A green step forward

Paul Thrupp looks at how more sustainable commercial cleaning is rapidly gaining traction across the sector.

Anyone attending The Cleaning Show in March will have been struck by how ‘green’ the event was – and by that I mean not just the incredible ‘Jangro Garden’, which greeted visitors when they first entered the exhibition hall at ExCeL.

Many exhibitors across the show were highlighting their sustainability credentials as a business while others were enthusiastically promoting their environmentally-friendly products and services.

For some of the ‘green cleaning’ exhibitors, this was also their first ever time at The Cleaning Show, with some motivated to attend due to believing the time was now right to push a greener message to the UK’s commercial cleaning sector.

One example of this was the Dutch global eco-cleaning business Greenspeed, who debuted at the show this year. Greenspeed’s CEO, Michel de Bruin, said one of the reasons they chose to come over in 2019 was because the UK’s commercial cleaning sector was increasingly embracing green equipment and chemicals in response to both changing customer demands and legal compliance.

Then we had the show’s keynote speaker, the USA’s 'Green Cleaning Guru' Steven Ashkin, who flew in from California especially for the event.

Steve, who is Executive Director of the Green Cleaning Network and co-founder of the Green Cleaning University (GCU), said that in his view that the UK and Europe has done outstanding work on green issues and that in many cases were ahead of the USA. He also went on to say he thought we had everything in place to capitalise on these efforts and become global leaders within ‘green cleaning’.

This year the show also had its first ever Green Zone, a space which offered advice and solutions to those looking to reduce their environmental impact and offer more sustainable services, while another new feature was the


Resource Management exhibition area, which focused on waste management and recycling.

The seminar programme was also packed with experts talking about minimising waste, resource management and how to develop more sustainable FM practices, while other sessions talked about the need for behaviour change to ensure the adoption of more clean and green business cleaning practices.

Three BCC members, the CHSA, CSSA and WAMITAB, also used The Cleaning Show to tell industry partners and cleaning businesses more about their fantastic ‘plastics pledge’ which was launched just before the show.

In case you aren’t familiar with the project, its aim is to develop a cleaning industry standard on plastics around the mantra ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’. The pledge will contain information on how those in our sector can reduce plastic use and waste, offer advice on the best practice for plastic use and give guidance on recycling and labelling.

Reduced plastic use was also central to the Most Innovative Cleaning Product award, part of The Cleaning Show’s Innovation Awards scheme, which saw Mirius’ 100% Recycled Plastic Bottle scoop the accolade.

The bottle, which is designed for manufacturers’ own label cleaning products and also used across Mirius’s own ‘off-the-shelf’ professional cleaning range, went on to be crowned overall winner at the CSSA Awards the next day, which is the equivalent of ‘best in show’ across all of the Innovation Award category winners.

So, for me 2019 really feels like a pivotal year for greener cleaning and that can only be a good thing for our industry, our customers, our employees and our planet. Long may it continue.

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