Innovation in action

28 June 2018

Phil Smith, group sales director at Templewood Services/LCC Support Services, highlights the latest sustainable solutions that are transforming cleaning services

Sustainable innovation requires a holistic approach. Partnerships should be built between service providers, clients, and existing and potential supply partners to exchange ideas and successfully drive these through. 

Sharing of sustainable best practice was the focus behind LCC’s inaugural Innovation Exchange which took place at the office in Brentwood, around the Old Pump Works on 24th May. The event brought together a range of organisations providing support services to the industry to showcase innovations that are transforming the cleaning sector.

Technology was a key focus, as this is increasingly central to sustainable processes. The Internet of Things (IoT) is enabling data to be collected to improve the delivery of cleaning services and can help improve energy efficiency. Telemetry tracked machinery, web-based solutions and smart apps aid the measurement process. 

Innovation can come in all shapes and sizes and, in some instances is represented by different attitudes and approaches, rather than a new product or service. Our operational team shared the benefits of on-going training, fair pay and compliance. Areas where companies can improve their green working practices highlighted at the event included:

Cleaning products and services

Always strive to use products that do not directly damage the environment. Killis showcased the Tersano range which infuses water with ozone for a simpler, safer, more sustainable way to clean and sanitise hard surfaces. Clover Chemicals demonstrated its Ecolabel range and compliance with EC Regulation 648/2004 on biodegradability. 


Microfibre systems can remove harmful bacteria without the need for chemicals. Examples were shown by mop manufacturer Robert Scott. Scot Young Research (SYR) showed how the design of its equipment and chemicals can work together with less impact on the environment and significantly reduce the amount of water needed to clean an area. ICE displayed the Robo 3, which uses patented laser navigation to detect its surroundings and clean floors. 

Recycling and carbon management 

Materials can be recycled or used to generate energy from waste (EFW). Options available were highlighted by C&M Environmental which works with specialist companies to provide locally sourced waste collections. Ethical Nation shared its expertise on calculating carbon footprint.


The washroom is a key area where sustainability targets can be met. For example, one of the solutions from Kimberly-Clark Professional is a rolled hand towel with compression technology which can save up to 18% in storage and transportation, and achieve up to 23% more hand dries per roll. Vectair Systems demonstrated aircare and hygiene products with minimal environmental impact. 

Cleaning at height

The latest high level cleaning systems use little or no chemicals. Progress Cleaning Services demonstrated window cleaning, including chemical free, water fed pole systems. Alongside Rams FM, SpaceVac showed its system which makes it easy for workers at ground level to clean high-level areas safely and sustainably. 

Commercial kitchens and pipeworks 

Kitchen oil and grease can build up on extraction hoods, but chemical cleaning can be toxic. Shepherd Filters are made from biodegradable wool, capturing grease before it enters the exhaust system, and protecting the environment. Also on display was the Puractor, a pipe cleaning system, including a model which eliminates bacteria with steam.

Bird control 

Safeguard showed how birds of prey can deter nuisance birds. Utilising trained birds of prey is environmentally friendly and appropriate for a wide range of commercial situations.

Operational management 

Being sustainable involves recruiting and training staff in procedures, and communicating and reporting green initiatives. A number of organisations showcased operational services including Bridge Recruitment, Uhub; uComply; TemplaCMS integrated management software; Corps Security and the Living Wage Foundation. 

Continuous improvement 

Feedback from many of the attendees was that they had experienced new ideas, sectors and sustainable solutions to consider implementing. Our advice to organisations looking to improve sustainable performance is to build partnerships and continuously research and invest in pioneering products and systems. These will help optimise cleaning operations, improve efficiency and reduce environmental impact.