How Clean is Your Green?

How Clean is Your Green?

How Clean is Your Green?

While consumers have embraced green cleaning, UK business may still needs convincing.

Given their popularity today, it’s hard to believe that only a few years ago, environmentally friendly cleaning products were more likely to be sold in health food and specialist stores than supermarkets.

It’s also probably true that many early green products were bought more for their environmental credentials rather than their cleaning power. But, the last couple of decades has seen something of a revolution for green cleaning brought about by an increasing focus on environmental issues, Government and European legislation and public opinion. Coupled with significant improvements in their effectiveness, eco-cleaners have enjoyed a massive increase in popularity worldwide. In 2011, a US survey revealed a 20% jump in green cleaning products sales – in just four years.

Whilst consumers may have embraced eco-cleaning, many businesses have opted for recycling and waste management – rather than green cleaning – to entry point into a greener world. There are obvious reasons for this: the cost/benefits are widely recognised, an established recycling industry can support their activities, whilst the recycling bins and boxes are clear, visual evidence of a green strategy.

Until relatively recently, it’s not always been possible to see – or show - the benefits of an environmentally friendly cleaning strategy so clearly. The benefits of using eco-cleaners can be proven, but are far less obvious: lower asthma risks, less polluted water entering the water supply and releasing fewer chemicals into the environment. These are difficult concepts to cost – and they lack the visual impact of recycling bins and boxes spread throughout the organisation.

Consumer attitudes may yet encourage businesses to move towards greener cleaning. In the US, a survey showed that 84% of adults prefer doing business with companies using green cleaning products and practices. This trend is greatest amongst young consumers; almost half of those aged 18 to 34 expressed a strong preference for greener organisations.

Extending an existing green strategy to include cleaning is an obvious progression for many organisations. For smaller companies this may be as simple as using more environmental friendly cleaning products. Larger businesses need a more detailed approach to integrate green cleaning into its wider environmental strategy. Recycling paper, printer ink and toner cartridges whilst continuing to use harsh chemical cleaner is unlikely to meet the environmental standards expected by customers, staff – and increasingly – shareholders.

Any move to greener cleaning practices will mean change; reviewing current cleaning arrangements and introducing new practices to support the new policy.

Many cleaning contractors are now very familiar with green policies and can provide a great deal of useful advice. Contractors accredited to ISO 14000 can be particularly helpful, as they already comply with this environmental standard and most automatically use the most environmentally friendly products, equipment and technologies.

In addition to ISO 14001 accreditation, Aurora is a registered Green Achiever company, further demonstrating its environmental commitments. Aurora uses only equipment, products and solutions which are biodegradable, carbon neutral and as environmentally friendly.