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Maintain to gain savings

29 May 2013

Choosing the right floor cleaning machine can play a crucial role in saving money and achieving environmental aims, as Darren Marston, founder of Trade Cleaning Machines (TCM), explains

Choosing the right floor cleaning machine can play a crucial role in saving money and achieving environmental aims, as Darren Marston, founder of Trade Cleaning Machines (TCM), explains

Effective cleaning regimes play a crucial role in keeping your floors looking good for longer. Using the right equipment and techniques will help save time and money in the long run, and should therefore be a major consideration when designing a new building or refurbishing an existing one. Maintaining your flooring correctly is a lot more environmentally friendly - and cost effective - than having to replace it through damage or general wear and tear.

The Contract Flooring Association was involved in the publication of a report on resource efficiency in flooring in September 2010*, which revealed that almost 600,000 tonnes of flooring is disposed of annually, racking up estimated disposal costs in excess of £1 million per year. By choosing the right floor cleaning machines, organisations can prolong the life of their flooring materials, saving resources and hard-pressed budgets.

Green thinking gets results The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) estimates that UK businesses could save £6.4 billion** per year and help create and protect jobs by improving the way they use resources. WRAP says: 'Resource efficiency is not just an environmental initiative, it is simply a question of good commercial sense. Waste costs money and by finding ways to reduce waste, your business could become more profitable.' Many companies are keen to minimise their carbon footprint, yet thousands of floor cleaning machines are scrapped or thrown away needlessly every year, contributing to a huge strain on the environment. Investigating the possibilities of refurbishing existing equipment, or buying/renting refurbished machinery, is therefore something to consider. Buying or renting used equipment is a great way to cut operating costs and make your company more competitive, so taking an eco-conscious choice regarding your cleaning equipment makes sound financial sense too. Some of our clients have managed to save up to 80% on major equipment purchases by taking this strategy, a result not to be ignored in these challenging financial times.

Technology is also helping cleaning machines to become 'greener'.

Many companies are seeking to achieve lower levels of use of cleaning chemicals, greater emphasis on biological hygiene, lower energy consumption and adoption of greener technologies.

Customers with their own environmental targets and aims can start to achieve them by choosing a cleaning equipment supplier that has knowledge and understanding in this area, and the products and services to match. This could include floor cleaning equipment that uses recyclable batteries and battery chargers that use less electricity than conventional chargers. Water savings are another key area for all businesses. Manufacturing companies can easily save between 30% and 50% of water and wastewater costs through inexpensive changes to their working practices.

As an added incentive, the Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) Scheme for Water offers a 100% first-year allowance for investments in certain water efficient plant and machinery. This allows businesses and organisations to write off 100% of the cost of qualifying plant and machinery against taxable profits in the year of purchase, helping them to save money in both the short and long-term, and reduce their impact on the environment.

The ECA water scheme is managed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and HM Revenue and Customs, in partnership with AEA Technology, who manage the scheme on behalf of Defra. Eligible products - including industrial cleaning equipment such as floor cleaning machines - are detailed on the Water Technology List.

There's no doubt that 'going green' makes sense whichever way you look at it, so using floor cleaning resources efficiently is good for both business and the environment.

* Flooring: A Resource Efficiency Action Plan, September 2010 - Towards improved resource efficiency; prepared by Pete Thomas on behalf of the Contract Flooring Association and Stuart Blofeld BRE **'Quantification of the business benefits of resource efficiency', published by Defra, October 2007