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Integrating sustainability and work optimisation


“In the cleaning industry, the benefits of an impactful sustainability approach extend beyond the usual traditional and more obvious initiatives that touch on day-to-day machine-related operations.”


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May 3, 2024
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 Integrating sustainability and work optimisation

Integrating sustainability and work optimization into the day-to-day operation when using cleaning machines can offer numerous benefits.

  1. Reduced Environmental Impact
    Cleaning machines that use eco-friendly cleaning agents and consume less water and energy can significantly reduce their environmental footprint.
  2. Cost Savings through work optimization
    Efficient cleaning machines can reduce the time and labor required for cleaning tasks, leading to cost savings for businesses.
  3. Improved Indoor Air Quality
    Using cleaning machines with HEPA filters and eco-friendly cleaning solutions can improve indoor air quality by reducing the amount of harmful chemicals and particulates released into the air.
  4. Extended Equipment Lifespan
    Regular and effective cleaning can extend the lifespan of machinery and equipment, reducing the need for frequent replacements.
  5. Enhanced Worker Safety
    Using non-toxic cleaning agents can create a safer working environment for employees by reducing exposure to harmful chemicals.
  6. Increased Productivity
    Automated or mechanized cleaning machines can cover larger areas in less time, allowing employees to focus on other important tasks.
  7. Water Conservation
    Cleaning machines that use water-efficient technologies can help conserve water, which is especially important in regions facing water scarcity.
  8. Waste Reduction
    Some advanced cleaning machines have built-in waste management systems that can sort and recycle waste, reducing the overall waste generated.

In the cleaning industry, the benefits of an impactful sustainability approach extend beyond the usual traditional and more obvious initiatives that touch on day-to-day machine-related operations. Servicing programmes which are cost - efficient can reduce machine repair and maintenance to extend working lifespans of machines and ensure they do not end up in landfill prematurely. 

The cleaning industry is under the microscope to demonstrate its sustainability credentials. Ensuring the efficient use of chemical and water, waste reduction and opting for cleaning machines that consume less resources and produce less harmful emissions, would be some ways to contribute to a better and greener tomorrow.

Organizations looking to optimize their cleaning operations, but are mindful of the sustainability, cost and labor issues, should examine access to incremental efficiency gains across their cleaning responsibilities, including how they maintain or replace current machines, so they continue to perform better for longer before needing to be discarded. It is a key objective to keep machine downtime to a minimum, but if machinery fails, having a strategic back-up plan can help mitigate the impact of down-time and ensure staff continue to be effectively deployed. 

In such instances, it is imperative the machine is repaired without undue delay and, where necessary, replacement assets are adeptly employed.

Annual Maintenance contracts promise the practical benefits of asset replacement without delay and create peace of mind thanks to regular maintenance oversight that drastically improves equipment performance, lifespans and diminishes the possibility of the machines simply being considered of no use and thrown away.

Good contracts also ensure a range of options are continuously supported and they perform as and when expected.  Importantly, such agreements are not exclusive to one manufacturer’s product solutions, but are also flexible to cater for other producers’ equipment.

All machines will eventually come to the end of their working optimization. At that stage, a key sustainability aspect of machinery deployment is what to do with the machine that needs replacing. Cleaning professionals who no longer need their old machine, or wish to opt for a new purchase could, for example, simply hand it back to the manufacturer as part of a take-back initiative.

In any programme designed to support sustainability aims, the device will be carefully inspected and, if necessary, reprocessed. Subsequently, the machine can be used as a high-quality used device and will avoid being sent to landfill. If damage or wear on the machine is too serious, it can be professionally recycled with all recyclable raw materials removed, and the rest disposed of separately.

Water and chemical resources also need to be minimized wherever possible.

When it comes to floor cleaning for example, smart dosing systems offer tangible economic and effective use of both cleaning chemicals and water and help with lessening the overall environmental impact.

And the latest technology available also allows water and detergents to be dosed fully automatically. Depending on the speed of the scrubber dryer the cleaning solution can be applied evenly and highly efficiently. Sustainable and economical cleaning of even large areas is possible without any problems.

In addition to floor cleaning, there are other potential resource areas for sustainability gain. For those wishing to work without chemical cleaning agents, the use of powerful hot water high-pressure cleaners and steam cleaners can be a simple and efficient alternative. With forceful pressure and high temperatures, they remove stubborn dirt and germs.

5Taking a holistic view about all the primary factors - from lifecycle cost, opting for regular servicing and maintenance to support better machine reliability and ongoing performance, as well as optimized resource use - can ensure the cleaning industry will continue to play its part in ensuring a better world for all.

About the author:
Tatjana Ahmed is the Director of Housekeeping at Grand Hyatt, Dubai and the Chairperson of the UAE Housekeepers Association.