficiency and improve environmental performance.

The project is managed by the Centre for Environment and Safety Management for Business (CESMB) at Middlesex University, in conjunction with a number of delivery partners including the Environment Agency.

For more information please call 020 8411 6303 or email cesmb@mdx.ac.uk


 

 

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