oup, tells us about the importance and growing tainable cleaning.

rollercoaster, up some weeks and down in others. Switching to hybrid or electric cars reduces or eliminates the need for fuel. Plus it can reduce carbon emissions by more than 90% and nitrogen oxide emissions by as much as 60%.

GPS driving: Dublin is rated one of the most traffic- congested cities in Europe with a congestion ‘ranking’ of 35%. This means that travel times by car in Dublin are 35% more than in other parts of Europe. A GPS system can suggest alternative routes that can avoid this traffic, and in so doing, reduce fuel consumption, carbon emissions, and rattled nerves.

Equipment maintenance: Equipment, whether it’s floor machines, carpet extractors, or vacuum cleaners, lasts longer and performs more efficiently when it is maintained regularly. Plus, they can often use considerably less electricity. If the equipment includes a maintenance plan, which many carpet extractors do, adhere to it strictly.

YOUR SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS Our sustainability focus here so far has been primarily on ways to reduce the need for energy, fuel, and natural resources in professional cleaning as well as reducing cleaning’s impact on the environment. But there are four more components of sustainability we need to address.

Efficiency: This refers to long-term changes that help a business reduce consumption and operate more effectively, which results in cost savings. For instance, the largest expenditure for cleaning professionals is labour. Proper training teaches workers to perform their tasks faster and more effectively, improving worker productivity, use natural resources more sparingly, and reduce waste.

People: In many parts of the world, cleaning professionals outsource cleaning to sub-contractors. There is nothing wrong with this as long as it is done legally and equitably. But all too often it is not. All workers, whether sub-contractors or employees, must be paid fairly, equitably, with benefits and dignity. Your cleaning staff is your business. Invariably, the better they are treated, the more loyal they will be to your company and the better they will perform.

Profit: Sustainability in cleaning means making money. A business is in business to make money, and one of the many outcomes of sustainability is that the business operates not only more efficiently, but it helps reduce overall operating costs. It also involves charging clients fairly for your services; being transparent in business operations, and ensuring all business practices comply with all government regulations.

Proving Sustainability: We’ve covered a lot of territory here. However, there is something else we must add. The time is coming when cleaning contractors will need to prove they are operating their business more sustainably to be awarded cleaning contracts. We see this happening today all over the world, including Ireland. This means sustainability is no longer something cleaning contractors and carpet cleaning technicians may want to do – it is becoming something they must do. SUSTAINABLE CLEANING | 17

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