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Soapbox: Green cleaning: protecting our environment
by Ken Wainwright, of the National Carpet Cleaners Association
"In our environmentally conscious world, ecological issues are becoming an everyday fact of life. Scientists are revealing greater risks and looming disasters to both ourselves and our planet, and at the same time developing new products and initiatives to minimise mankind's negative environmental impact.
The media has a significant role to play in the 'green' debate, informing and educating the public about the problems we face and suggesting ways in which we can become more 'eco-friendly'.
Most of our customers have now acquired a sound understanding of the problems facing our planet and, as business people, we also have a part to play.
The 'green' issue is something that the cleaning industry has seriously considered, and many procedures and regulations are now in place to combat our negative impact on the environment.
If you talk to the NCCA Corporate Member companies, you will find that most who supply chemicals will offer products that are greener and friendlier than their traditional cleaning solutions.
It is of little commercial benefit, however, to start using greener solutions and techniques if we don't tell our customers and prospects about it. We need to develop and hone these 'greener' products and systems so that we can sell our superior service.
I have spoken to quite a few NCCA Members who have promoted their businesses using 'eco-friendliness' as a major selling point, and they've all said that this has allowed them to market to a wider audience and, ultimately, gain more customers.
Something which is not often discussed in our industry, and which is a significant part of the 'green' debate, is the carbon issue. Everything from the manufacture of equipment and its transportation, right through to its end use, all carries a carbon cost.
With a little thought and planning we can all reduce our carbon footprint.
Have you ever considered planning your day so that you keep to just one geographical area? It will save you time, money and reduce your costs and carbon footprint. When it comes to cleaning, are you using your chemicals at the right temperature? Heating water - whoever pays the bill, is costly and less environmentally friendly. Just remember that proper execution of all the preparatory procedures of ANY cleaning system will allow a quicker, better, more efficient clean.
Many NCCA members have now adapted to 'green' concerns and are already offering services with much more consideration to the environment; including use of chemicals manufactured from sustainable resources, more efficient equipment with reduced water and energy consumption, cold water processes saving energy on heating and more economical transport and transit solutions.
Whether or not you feel that the ecological and green issues are justified, as business people you have the opportunity to provide your services in a way that the marketplace will approve of. If that gives you an edge over the competition, then all the better."
7th January 2016