Many companies consider reducing their environmental impact as an integral goal of their business and for several years have been applying environmentally conscious practices as a result. However, despite the increased awareness and desire to ‘go green’ there is still a surprising amount which could be being done.
For example, in the hospitality industry alone there is still a high volume of unnecessary waste to landfill generated as facilities managers are not doing everything they can to reduce their establishment’s carbon footprint.
Mike Frost, the Managing Director of Pasture Naturals, is keen to promote further change in the sector and help organisations be more environmentally sustainable and he believes there is one area which is often forgotten about in the journey to become a more eco-friendly business which involves reviewing the washroom and bathroom product offering.
“All businesses should be doing all they can to reduce their carbon footprint in order to help reach the Government’s carbon plan to cut the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 (1),” says Mike. “Now there are many incentives in place which make reducing your company’s carbon footprint all the more appealing, which includes saving money, improving the work environment for your employees, gaining more tax credits and above all improving the reputation of your business.
“However, while many businesses are making changes and moving forwards, many are still lagging behind when it comes to improving their environmental credentials. While there are some great efficiency examples out there in many companies, such as the increasing use of water saving, lighting initiatives and the towel re-use schemes in hotels, there are still areas which are simply not explored, which could not only save businesses a lot of money, but could also reduce the amount of waste they are producing and sending to landfill.
“Very few businesses, particularly in the hospitality industry, have explored the benefits which reviewing their bathroom and washroom products on offer could have. A simple step, which is often overlooked, is to consider the volume of the product being purchased, against the amount of packaging waste this will in turn create. Wherever possible, businesses (and indeed individuals) should always opt for large re-fill containers to limit the amount they are throwing away. Research has shown that refilling smaller product bottles from larger dispensers can help save of up to 98% on packaging and 91% ml of product per year (2).
“Washroom products can also be designed in a way which help users to consume less, either through improved performance, more reliable/controlled dispensing methods, or both. Generally, if less product is consumed, there is less waste to manage and fewer resources are needed during manufacturing and distribution to deliver on customer needs. In practical terms, there is not only less packaging waste, but also less product waste which means fewer natural resources are needed to complete everyday tasks (3), which can only be a good thing for the environment.
“But all too often product choice is driven by unit cost and ensuring you deliver against the bottom line. It is rarely given a second thought, which can lead to products being provided which do not reflect the quality of the establishment they are in, consequently doing little in the way of enhancing a company’s reputation.
“The product offering plays a big part in maintaining a business’s image and should always reflect the quality of the establishment it is in. After all, away from home products are one of the most important things people look for when visiting any establishment. Research from Initial Washroom Hygiene has revealed that the quality of washroom facilities can directly impact the profitability of restaurants, hotels, bars and retail venues (4); and the same can surely be said for any type of business.
“It is often thought that luxury products, which reflect the quality of an establishment and also help to reduce the amount of waste which is sent to landfill have to come at a high price tag, but this is not the case. There are products available which offer luxury as well as a reduced environmental impact, saving wasted product and packaging, while improving bottom line performance. However, when completing orders for their washroom and bathroom products many facilities managers do not review their offering, simply out of a force of habit, and are not aware of the savings which could be made if they were to change their supplier.
“It is important for facilities managers to look favourably upon suppliers who demonstrate a commitment to improving their own environmental goals, whether this is through reducing water and energy use, or reducing the generation of waste and the amount sent to landfill. When choosing products for any establishment’s washroom, it is important to understand the environmental impact they could have.
“While we have seen companies become more and more aware of their environmental impact over the last few years, it is clear there are areas which are still overlooked. All areas of a business should be reviewed in an attempt to make a significant saving and to achieve a global goal of reducing the UK’s carbon emissions. Reviewing bathroom and washroom products is a very simple, but effective, change to make and one which should be acted upon to improve the viability of any business.”
SOURCE: THE CLE@NZINE