A sustainable secret

Robert Scott lets us know about the sustainable secret weapon that’s helping small businesses get back to work.

For businesses of all shapes and sizes, sustainability has been driven up the corporate agenda with more companies looking across their supply chain at how to improve operations and reduce their impact on the environment.

The Toucan Eco range has become a popular choice for companies when it comes to reviewing cleaning processes. It allows users to make an effective multipurpose disinfectant cleaning solution using only water and regular salt, which is activated using a special form of electrolysis called electrochemical activation.

Its active compounds are hypochlorous acid (HOCl), which is made by your immune system to fight infection, and a very low concentration of sodium hypochlorite (NaClO), producing a gentle pH of around eight. This creates a powerful, eco- friendly and safe solution, which is certified to EN antiviral and antibacterial tests to wipe out more than 99.99% of germs. You can make it yourself on demand, reducing the need for over 80% of synthetic chemical cleaners and the single-use plastic bottles they’re supplied in.

Taking a sustainable lead

One such company that has implemented Toucan Eco as part of its sustainable practices is London-based commercial cleaning company, Hive Cleaning. Led by Managing Director Louis Beaumont, Hive has a clear set of sustainability and ethical values comprising extraordinary levels of service, immaculate cleaning, motivated staff and the use of innovative green technologies.

Louis explained: “We carry out 100% aerosol-free, non-toxic, eco-friendly cleaning and have a 100% electric vehicle fleet that’s powered by 100% renewable energy, as well as a zero to landfill policy.

“We also have an effective single-use plastic reduction strategy in place, attaining Plastic Zero status in 2020 through the Plastic Bank scheme to remove plastic from the great Atlantic garbage patch. In 2020 we cut our carbon use by 56%, reducing our company footprint to 2.2 tCO2, which we offset by planting trees to become the first TPM-accredited company to be both carbon neutral and climate positive.”

Hive Cleaning is continuously searching for the next innovation in cleaning and Marc Kemp, MD of Futures Supplies, introduced the business to Toucan Eco.

Louis continued: “The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of the cleaning industry and the need for improved surface sanitising. There has been a big increase in chemicals being used to achieve this and as part of our continuous approach to environmental stewardship we wanted to find a better solution. When we were introduced to the Toucan Eco range, we knew we were on the right track.”

Marc added: “With Hive’s leading green credentials, Toucan Eco was a natural solution for the business to consider. Not


only is it proven to kill 99.99% of germs, including enveloped viruses, it reduces the use of chemicals and single-use plastic waste. It also minimises your distribution and manufacturing footprint.”

Hive Cleaning purchased 12 Toucan Eco Worktop models, each making one litre of hypochlorous disinfectant in just five minutes. The solution can be used to spray, wipe or mop any surface, and when you run out you simply make some more. At Hive, Toucan Eco is being used to replace its antiviral sanitising and multi-surface products, and is applied using refillable trigger sprays and microfibre cloths to all surfaces, including glass.

Louis strongly believes that hypochlorous acid, which is one of the main ingredients when the salt water is electrolysed by Toucan Eco, is a game changer for the cleaning industry. He explained: “The efficacy of the product was never called into doubt. Its technical specification and sanitising abilities are clearly proven by the EN 1276, EN 13697, EN 14476 and EN 16777 certifications. Our trial testing process was purely to assess the cleaning performance in a real-world setting.

“We have been delighted with the feedback and cleaning results from the trial, and it seems clear that the solution is a very effective cleaning agent. Its neutral pH and gentle action mean it is safe on all surfaces and fabrics. Our staff love it. Not only does it clean well and provide sparkling results, but it’s also safer to use and reduces our chemical miles.

“We’re now in a position to roll out Toucan Eco across another 30 sites which will grow to 75% to 80% of the company’s portfolio by the end of the year. For cleaners looking for new, sustainable ways to provide their services, I believe that Toucan Eco is a revolutionary way we can do more to reduce our industry’s impact on the planet.”

Getting creative

Depot is an award-winning, independent three-screen cinema and café-restaurant, located in the centre of Lewes, East Sussex. It’s a not-for-profit organisation with Charitable Trust status. It has a comprehensive sustainability policy and action plan, which includes sustainability being written into all managerial job descriptions, procurement guidelines, zero landfill policy and an extensive waste policy which sees 10 different waste streams now recycling 88% of their waste.

Depot’s Green Ambassador, Natasha Padbury, commented: “We have a reduce, reuse and recycle policy. So, we reduce wherever we can, reuse what we can, and nearly anything that’s left that comes into the building we recycle.

“While auditing our waste streams we found that the janitorial category was where we were still bringing in significant amounts of plastic. While much of this was recycled, it was an area where I just couldn’t see how we were going to make the reductions that were needed. I contacted the team at HOME Manchester, who are pioneers

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