Within the last decade, sustainability and ‘going green’ have become the two of the most significant factors faced by the cleaning industry today.
In the early part of the 2010s, the first push towards sustainability and more eco-friendly standards began showing in the cleaning sector. Then with the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report released in 2018, highlighting the importance of reducing the world’s greenhouse gas emission by about half by 2030, what quickly became known as “12-year deadline” pushed this topic further into focus.
In this blog, we take a look into how technology has helped tackle these hurdles within the cleaning sector and how it can help cleaning businesses cut costs while helping the planet.
The Internet of Things
The internet – or more specifically the internet of things (IoT) – has been a big influencer in the push to become green for many industries, with cleaning being no exception. Thanks to the internet, companies can now keep a record of their stock, waste and other elements of business without needing to be there in person – helping to save time, energy and resources.
For example, Enevo, a waste solutions business, originating from Finland, has helped to revolutionise the industrial waste industry and have grown into an international phenomenon with clients such as McDonald’s and Newcastle City Council. Using inbuilt sensors within industrial bins, Enevo tracks the waste levels of the bins and send a lorry to empty the contents only when it is full. This approach has helped to decrease the costs of a Nottingham McDonalds’ branch by 12% and saw a 50% increase in recycling diversions.
Reducing travel is just one of the ways the IoT can help your business. With many more advantages such as increasing efficiency and productivity, the IoT is becoming a pillar of the cleaning industry.
Although the IoT helps considerably in the fight towards recycling, by going paperless, your company can benefit from much more, such as cost savings, boost in productivity and increased security.
It is estimated that the average cost of paper processes to a company with less than 50 employees is nearly £15,000! Going digital removes the need to replace paper, cartridges and machines while also saving time for staff members whose tasks can now be automated through technology. For example, no longer are paper time sheets required when staff can quickly clock in using an app on their mobile phone, such as Unique IQ’s IQ:timecard.
Removing paper helps to reduce the risk of human error, as no longer is a manual input required for allocated tasks. Instead, apps such as IQ:timecard can be used by office staff to set specific tasks for their field workers to access via their mobile app – keeping everyone up to date and data input accurate.
GDPR remains a priority for all UK businesses, with as many as 37% estimated to be not currently meeting the necessary standards. Through reducing the amount of hard printed documents being left in printers, on someone’s desk, in bags which could be lost or stolen, or through not being shredded correctly, the use of digital-only documentation removes all of these risks while helping to save the environment one print off at a time.
Out with the old, in with the new
Thanks to technology, we have seen a positive impact within the workplace with new machines, tools and alternative options to manual processing, but it has also helped to change the products we use. Through the use of technology, the products used within the cleaning sector have become more effective at producing high-quality results, without the use of bleach or other chemicals that have proven to be a risk to the environment.
For example, the company Ecover, a manufacturer of laundry detergents based in the UK use recycled plastics and natural ingredients to reduce its carbon footprint to almost zero.
With changes already in place such as built-in sensors for soap dispensers and recycling bins across the country, the cleaning industry has already made significant changes, with more yet to come.
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