Sustainability in the Commercial Cleaning Industry
With businesses evaluating their sustainability strategies, they look towards areas where they are exposed to climate risk, and where there are opportunities for ‘going green’.
Sustainability has become a major focus for most countries as they commit to ambitious targets to address climate change. Today, businesses and individuals feel a collective responsibility to reduce their environmental impact. Every industry must play its part.
In this blog, we discuss the sustainability movement within the cleaning sector and how GJK is leading environmental practices in commercial cleaning.
Sustainability Movement in the Cleaning Industry
‘Green cleaning’ has been one of the most significant developments in the industry over the past 20 years. The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association says, “Green cleaning is arguably the No. 1 trend in the cleaning industry and is showing no signs of slowing down”. They also describe green cleaning as “a marketplace phenomenon that is being driven by customer demand and the overall trending of the broad marketplace for environmentally preferable products and services.”
Indeed we are seeing the demand to ‘go green’ increasing in both the consumer and commercial cleaning markets. You just have to look at the number of eco-friendly products on supermarket shelves today to see how popular they have become: for instance, according to Inside FMCG, three Eco-brands (Earth Choice, Uniquely Natural and Eco Store) commanded early 40% of shelf space in IGA stores in 2021, compared to just 13% in 2014.
Even with COVID-19 and the focus on disinfection and sanitation, our preference for green products has not wavered. While there has been an increased use of some harsher chemicals to combat the virus, the high frequency of cleaning during the pandemic has meant green products are getting chosen for their better effect son human health, safety and the environment.
The commercial cleaning sector is also significantly impacted by the wave of environmental awareness and action. With businesses evaluating their sustainability strategies, they look towards areas where they are exposed to climate risk, and where there are opportunities for ‘going green’. Scrutinizing how their office cleaning service is being delivered is an obvious approach in helping to lower their environmental impacts.
Further to this, businesses now have a stronger focus on employee wellbeing and understand the impact toxic cleaning chemicals can have on their health and productivity. In response to these changes in priorities, commercial cleaning companies have had to evolve and offer eco-driven services to help customers deliver on both their sustainability and employee wellness objectives.
The ‘green cleaning’ movement has been enabled by a wave of new technologies on the market.
The primary area of influence has been advancements in green chemicals. There is now a wide variety of environmentally-friendly solvents that are proven to be just as effective in removing dirt and bacteria as some of the more commonly-used, harsh chemicals. There is also a range of chemical-free alternatives, including microfibre cloths and ionized water, such as Z-Water used by GJK.
Commercial cleaning equipment has improved significantly in its environmental competency. Many commercial scrubbers, for example, use less energy, water and chemicals – often providing an effective clean with water alone. These days, large commercial scrubbers are also frequently battery-powered to reduce emissions. During COVID-19, the increased use of cleaning robots has yielded further green benefits – allowing commercial cleaners to use fewer resources and chemicals. Another example is automatic dispensers, which are now commonplace in our facilities, and substantially reduce usage and waste.
The emergence of smart technology is also improving green outcomes in cleaning. Smart tech, for example, can provide cleaners with feedback on your premises air quality and alert them of any unusual levels of moisture in the air. This allows the cleaner to deal with the mould before it becomes a health problem and requires strong chemicals to treat it. Smart waste technology is also helping reduce waste-to-landfill by providing data to improve waste segregation.
We have seen an abundance of new technologies on the global market that have greatly enhanced commercial cleaners’ ability to deliver ‘green cleaning’ services. As more exciting technologies emerge, we can access more tools to improve sustainability outcomes..
GJK’s Commitment to Environmental Sustainability
GJK is pioneering sustainability in commercial cleaning and has embraced the movement toward green cleaning practices. We seek to conduct all aspects of our cleaning operations in a way that protects the quality of the environment and the people within it. Here are some key measures we deliver to drive environmentally-friendly cleaning services to our customers:
- Green Products, Equipment and Methods: In consultation with our customers, GJK uses GECA-certified Agar Green Cleaning products and eco-friendly practices to reduce pollutants and improve indoor air quality. Additionally, we use low-impact equipment and deliver chemical-free cleaning solutions where practicable to minimise our environmental impact.
- Waste Management: GJK help customers develop their waste management programs with sustainability in mind. Assisted by waste management experts and powered by smart waste-tech innovation (such as Bin tracker), we work with customers to effectively limit waste, segregate and recycle streams appropriately, and initiate waste recovery and repurposing programs.
- Chemical Waste: GJK addresses the proper disposal of packaging and chemical waste with safe, responsible and sustainable waste programs that comply with legislative requirements.
- Continuous research and Innovation: Our team is actively researching and testing new products and tools to provide customers with higher-quality cleaning and improved sustainability outcomes. Whatever the case, we are always eager to find new sustainable solutions to reduce our carbon footprint.
- A Holistic Approach to Sustainability: GJK has a holistic, company-wide approach to sustainability and reducing its overall environmental impact wherever possible. We comply with the AS/NZO ISO 14001:2015 (Environmental Management Systems) Standards and set a range of environmental sustainability targets, with real actions to reach Net Zero by 2040.
Sustainability in the cleaning industry is more than just a fad. With people and businesses responding to the climate crisis, it is fast becoming an expected way to conduct cleaning services.
Commercial cleaning companies that have not evolved to embrace the sustainability movement will get left behind. With no signs of wavering, businesses continue to demand eco-driven cleaning services to help them create a healthier environment for their employees and reach their sustainability goals.