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Environmental Impact in the Cleaning Industry



Over the years, climate change has become the main topic of conversation, becoming an important issue to combat. With many different terminologies like Climate Change, Net Zero, sustainability and COP28 summit, what do all these phrases mean, and what even is climate change?


Okay, let's start from the beginning.


So, what is Climate Change, and why should we care?


The Cambridge Dictionary defines climate change as "changes in the world's weather, in particular the fact that it is believed to be getting warmer as a result of human activity increasing the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere."


Although temperature shifts can be naturally caused by changes in the sun's activity or significant volcanic eruptions, the main driver of climate change has been human activities since the 1800s. According to the UN (United Nations), the average temperature of the Earth's surface is about 1.1ºc warmer than in the late 1800s (before the Industrial Revolution).


Many think climate change means warmer temperatures, but that's only the start. Due to the Earth being a system, if one thing changes, it causes a domino effect. So, because of climate change, we see other consequences like an increase in the recent years of wildfires, intense droughts, melting polar ice caps, flooding, rising sea levels, water scarcity and a significant decline in biodiversity. This impacts us living on planet Earth. Due to these conditions caused by climate change, we see more and more people in poverty, lacking the basics people need to survive.


What can you do to help?


Historically, the best cleaning method is using harsh chemicals to tackle the most challenging cleaning issues, like limescale, bleach, and harsh dish soaps to eliminate grime and grease. We face problems with these harsh chemicals entering our environment, polluting the water, and entering our air and soil.


However, cleaning products have significantly changed throughout the years, with more options for choosing an eco-friendly product over a harsh chemical. Here are a few options: shifting to low or no chemicals, reducing waste and how you can still help in other ways, not just reducing impact through chemical usage but also from how technological advancement can benefit you and your team and contribute to your environmental impact.


Let's look at some brands and products.


Tersano


Tersano, founded by CEO Steve Hengsperger, is a company that developed a method of creating Stabilized Aqueous Ozone (SAO) on demand. SAO is a chemical-free cleaning solution simply using cold tap water and oxygen. SAO attacks organic matter, breaking it down into smaller particles and suspending it in solution. This reaction is called oxidation. Not only are you reducing your chemical usage by using Tersano, but the SAO dispenser uses 90% less water, reduces plastic packaging by 83% and cardboard by 72%. SAO can sanitise for up to 24 hours. It can also be used as a general cleaner for six days, reverting to water and oxygen with zero impact on the planet's waterways.


Soap2o


Soap2o strive to reduce the amount of single-use plastics, putting more consideration towards the environment throughout their processes and applications. Their actions make Soap2o a 100% eco-responsible product.


All Soap2o's soaps are made of PVA (polyvinyl alcohol film), dissolving in water. There are no single-use plastics in Soap2o's products or packaging, meaning no microplastics are also being deposited into our water systems.


Not only are they plastic-free, but Soap2o contribute to reducing carbon footprint. Soap2o have no waste products, containers, cartridges, or any other products getting disposed into landfill, with their packaging recyclable and sachets fully dissolvable.


With the soap's compactness and zero water shipping on one pallet, Soap2o can fit 36,000 sachets, requiring delivery once every six months. Compared to the conventional soap that needs to be delivered once a week.


Although 36,000 sachets don't sound like a lot of soap, to put it into perspective, there are 36,000 litres. With soap2o, you can hold 12L of hand soap in just one hand.


Northwood


A manufacturer of professional paper hygiene products, Northwood cares for the environment, taking a sustainable approach to every aspect of its business. Their aim is to reduce waste to zero.


Northwoods paper is made from 100% recycled products. As part of Northwood's sustainability, they recycle thousands of tonnes of office waste yearly to prevent it from going to landfills and help preserve acres of forest.


Of the products Northwood produces, 80% are made from recycled paper. They collect 100,000 tonnes of recovered fibres annually, turning it from recycled paper to hygiene products. Through the process, impurities like plastics and metals are removed and recycled. Water is separated and cleaned before being returned to the rivers cleaner than when Northwood took it, with around 600,000m3 of water being sent back annually.


Their high-capacity dispensers, designed to use 100% of the roll, mean less maintenance needed by the cleaning operative and zero paper wastage. They also have massive vertical integration with raw material supply, tissue and towel manufacturing, and storage and transportation in the UK, reducing their carbon footprint.


Greenspeed


Greenspeed provides various sustainable cleaning products, from their Re-belle microfibre cloths to detergents and flat mopping systems. Greenspeed follows a circular product concept, moving from a linear model to a circular model where waste does not exist. All packaging is made from a combination of recycled plastics and plant plastics based on sugar cane instead of oil, which is perfectly reusable and recyclable.


Greenspeed is also Cradle to Cradle Certified. Cradle to Cradle is a classification program based on five pillars:


  • The use of non-toxic materials

  • Designing with reusable or biodegradable materials

  • The use of renewable energy

  • Using water responsibly

  • Producing in a socially responsible manner


Greenspeed also has flat mops and heads, which the heads can be washed repeatedly. The Greenspeed flat mop handles are designed to sprinkle a specific dose of water to combat overdosing and creating a slippery surface.


Greenspeed also has probiotic cleaning agents, contributing to the environment.


What are probiotic cleaning agents?


Probiotics are friendly cleaning micro-organisms, the next step towards sustainable cleaning. A range of probiotic cleaning agents has been developed by Greenspeed, creating optimal, sustainable cleaning.


How does it work?


Probiotic cleaning agents leave a layer of friendly bacteria (probiotics) behind on the surface, and these bacteria remove organic contamination that gives rise to the formation of odours. The probiotics produce enzymes that help break down the microscopic dirt into smaller particles during and after cleaning. The probiotics can absorb these small particles and digest them as food. They continue to work for a few days after cleaning, making the probiotic cleaning agent long-lasting, a result of microscopic deep cleaning and long-lasting absorption of odours.


The comparison between Probiotics and traditional cleaning agents.


Probiotics create enzymes that will break down and digest odour molecules. The good bacteria from the probiotics kill off the bad bacteria and hibernate, forming an inactive spore. However, once bad bacteria reappear, the probiotic (good bacteria) germinates and starts working again, killing the bad bacteria, leaving no chance of it (the bad bacteria) mutating.


i-team


Going fully chemical-free may not be an option, so consider i-teams i-dose. The i-dose provides you with the correct dosage of chemicals to water for the i-mop, so there is no more overdosing.


It is designed with the environment in mind. The super concentrated formula is green, being produced using renewable energy. After usage, the water can be disposed of safely as the formula breaks down naturally. Plus, the pods are recyclable in any standard recycling bin.


B Corp Certification.


B Corp Certification measures a company's entire social and environmental impact. B Lab verifies companies to meet high social and environmental performance standards, as well as transparency and accountability.


As part of i-team Global's sustainability and growth, i-team has the ambition to become a B Corp and has committed itself to this.


Conclusion


Although we can't eradicate climate change and global warming altogether, we can all work together and contribute more effectively, reducing our impact on the planet one step at a time. Making simple and essential choices within your cleaning regime can help positively impact your environment and the world around you.


Doing simple things like going chemical-free by choosing Tersano, using less plastics with Soap2o, or even just choosing Northwood to help preserve the forests can impact the environment.


If you would like more information on the products mentioned in this article or would like to consider going more sustainable to help reach company targets, don't hesitate to get in touch with our Killis sustainability ambassador, Lucy Whitehouse, at lucy@killis.co.uk.


Together, we can create cleaner, healthier spaces.


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