Making the right impact

19 November 2015

Once slow to adopt sustainable methods, the cleaning industry is now beginning to lead the way, explains Tom Lancefield, business manager at Delphis Eco

Sustainability isn’t going away. Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, has warned that climate change will lead to financial crises and falling living standards unless the world's leading countries do more to ensure that their companies come clean about their current and future carbon emissions. The UK Government has announced a boost of almost £6bn to its International Climate Fund which helps the world's most vulnerable countries adapt to climate change.  America and China are independently agreeing to cut their CO2 emission and The Pope and Beyonce have signed up to The Sustainable Development Goals. All eyes will be on Paris in November for the World Climate Summit.


The cleaning industry has for years been behind the curve in regards to sustainable matters instead of trying to pioneer a futuristic approach. The old adage of 'why fix what isn’t broken' is one that is heard regularly. Why would a company or site manager consider changing cleaning products when they seem to be working? 


Health & environment

Cleaning operatives become reliant on the products they use to do their job effectively and efficiently, regardless of some of the adverse effects that the products have on their health. Volatile Organic Compounds, which are often found in cleaning products, are a known cause of skin and respiratory problems. Some are so corrosive they burn through rubber gloves not to mention what they do when poured down the drain. Petrochemicals are used in the majority of cleaning products, which are extremely carbon intensive to produce. Another common ingredient, Phosphates, put aquatic life at risk when they enter the water course.


The Government recognises the impact cleaning chemicals are having on the environment and has singled out the work Delphis Eco has done on developing plant based sustainable EU Eco Label accredited products to represent the Green Economy in the Governments GREAT Britain Campaign. Delphis Eco is sitting along side Burberry, Aston Martin and Virgin being promoted by UKTI as the best of British manufacturing globally and what is most fantastic is that it is a company that is at the heart of the cleaning industry.


Case study

Some good news: Rendall & Rittner, a property management company, recognised the need to find a more sustainable and user-friendly product range. Following a successful trial, Delphis Eco is now their product provider of choice. As a result they have saved 477 tons of CO2, reduced the amount of products across their whole estate by 71% and staff are now using non-hazardous products for 90% of cleaning. Mandating that Rendall & Rittner only use a plant based, EU Eco Label product range across their entire estate has brought about numerous benefits to their staff and the environment.


More impressively, Rendall & Rittner not only pushed through change within their own organisation but also worked with their tier 1 & 2 suppliers and contractors on using EU Eco Label products. Mara Services are now actively looking to help their customers as well as making their own business more sustainable and are currently in the process of switching their vehicle fleet to electronic vans. Rendall & Rittner's focus has directly influenced seven companies who have embraced the changes and are seeing the benefits. There is change in the cleaning industry and some companies are leading the way for all.