What are the measures organisations can take to ensure a greener washroom? Brett Fleming-Jones, Group Head of Marketing at phs Group considers the options.

Sustainability has fast risen up the business agenda. No longer is it just a buzz word or a tick box exercise, organisations are striving to make a real difference to the environment in their day-to-day operations. And it’s not only ethically the right thing to do, more often than not, environmental measures can deliver a cost benefit too.

Even within the washroom, an essential provision for any organisation, there are several small changes that can make a big difference to your sustainability credentials as well as your bottom line.

We’re all human and we all create waste; that’s just a fact of life. However, it’s what we do with that waste that’s up for contention. Landfill capacity is decreasing while commercial landfill tax is rising and when you consider sanitary products take up to 300 years to decompose and nappies up to 500 years, you realise the scale of the problem.

entrances and washrooms are made out of recycled fishing nets which have been discarded and entrap marine life. So every floor mat we create is actively reducing ocean plastic waste.

Moving on to water, you may be shocked to learn the average employee uses 50l of water a day, with 90% of this in the washroom. There are three steps to tackling this; by monitoring usage to spot where savings can be made, by educating users as to how much water is used and smart ways of being more efficient and by introducing simple water-saving measures.

It’s shut off from where your washroom waste is heading once it leaves the premises but did you know it can be diverted from landfill and used to create energy to power homes? As waste creators, we should all be taking responsibility for what happens to that waste and finding alternatives to landfill.

Staying on the theme of washroom waste, it’s been discovered that half of women flush sanitary products down the toilet – even though it shouldn’t be flushed. This amounts to two billion sanitary items being flushed away annually, contributing to blockages which can be messy and expensive to fix; a headache every business can do without. These flushed products can also end up strewn along our coastlines. But if we can educate women and facilitate an easy, convenient solution in the form of sanitary disposal bags within washroom cubicles, we can help solve the problem.

This is a prime example of how the products you buy can tell a greater story and that’s something we strive to achieve at phs. For instance, our floor mats for workplace


For instance, the phs patented FLOWSAVER TAP is a device which can be installed to most taps, saving 70% of water usage and the phs FLUSHWISER WC flush control saves three litres of water per flush – totaling 2,160l per person each year based on three flushes a day. Similarly, our FLOWSAVER URINAL has an intelligent control system to prevent unnecessary flushing, saving 80% of water usage.

This not only makes sense from a water conservation point of view but every cubic metre of water saved will reduce your carbon footprint by around one kilogram. And then there’s the cost benefit; in a trial with a pub chain, these water- saving devices cut back water consumption by 80% and made a significant annual saving of £600 per washroom.

These are just a handful of measures which can get your washroom making a meaningful contribution to your environmental achievements. The key is to evaluate your suppliers to ensure their sustainability aspirations are in line with your own. This way, your suppliers will be working in partnership with you to meet and exceed your sustainability objectives, doing the right thing for now and the future.

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