Sustainable solutions

07 March 2013

Strand practises sustainable daytime cleaning at Hinxton Hall. With Diversey's help, it has reduced chemicals and improved performance at the world class science campus

Strand practises sustainable daytime cleaning at Hinxton Hall. With Diversey's help, it has reduced chemicals and improved performance at the world class science campus

For the past five years leading London-based contract cleaning company Strand has cleaned the world-famous Wellcome Trust Genome Campus at Hinxton Hall with the advanced Jonmaster ultra microfibre system from Diversey.Working closely with Hinxton Hall's management team, Strand has eliminated cleaning chemicals from many parts of the campus and introduced daytime cleaning.

"We use Jonmaster for the cleaning of hard surfaces and floors in all the buildings," says Janice Anderson, contract manager for Strand at Hinxton Hall, "and have achieved savings through labour efficiency and reduced chemicals." Among the campus facilities are research laboratories, lecture theatres, offices, restaurant and staff gym.These are managed by Hinxton Hall on behalf of the Wellcome Trust, with Strand providing contract cleaning services. Strand introduced Jonmaster in 2004. One of the main reasons for choosing Jonmaster was that cloths and tools in the integrated system clean hard surfaces with water alone to remove dirt and 99.99% of bacteria.

Simplicity is key "We wanted something that was simpler and would allow us to reduce the quantity and diversity of chemicals because these involved lots of management, compliance procedures and COSHH training," says Jenny Chester, facilities manager for catering, cleaning, waste and recycling at Hinxton Hall.

Jonmaster was selected after a competitive tender and a visit to Diversey's office in Northampton where the Strand team learned more about ultra microfibre. Diversey worked closely with Strand and Hinxton Hall to explain the benefits. Individual laboratories on site needed to approve the system and conducted independent tests to verify the claims.Diversey provided documentation including microbiological reports from independent sources.

As an integrated system, Jonmaster includes cloths, tools and equipment for efficient and ergonomic cleaning.Cloths and box lids are colour coded with industry standard red, green, blue and yellow for easy identification and to help staff keep items separate and avoid cross-contamination. Anderson recalls staff were initially sceptical, so a trolley was prepared for a team member to trial for two weeks.

"After that we couldn't get it off them," says Anderson."The trolleys are easy to maintain and look good.You don't need to carry heavy buckets and there's no time wasted doing water changes." Cleaning without chemicals offers many advantages:There is the sustainability benefit of using less chemical, and Jonmaster involves no rinsing and leaves the floor dry which means little or no disruption to building occupants.These final two benefits led directly to the possibility of daytime cleaning.

Seize the day Daytime cleaning is popular with campus users because they see the buildings being maintained and emergencies dealt with immediately.

Moreover, they are more likely to act responsibly and keep their work areas clean in the first place if they see work in progress.Daytime cleaning is also popular with the building managers because overall appearance is maintained.The campus is closed overnight saving lighting and heating and eliminating the need to control access for staff outside normal hours.Daytime working is also more rewarding for Strand's own staff which makes it easier to recruit and retain employees. Staff feel part of a team and are more productive through undertaking additional tasks while carrying out their daily cleaning.

This has allowed Strand to add value for its customers through, for example, its on-site recycling scheme which has effectively eliminated disposed waste.

The Jonmaster floor pads are extremely efficient at cleaning different surfaces including vinyl, ceramic and porcelain tiles, and stone.A single pass with a dampened Jonmaster mop removes the dirt and bacteria that would otherwise contribute to long term damage.This makes it simpler to keep floors clean, aids productivity and in the case of vinyl flooring reduces long term maintenance because there is less need for intermittent stripping and polish."Most of the floors here were last stripped and refinished at least three years ago but they have yet to show any signs of damage," says Anderson.

Jonmaster is also used for hard surfaces such as desks and table tops in offices, laboratories and other rooms. It is used for the table tops in the restaurant as well as the serving cabinets and counters which incorporate glass and stainless steel.Generally the only chemicals used on the site are toilet cleaners and sanitising disinfectants for food preparation areas.

Cloths are laundered on site every day for optimum hygiene.

Each major building has its own laundry which helps prevent any risk of cross-contamination between laboratories.The cloths are guaranteed for 500 washes when cared for in line with the manufacturer's specifications. "Compared with what we would have spent on chemicals and disposable cloths we believe they paid for themselves in around 18 to 24 months," says Chester.

Diversey provides regular training. Strand encourages all of its staff to complete NVQs and actively pursue career development opportunities on the basis that well-trained employees are better performers and more likely to remain with the business.