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There has been a steady rise in public concern about the environment with many organisations moving to eco friendly cleaning products, but do they deliver spotless cleaning results?

In 2014, the Guardian reported that Eco-friendly cleaning is trending in the commercial sector and this has proved to be the case with more and more cleaning companies advertising eco-friendly cleaning services 1.

What does eco-friendly really mean? In cleaning products, there are several standards that are claimed to represent true eco-friendly cleaning but these differing endorsements can be confusing and mean very different things in terms of eco standards. Most eco-friendly cleaning solutions contain chemicals, but are still very environmentally friendly as the solutions are made up of natural resources and they address the way the whole product is manufactured, rather than just the solution within.

Cradle to cradle eco-friendly cleaning products

The most rigorous standard for measuring the environmental impact of products is called cradle to cradle.

Quality is defined by five criteria categories:-

Material Health

Product ingredients are inventoried throughout the supply chain and evaluated for impact on human and environmental health. The criteria at each level build towards the expectation of eliminating all toxic and unidentified chemicals and becoming nutrients for a safe, continuous cycle.

Material Reutilisation

Products are designed either to biodegrade safely as a biological nutrient or to be recycled into new products as a technical nutrient. At each level continued progress must be made towards increasing the recovery of materials and keeping them in continuous cycles.

Renewable Energy and Carbon Management

The criteria at each level build towards the expectation of carbon neutrality and powering all operations with 100% renewable energy.

Water Stewardship

Processes are designed to regard water as a precious resource for all living things. At each level, progress is made towards cleaning up effluent to drinking water standards.

Social Fairness and Biodiversity

Company operations are designed to celebrate all people and natural systems and progress is made towards having a wholly beneficial impact on the people and the planet.

 

A true eco-friendly commercial cleaning product

So, what we are looking for is safe, green, powerful, practical, cost effective eco-friendly commercial cleaning products that are as effective as anything we use today. Cradle to cradle ensures these products exist and are readily available today such as the Quick and Easy range of eco-friendly cleaning solutions.  Quick & Easy, complies to the new standard of environmental sustainability – Cradle to Cradle certification. All of Quick & Easy’s ingredients are safe for people and nature, containing ingredients from plant origin with proven high biodegradability and manufactured with 100% renewable energy.

The products are proven to be just as powerful as any traditional chemical cleaners.

Eco-friendly commercial cleaning products

We all have a responsibility to the planet and sustainability is increasingly an issue in all of our daily lives, both personally and professionally. Certain issues about eco friendly cleaning and eco cleaning products have become the popular understandings of cleaning sustainability and these issues, although probably once with some foundation, are no longer true and it’s time to consign them to history.

They cost more

Once a cleaning organisation starts to measure its true costs (through costs in use) and stops measuring by price alone then a reasoned debate can be held about the relative costs of various inputs such as cleaning chemicals. It is true that non eco cleaning products on average have slightly lower price points however the value story goes much deeper than that.

If we look at the situation holistically, eco cleaning products can provide a greater economic benefit than traditional chemical cleaners because they reduce labour costs and protect surfaces and buildings over time.

Chemical cleaning products are only effective during the few seconds of actual cleaning. Following cleaning, the surfaces start to become soiled again, requiring more frequent cleaning leading to higher labour costs and more chemical usage.

Eco cleaning products have beneficial bacteria that continue to breakdown soiling on the surface area after cleaning, leading to less frequent applications and all cleaned areas look cleaner for longer.

They don’t work as well

It has long been thought by many that eco friendly cleaning products are not as effective as traditional cleaning chemicals.

Let’s cut to the chase. Both eco friendly cleaning products and non eco friendly ones use chemicals that are effective. The difference is that non eco friendly cleaning products use manufactured chemicals that occur naturally in our environment whereas traditional cleaning chemicals are formulated in a lab. Most traditional cleaning chemical cocktails have formulated surfactants which helps to disperse dirt and grime. These surfactants however do not naturally break down and cause problems further down the line when they are washed away with waste water. The natural surfactants in eco friendly cleaning products degrade naturally once discarded. So cleaning efficacy is powerful and comparable with eco friendly products with the added sustainability advantages.

Eco friendly cleaning products are a great area of innovation and new ideas are being brought to market all the time such as foam spray heads on dispensers for exact dosing, reducing over use and cost.

They are not backed by research or standards

Eco friendly cleaning products are no longer a niche area for small altruistic start-up businesses. The big manufacturers have realised that there are large future markets for these products and are starting to invest heavily in research and development. This means that today’s eco friendly cleaning products are probably some of the most advanced cleaning agents available in terms of research investment.

Industry standards are progressing as well to take into account the whole lifecycle of the products including transport and packaging. This new standard “cradle to cradle” is what to look out for to guarantee real sustainable credentials.

In short, pre-conceived ideas need to be updated, eco friendly commercial cleaning can be cheaper with more advanced well researched products, delivering comparable cleaning performance and a sustainable future for us all.
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There are two key “green” standards that are regularly used by product manufacturers “Ecolabel” and “Cradle to Cradle” but how green are they and what do they really mean?

What is Ecolabel?

Ecolabel is a EU government backed labelling scheme primarily for food and consumer items, but is sometimes used for commercial products such as cleaning products. The Ecolabel is a voluntary accreditation available to show that a product meets the EU environmental government regulations.  Companies adopting this standard are either manufacturers, importers, wholesalers, or retailers”.  As an EU standard, with Brexit looming, Ecolabel could become less relevant in the UK?

In recent years, in addition to government schemes like Ecolabel there have been a number of “green” labels all attempting to create the impression that these products are 100% eco-friendly. However, there are significantly varying standards and requirements across these various marks.

How green is Ecolabel?

Industries are slowly becoming aware that environmental concerns must be taken seriously. The Ecolabel is a recognised symbol and this acts as a benefit for the products and manufactures. Yet, a product with the Ecolabel sticker doesn’t have to be 100% green but can have green “elements” or just one element. Typically, this is around the biodegradability of the chemicals and often whether the waste water contains surfactants. Once the Ecolabel is granted the applicant must keep their products up to date and ensue they are taking the responsibility promised on the packaging.

What is Cradle to Cradle?

Cradle to Cradle takes a more holistic approach across the products life-cycle. It’s an independent standard and the ethos of the company is to offer 100% Eco-friendly cleaning products. It aims to ensure an “optimistic agenda for the continuous support around social issues, environmental and economic concerns”. The Cradle to Cradle standard has created five key categories used to highlight all green commercial elements.

Cradle to Cradle Categories

  1. Material Health – Recyclable packaging
  2. Material Reutilization – Using only natural ingredients for the cleaning agents
  3. Renewable Energy and Carbon Management
  4. Water Stewardship -Using water responsibly protecting rivers and streams.
  5. Social Fairness – Exposure of people working with/coming into contact with the products

These five aspects are fundamental parts of the Cradle to Cradle standards and their total requirement ensures all products are carefully and completely considered. One of the most important things to remember is that going green often can save money.

If you want know more about how to adopt more sustainable regimes, why not……

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If you’re still unsure or haven’t taken steps to becoming a greener organisation, you are missing out on some excellent opportunities. Going green is not just a trend, sustainability is important, and it makes uncompromising economic sense. In 2014, Tesco announced that it will reduce emissions from stores and distribution centres by half in 2020 and that it will become a zero-carbon enterprise altogether by 2050. Companies such as Tesco, are not committing to environmental goals out of the goodness of their hearts, the reason for their actions is a simple yet powerful realisation that the environmental and economic footprints are most often aligned. In 2007 M&S started a sustainability initiative that predicted over time would cost them £200m, however by 2012 it had saved them £105m.

Get started on a sustainable path with these 6 simple benefits.

1. Improve Your Brand Image

Why wait? Go green today. Boost your brands image, get noticed and become a recognised green conscious brand. It’s an excellent opportunity for PR and Social Media campaigns. The public and businesses like to connect with organisations who support green values. A sustainable brand gains attraction and helps increase usage and revenue.

2. Build A Community

Going green is an excellent opportunity to build a sense of community around your organisation. Go and get your locals involved, it’s a great way to attract customers to your establishment. Send out newsletters and e-mails to give your customers or visitors a chance to support your green inducements.

3. Safer Working

By using eco-friendly cleaning products, instead of frequently exposing your staff to chemical cleaning solutions, offers greater long term staff protection and shows them you care about them. Making a change to your cleaning chemical usage improves air quality and forms a safer working environment.

4. Increased Productivity

Living a healthier lifestyle increases your productivity, when your staff feel good they work harder and faster. Green products make people feel happier, and a sense of accomplishment is felt when doing something positive for the environment.

5. Be a Thought Leader

When your organisation decides to go green, you set a high standard for others to follow. Becoming sustainable is an excellent opportunity to take the lead. You can introduce new practices and get a head start on your competition. You can begin to separate yourself from others who are in the same industry as you. Thought leadership allows you to educate those in your industry, giving support when needed.

6. Make A Saving

Organisations are always battling with their budget constraints; however, an excellent money- saving tactic is using green cleaning and hygiene products. Green cleaning solutions last longer and make a positive difference to the environment. Going green is a smart strategy and many rewards are often reaped from making this choice.

By now you understand the economic benefits to green cleaning, but if you still need convincing, have a look at our guide to 7 Surprising Business Benefits of Adopting More Sustainable Cleaning Regimes.


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Many cleaning products present themselves as ecologically safe, selling in bulk to large organisations. However, not all products are as comprehensively eco-friendly as we are lead to believe.

Here at Arrow County, we want to show you what it truly means to go green and the benefits to your staff when you do.

Safe for the Environment and Safe for You?

Organisations use products labelled as eco-friendly sometimes unaware that these products possess some of the same harmful chemicals that are in non-eco-friendly products. Frequent usage, and exposure of such chemicals without personal protective equipment (PPE) can carry health risks over a long period.

True sustainability requires manufacturers to take into consideration the complete production cycle, as well as the products’ ingredients. By considering each stage of production carefully, producers can minimise negative impacts on the environment and risks to those coming into regular contact with these cleaning products.

A significant number of eco-friendly labelled cleaner solution producers, have not considered the impacts that their products have on human wellbeing any more than products not marketed as sustainable. However sincere eco-friendly products are not harmful and protect those using them frequently.

Additionally, over the years, green products have sometimes gained a misplaced understanding that “eco-friendly” means expensive, and less effective. These concepts have become difficult to dismiss making it challenging to buy into going eco-friendly.

So, Should You Go Green?

Certainly!

There are products that meet environmental standards to a high degree in a holistic sense. These products conform to higher industry green standards such as the “Cradle to Cradle” standard which is a great way to look out for genuine green and authentically sustainable products. These products do measure and reduce risks to staff exposure over the long term. Ultimately, going green can be cost appropriate and effective for your organisation.

Understanding the differences in varying eco-friendly standards is a must to making sure you protect the environment and your staff.

We will be highlighting these differences between these emerging industry standards in a future blog in a few weeks’ time.





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Essential natural resources are becoming increasingly valuable and are ultimately irreplaceable. Businesses must do everything they can to maximise their sustainability profile and reduce their carbon footprint. These helpful tips will allow your business to evaluate areas where you may be able to improve, and ensure your business runs in the greenest way possible.

  1. Make your meetings green

Make the most of technological advances to communicate quickly and efficiently across different parts of the business. Utilise tools like Skype and conference call facilities to reduce the need to travel for meetings. Keep other daily tasks like taking notes and making bookings online-only to minimise your paper construction.

  1. Target the staff kitchen

There are a number of ways you can reduce the waste and consumption in your staff kitchen. Make sure the dishwasher is full before you switch it on, and make sure appliances like water boilers are switched off overnight. Provide a small compost bin for used teabags and food, and if you provide catering facilities try to source local, fresh meals.

  1. Create a culture of recycling

Recycling paper is often the extent of a business’ recycling policy, but there are so many more opportunities to reduce the amount of waste you send to landfill. Make sure you also recycle ink cartridges, batteries and old mobile phones. Place recycling bins in convenient places across your buildings which your staff and visitors can access easily.

  1. Streamline your cleaning and maintenance operations

There are a variety of ways you can shake up your cleaning and maintenance operations to maximise your sustainability profile. Switching to an eco-friendly cleaning product range which boast chemical-free ingredients, specialised dose control mechanisms and recyclable packaging can make a significant contribution towards your responsibility targets.

  1. Find a new way to commute

Cars making the daily commute to your buildings will produce considerable levels of greenhouse gas emissions. Introduce a carpooling scheme to motivate and enable staff members to share lifts to and from the workplace, and promote public transport and cycling as alternate means of transport for those who live close by.

Keep sustainability in mind throughout the working day and make your staff aware of the importance of eco-friendly business practice. Keeping these principles in mind will help your business to smash its responsibility targets over and over again.

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Arrow County Supplies are delighted to announce that they are the exclusive UK distributors for an award winning new cleaning product QUICK AND EASY that delivers professional cleaning results without compromise with a revolutionary new mobile dosing system that is safe, green, practical and powerful.

We know that many organisations have a strong desire to embrace more sustainable cleaning processes but have become frustrated with the results that they get from green cleaning formulations, but not anymore as Quick and Easy sets new standards in performance, sustainability, user safety as well as productivity.

  • An innovative foam spray head that automatically dilutes the QUICK & EASY concentrated formulas for easy, exact and safe dosing using foam to ensure improved product utilisation with effective contamination reduction, when compared to conventional cleaning sprays.
  • Four powerful and effective QUICK & EASY formulations means that there is one for all main cleaning requirements, and they are quick and easy to swap at the point of use.
  • QUICK & EASY, complies to a new standard of environmental sustainability – Cradle to Cradle. The robust accreditation process only certifies products that are sustainable and all formulations are “Gold Certified”.
  • All ingredients are certified as safe for people and nature, the innovative automatic dilution of the product makes it “CLP free in application”, recognising that it is free from hazardous materials as set out in the EU CLP Regulation on classification, labelling and packaging of substances.
  • The QUICK & EASY belt, combined with a water cartridge that can be refilled anywhere, means this is a portable and powerful system that ensures cleaning professionals are as productive as possible.

As the UK’s exclusive distributors of the QUICK & EASY innovative cleaning solution we are delighted to answer any questions you may have so why not get in touch? For more information, please visit the new QUICK AND EASY website.

 

Apart from the more obvious environmental benefits of adopting an eco-friendly cleaning regime, sustainable services can provide a number of other advantages to your organisation as a whole, including reduced expenditure, improvements to staff wellbeing and brand value. These objectives will provide some useful guidance which will help you to increase the sustainability of your cleaning services systems.

  1. Reduce your transport requirements

It is commonly understood that transporting goods and services has a huge impact upon an organisation’s carbon footprint. A number of variables can be addressed in order to minimise your transport requirements including where you source your products, quantity per carton, and product concentrations.

  1. Choose the right products

It’s essential that you choose products that are designed for sustainability as well as safety. Make sure you work with suppliers that responsibly manage their manufacturing impacts. Try to favour more concentrated products, where applicable, as you will need less of the product per use. Using innovative chemical-free cleaning products like microfiber technology clothes can help reduce the health impact on both cleaning service workers and other building occupants.

  1. Streamline your operations

Make sure you service your cleaning equipment regularly, particularly critical items such as dosing pumps for automated machines to ensure the right amounts of the products are dispensed. Provide environmental awareness training for your employees so they are educated on how to reduce their environmental impact. Ensure your staff are following one set of procedures to maximise task efficiency.

  1. Limit your electricity consumption

Ensure your staff are trained properly to minimise the amount of electricity they need to use when completing cleaning tasks, and make sure electrical resources are only used when truly necessary and cost-effective. If you can, try to provide your cleaning services during daylight hours, as this will mean that the heating and lighting can be switched off overnight.

  1. Minimise your wider environmental impacts

It’s important that you try to reduce your overall energy consumption, to preserve the world’s natural resources, reduce emissions, and minimise pollution. Try to use environmentally friendly products, lessening the impact on water pollution in rivers and seas. Non-biodegradable chemicals take a long time to break down (if at all); this can cause further harm to wildlife and can eventually get into the human food chain. Try to source recyclable products with zero-to-landfill waste.

With these key objectives in mind, switching your organisation’s cleaning services to a more sustainable system needn’t be a daunting or vexing task. Use these points as a starting platform from which to guide your transition towards a more sustainable cleaning regime, and reap the rewards in the long term.

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