Sustainable Cleaning For Professionals
Guidance to help buyers and users of professional cleaning products to clean sustainably as well as safely.
This guidance was developed in collaboration with DEFRA and the UK Chemicals Stakeholder Forum by a joint task force with our sister trade association BACS (British Association for Chemical Specialities).
Three key steps to Sustainable Professional Cleaning
Step 1 – choose products that are designed for sustainability as well as safety.
Require the manufacturer to select and formulate ingredients not only to ensure safety but to optimize the sustainability of the finished product when properly and diligently used.
- The manufacturer should follow the detailed guidance provided on selecting ingredients so that products are safe for people and the environment. This was reviewed by the government Advisory Committee on Hazardous Substances and contains links to the risk assessments and other sources that underpin the advice
- Avoid specifying other ingredient choices for your supplier as these are unlikely to have any significant benefit and may seriously undermine sustainability, such as by reducing the effectiveness of the product.
Step 2 – work with suppliers so that they responsibly manage their manufacturing impacts.
Challenge your supplier for evidence that they have effective control of impacts during the manufacturing phase. Key areas include:
- Minimising raw material and finished product wastage during manufacture.
- Minimising consumption of energy and water.
- Minimising emissions to sewer and atmosphere and, in particular, controlling emissions of hazardous substances to avoid risk to people or the environment.
- Minimising packaging waste and recycling used packaging.
- Operating an Environmental Management System.
- Operating procedures to prevent accidental emissions.
- Operating Occupational Health & Safety systems to protect staff.
Step 3 – minimise the environmental impacts that arise during your cleaning operations.
Reduce your consumption of product, packaging and energy by buying effective products and using them efficiently to minimise wastage and disposal to landfill.
- Define what task the cleaning products will be used for and buy products which deliver the required performance.
- Analyse and reduce rework rates. First time cleaning is essential to minimise waste, particularly in energy intensive operations such as machine dishwashing.
- Favour more concentrated products, where applicable.
- Dilute and use products according to the manufacturer’s instructions using accurate dosing systems where appropriate.
- Service cleaning equipment regularly, particularly critical items such as dosing pumps for automated machines.
- Train staff, for example using BICSc courses. Offer instructions in a choice of languages where appropriate.