Going for green Ecocleen CEO, Jean-Henri Beukes, on building a more sustainable future for the cleaning industry.

The climate crisis is a defining issue of our generation, driving a number of economies across the world to set ambitious sustainability targets. To halt global warming, emissions must be reduced by 50% by 2030 and to Net Zero by 2050.

With that in mind, industries must evaluate their carbon impact and sustainability strategies to understand where they are overexposed to climate risk and underexposed to the opportunity of going green. The commercial cleaning industry is no different.

The cleaning sector is currently undergoing a dramatic change in line with customer demand for greener products, greater social responsibility policies and commitment to sustainability from its service providers. Sustainability is all about meeting our needs, in a way that doesn’t undermine the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, and whilst green measures are already starting to take shape, there are huge opportunities for improvement across the cleaning industry.

Sustainable solutions and technology

Green cleaning is all about using biological products and methods that are safer for human and environmental health. Not only do eco-friendly cleaning products reduce air and water pollution, but they can also help fight ozone depletion and climate change in the longer term.

Commercial cleaning companies can also consider using innovative technology like Pulse Mops, washable microfibre mop heads and cloths as they use less water and laundering materials, minimising overall waste for the business. From a financial perspective, this will provide cleaning experts with several cost benefits, in addition to reducing the organisation’s impact on the environment.

Waste management solutions

The cleaning industry can take sustainability to the next level by adopting a waste hierarchy that includes three key levels: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Reducing the consumption of cleaning products and chemicals is essential to the waste hierarchy, closely followed by reusing or repurposing items to decrease waste and ensure


less energy is spent. Recycling is also popular among commercial cleaning companies, especially as there are very few materials that cannot be recycled.

Social sustainability

It’s also vital for organisations in the cleaning industry to ensure that they are doing business in ways that benefit society and protect people. Social sustainability involves evaluating how commercial cleaning companies treat employees and ensure their wellbeing.

What’s more, factors such as local employment, diversity and inclusion are vital considerations, as well as making sure to pay workers a good wage in line with the Living Wage Foundation. Cleaning businesses can also take action in the community, responsibly partnering with relevant charities and projects to ensure that local communities benefit from the company’s presence in the area.

Driving forward with green fleets

Furthermore, employees and customers increasingly want to know that organisations are not willfully ignoring environmental considerations when they make fleet decisions. With this in mind, commercial cleaning companies can consider deploying sustainable fleets, with a combination of cleaner vehicles and fuels, fuel-efficient operations and electric vehicles. By exploring the benefits of replacing diesel- powered vehicles and reducing the amount of road traffic generated, businesses can reduce their environmental impact and make significant operational cost savings.

Path to Net Zero

Over the past few years, sustainability has transformed from being ‘nice to have’ to essential for businesses operating in the cleaning industry. Even though many commercial cleaning companies have started establishing sustainability actions, there are still improvements to be made in becoming a greener and more eco-friendly industry of the future.

Now is the time to adapt to new sustainable demands and reap the benefits that eco-conscious operations can bring to their business, customers, employees and stakeholders in the longer term.

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