Sustainable Cleaning for the New School Year

School children are often found at the forefront of new ways of looking at the world. Nowhere is this truer at the moment than with sustainability and the environment: some of the biggest campaigns are being inspired by a new generation of vocal leaders still in their teens. These campaigns, and the greater awareness they produce, are driving demands from pupils for schools to operate with greater sustainability, including in cleaning and building care.

Diversey’s SURE range of innovative range of plant-based, 100 per cent biodegradable cleaning products can help schools reduce the environmental impact of their operations. They can be introduced quickly and easily to replace existing products which means schools can start making a real and demonstrable difference at the beginning of the new year in September. 

Products in the SURE range cover all routine and daily cleaning requirements in kitchens and washrooms including personal care. Each has been formulated to deliver superior professional results while maximising safety and gentleness for people and the environment. They meet typical eco-certification criteria and where applicable are all EU Ecolabel certified or have approval pending.

The entire SURE range is manufactured from environmentally-responsible plant-based ingredients from renewable resources. These ingredients are typically derived from by-products of the agri-food industry. They contain no artificial dyes, perfumes, quats, chlorine, phosphates or oxide compounds. Using ingredients like this means that SURE products generally have lower safety classifications than conventional alternatives. This helps make them safer for cleaning teams and bystanders, ideal in schools and similar organisations which have a very high duty of care. 

Diversey enhances the sustainability of the range even further by offering many SURE products in its ultra-concentrate platforms including SmartDose and QuattroSelect. Water is only added at the point of use which means smaller packs are required to support the same cleaning operation. This reduces packaging requirements as well as minimising transport, handling, storage and recycling burdens.

SURE offers schools a simple and effective way to introduce cleaning products with proven and demonstrable sustainability credentials. Adopting these products can also allow schools to discuss their decision in the classroom as part of their wider curriculum covering sustainability, social responsibility and hygiene.

To find out more about the SURE range, please visit the dedicated website or download the brochure below.

Our New Sustainability Report

Last week we published our 15th Sustainability Report. This latest edition is the first since we announced our new ‘Facilitators for Life’ strategy. It sets the baseline for our 12 aggressive sustainability targets.

The issues surrounding, and understanding of, sustainability have come a long way. Less than 20 years ago, sustainability was for many a vague outline of something that today is clearly top of mind with businesses across the globe. Rising temperatures, polluted air, plastic waste in oceans, more extreme weather, resource scarcity, population growth, and many other issues are tell-tale signs of a looming crisis.

Mark Burgess, our Chief Executive Officer, says: “At Diversey, we take these issues seriously. What’s more, we believe that sustainability makes good business sense. We embrace the view that at its core sustainability equates to the deliberate, ongoing reduction of waste. Purging waste from our operations and our customers’ is a top priority, one we pursue deliberately,
every day.”

The Sustainability Report contains more information about our 12 sustainability targets across three key areas:

  • Improve the Environment
  • Protect and Care for People
  • Innovate Sustainable Solutions

It also includes examples of sustainability initiatives we have developed with our customers, how our solutions help customers meet their own sustainability objectives, and the latest energy, water and waste-saving innovations across our portfolio.

You can download the report by clicking on the link below.

Sustainable Summer School Floorcare

Floorcare comes high up the list of summer maintenance tasks in schools and colleges because the long holiday allows enough time to work on large areas without interruptions. Educational facilities increasingly want to reduce reliance on single-use plastics and chemicals as part of their overall sustainability objectives and to meet the expectation of their students. Working without chemicals simplifies cleaning processes, creates a healthier environment for students, staff and cleaners, and reduces routine machine maintenance burdens. Twister by Diversey floorcare pads meet these objectives and offer a highly effective, economical and sustainable alternative to traditional equipment.

Hard floors in schools and colleges are made from a wide range of materials such as vinyl, composites, linoleum, terrazzo, stone, tile and even concrete. These all take a battering during the school year and each day they must deal with a constant barrage of shoes, wheels, desks and chairs and harmful contaminants. Stresses like these can quickly cause wear and premature damage without proper floor care maintenance. Protecting floors throughout their lifetime can pose a real challenge. Yet, school administrators expect a variety of floor surfaces to hold up over time and withstand the impact of day-to-day school activities. 

It is imperative to understand that every type of flooring material requires regular maintenance to ensure longevity. The ideal floor care recipe is a combination of daily cleaning and scheduled restorative cleaning, typically undertaken during the long summer break in schools and colleges. It’s important to find the right products, machines and tools that promote efficiency, cost savings and cleaning consistency.

Twister is a complete set of colour-coded floorcare pads for hard floors.

Twister is an innovative set of colour-coded floor care pads. They can be used with water alone on most types of hard floor, including those found in schools and colleges, for routine and daily cleaning as well as periodic maintenance. Used this way the pads reduce chemical usage by 100%, floor pad costs by 66%, and weight of consumables by 98% (which also saves transport and handling) compared with traditional products.

The pads are ideally used with Diversey’s advanced TASKI swingo scrubber driers or rotary-disc machines but they can, in fact, be used with machines from most leading manufacturers.

The pads are made from recycled plastics impregnated with billions of microscopic diamonds on the working side. Pads for different applications and types of floor are manufactured by changing the size and combination of the microscopic diamonds. The pads last three times longer than traditional products and significantly reduce the need for periodic maintenance. They are generally less abrasive than corresponding conventional alternatives which helps to protect the floor while giving a smoother and improved appearance. The diamond impregnated side of the pad is coloured and works as a wear indicator.

Twister pads are ideally used with TASKI scrubber driers and rotary disc machines.

Many users find that regular use of Twister pads reduces and even removes the need for periodic maintenance. However, when this is required selecting the right pads from the range can provide the additional abrasion to remove existing finishes and deposits from the floor. Once these residues have been removed, switching to less abrasive pads from the range will – with regular use – maintain a micro-polished surface that is more resistant to soiling. This helps to make ongoing daily cleaning simpler and quicker for hard-pressed school and college cleaning teams.

To find out more about Twister pads, please download the brochure and presentation below.

Refreshing and Sustainable Room Care

Diversey’s updated Room Care Pur-Eco range for hotels includes a complete set of products with EU Ecolabel certification covering all daily cleaning tasks. Devised with help from housekeeping professionals, the range comprises Pur-Eco formulations for daily cleaning that are at least as effective in terms of performance and fragrance as the standard Room Care range used by the majority of large UK and global hotel groups.

The range has been reimagined with the addition of key products designed to enable a full housekeeping solution, including: a lactic acid-based cleaner, disinfectant, descaler and deodoriser in a single ultra-concentrate product for guest bathrooms; heavy-duty ultra-concentrate toilet bowl cleaner that is ideal for hard water areas; Pur-Eco cream cleaner; and grout cleaner for mould and mildew.

Research conducted by Diversey in partnership with Hotelschool the Hague revealed 41 per cent of guests said cleanliness is the most important factor when recommending a hotel. The cleanliness of bathrooms and bedrooms influence guests the most when they form their all-important first impression. The improved Room Care products help housekeeping teams make the right impression and keep these and every critical area of their hotels clean and fresh.

Improved sustainability was another key objective for the reformulated Room Care range. By replacing ready-to-use product with ultra-concentrate pouches in Diversey’s DQFM or Divermite dilution control systems, where water is added at the point of use rather than the place of manufacture, facilities can reduce the amount of plastic used by more than one kilogramme per room and greenhouse gas emissions by more than 90%.

Odour plays a significant role in perceptions of cleanliness and the Room Care range meets this challenge in three major ways. First, innovative formulations with unique active ingredients ensure areas are cleaned and potential sources of odours are removed effectively. Room Care R5 & R5.1 incorporate Diversey’s patented Odour Neutralising Technology (ONT) to break down organic residues and eliminate the food source for bacteria that cause malodours. Second, the choice of two latest-generation fragrances with high levels of perfume allow the hotel to personalise their guests’ experience. Finally, to remove stubborn and lingering odours, the new Good Sense aroma diffuser can remove even the hardest to kill odours like food smells and smoke and refresh a room in just 30 minutes while other rooms are being cleaned. This layered approach to fragrance helps to create the right first impression and remove evidence of previous guests.

The Room Care range also offers excellent cost-in-use through the use of innovative formulations with excellent dilution rates. One case of Room Care R1 Plus Pur-Eco, for example, can produce the equivalent of 200 ready-to-use trigger bottles. This reduces overall costs but also minimises storage, transport and handling burdens. The DQFM system ensures solutions are prepared accurately to reduce wastage and cut costs. Consistent solution preparation also helps ensure cleaning is completed correctly first time, with no need for time-consuming and expensive repeats.

Studies conducted by Diversey with leading major hotel groups suggest Room Care Pur Eco ultra-concentrates used with standard set of TASKI’s Nordic Swan-certified housekeeping tools can, after suitable training, reduce the time spent cleaning a room by one minute in a budget hotel and up to five minutes in a luxury hotel. This makes team members more productive so that they can clean more rooms each day – up to eight hours are saved for every 100 rooms cleaned. Alternatively, housekeepers can use the time saved to focus on additional detail cleaning that is noticed and appreciated by guests.

Diversey supports the new Room Care range with its Guest Training Programme which comprises comprehensive training videos for each housekeeping task with a set of training aids, user guides, wall charts, videos, safety sheets and other documentation. Few, if any, other major suppliers can offer this level of support for their products.

Reducing Plastics for Room Care

Sustainability has emerged as one of the biggest issues facing society. Hotels are playing their part by making their operations more sustainable and demonstrating progress to their guests. This is important because industry research has shown that three of the biggest sustainability factors that influence guest satisfaction are when the hotel:

  • uses sustainable products and supplies
  • employs water-saving devices in public spaces and guest rooms
  • has a recycling policy

One of the simplest ways to promote sustainability in housekeeping is to replace traditional ready-to-use and bulk chemical products with ultra-concentrates in conjunction with a suitable dosing or dilution control system. With these systems, water is only added at the point of use, rather than the place of manufacture, which leads to a number of sustainability benefits.

For hotels, Diversey offers its ultra-concentrate room care ranges with the Divermite dosing control and DQFM dilution control systems. Products are supplied in self-contained pouches that are placed in a wall-mounted unit. With Divermite, pushing a button on the unit dispenses a predetermined amount of product into a spray bottle or bucket containing water. DQFM mixes the product and water automatically. Each pouch contains more active cleaning product than a similarly sized traditional alternative. Another way of looking at this is that fewer pouches are needed to support a housekeeping team’s weekly, monthly or yearly cleaning requirements.

The first result of this is a reduction in plastics consumption. Depending on the product and system used, ultra-concentrates can reduce packaging material by up to 98% compared to ready-to-use products. One pouch of DQFM ultra-concentrate can replace around 280 ready-to-use products for the same job. This saves over 40kg of plastics that no longer needs to be manufactured, transported, stored or recycled. In a typical hotel using our latest systems, our trials showed that this would save around one kilogramme of plastics per room per year. On top of this there is a 98% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions associated with production and the supply chain.

The second advantage of using ultra-concentrates is cleaning consistency. We found people overuse chemicals by six times the recommended dilution rate when using open ‘glug-glug’ containers. With ultra-concentrates, solutions are prepared simply, quickly and accurately and there is no wastage of water or product, which reduces costs. Preparing solutions to the manufacturer’s specification in this way ensures ideal cleaning performance. There is no need for time-consuming and expensive repeat cleaning if solutions are too weak or additional rinsing and wiping if they are too strong. Water and product consumption is reduced and cleaning is faster and better.

With Diversey’s latest systems all of the packaging is recyclable. That makes it much easier for hotels to adopt a recycling policy and tell their guests about it. Manufacturers are constantly improving designs to make packs easier to recycle. However, recycling is dependent on local infrastructure to collect, sort, and recover packaging materials. These localised limitations mean no manufacturer can guarantee its packaging materials will be recycled everywhere.

All of these benefits are enhanced even further when the product itself is formulated and manufactured to meet the highest sustainability standards. All of our products are designed and manufactured to support improvements in sustainability. This includes making the product safer and simpler to use, reducing the amount of energy or water it consumes, reducing associated CO2 emissions, better packaging design and reduced raw materials use, and the ability to recycle more easily after use.

We were the first commercial cleaning product supplier to sign the voluntary, independently certified AISE Charter for Sustainable Cleaning. This demonstrates high levels of sustainability within our own operations as well as the products we make. Many of our formulations – including our latest products for housekeepers – are certified to international EU Ecolabel sustainability standard.

Manufacturers and hotel groups often work together to devise more sustainable processes. Many are adopting lifecycle thinking into their analysis to help minimise potential negative impacts associated with packaging. This includes utilising sustainability scorecards or similar techniques that identify opportunities to improve packaging during material selection, manufacturing, use, and eventual recycling.

Reducing Reliance on Plastics

One of the biggest sustainability talking points over the past year has been the use of plastics in packaging. The cleaning industry is not immune to these discussions but there are areas where we can help reduce the use and impact of plastics.

Reducing Use: smaller packs use less plastics and other materials. Adopting ultra concentrates – and adding water at the point of use – can reduce overall plastics consumption. Depending on the system used this can reduce packaging material by up to 98.5% compared to ready-to-use products. For example, one container of a market-leading ultra-concentrate can replace around 280 ready-to-use products for the same job. This saves over 40kg of plastics that no longer needs to be manufactured, transported, stored or recycled.

Reduced Wastage: closed-loop ultra-concentrate dosing and dilution systems greatly reduce chemical and packaging waste by preventing chemical over-use. Diversey found users overuse chemicals by six times the recommended dilution rate when using open ‘glug-glug’ containers.
Recycling: much of the plastics in cleaning product packaging can be recycled or reused. Manufacturers are constantly improving designs to make packs easier to recycle. However, recycling is dependent on local infrastructure to collect, sort, and recover packaging materials. These localised limitations mean no manufacturer can guarantee its packaging materials will be recycled everywhere.

Raw Materials: while desirable, it is often impractical to use recycled plastics for packaging because the standard and quality of the materials being used is difficult to guarantee and can be inconsistent. Using new or “virgin” plastics helps manufacturers maintain the quality and consistency to meet regulatory requirements for air transport or particular applications. Nevertheless, packaging made this way can itself often be recycled.

Progressive manufacturers – and many end user organisations – are adopting lifecycle thinking into their businesses to help minimise potential negative impacts associated with packaging. This includes utilising sustainability scorecards or similar techniques that identify opportunities to improve packaging during material selection, manufacturing, use, and eventual recycling.

The use of plastics is part of the wider sustainability trend that also includes saving water, conserving energy and preventing waste. None of these can be considered in isolation and we will be looking at some of these in future posts.

Making A Big Noise About Quiet Vacuums

Have you heard about the latest TASKI aero vacuum cleaners? We’ve been shouting about the TASKI AERO tub and TASKI AERO BACKPACK models online and in print since we launched them. But what makes these advanced machines special is not the noise we’re making but how quiet they are when you’re using them. In fact, we reckon the TASKI AERO tub vacuum is the quietest and most energy-efficient machine currently available on the professional cleaning market.

The four models in the range produce only 53dB(A) of sound and utilise just 585W of electrical power in standard model yet produce as much cleaning suction as machines rated at 1000W or more. In “eco” mode they produce just 50dB(A) and consume a mere 295W. On energy savings alone, they can pay for themselves in under three years.

The TASKI AERO models meet the stringent vacuum cleaner sound and energy level requirements covered by EU Regulations EU665/2013 and EU666/2013 that came into force in September 2017. These restrict vacuums manufactured or sold in the EU to a maximum 900W power rating and maximum 80dB(A) sound level and set additional standards for labelling and performance.

This reduction in sound levels is significant. Each 10dB reduction in sound level halves the loudness we perceive. That means that in its quietest eco mode (50dB) the TASKI AERO will sound almost eight times quieter than a machine that only just beats the 80dB limit of the new regulations. This is because 30dB is three times 10, so the sound level is halved three times (ie 1/2×1/2×1/2 = 1/8). That’s much, much quieter we think you’ll agree.

How did we do it? The engineers at TASKI came up with a revolutionary design that ensures the maximum amount of air is used to create the all-important suction at the cleaning head. By redesigning the machine’s internal airways, they eliminated the obstructions, constrictions and potential points of leakage that reduce efficiency and produce unnecessary noise. Adding newly-designed components including an ultra-efficient electric motor further boosted efficiency and cut noise. We call this combination of patented designs and components “whisper technology”.

The reduction in energy consumption is also significant. The TASKI AERO vacuums consume less than a third of the energy of previous-generation models. That means in typical professional settings they will consume around £30 less electricity a year than older and conventional machines. In other words, a TASKI AERO will pay for itself in less than three years – that’s the most competitive total cost of ownership package available.

Our new TASKI AERO BACKPACK vacuum cleaner offers similar noise and energy reduction benefits with the additional convenience of being carried comfortably as a portable electric model. For the ultimate in agility and convenience it is also available in a battery powered version. Its unique 3-in-1 capability allows it to be used as a backpack vacuum, tub vacuum or as a blower.

The compact portable design makes the TASKI AERO BP ideal for cleaning areas that are difficult to access with a conventional equipment. These include busy entrances and congested schools, office buildings or public transport. The battery model offers ultimate performance in high circulation areas, or anywhere the presence of the public makes safety a priority, because there are no trailing power leads.

It is among the lightest backpack vacuums while the ultra-slim profile and high-quality rucksack material make it extremely comfortable to carry. The near-perfect weight distribution across the user’s back ensures maximum comfort. The overall weight of the electric version is just 4.7kg, while the battery version barely exceeds this at 5.3kg.

The TASKI AERO and TASKI AERO BACKPACK vacuums are just part of the extensive TASKI range that also includes the newly redesigned TASKI ensign upright models which, like our other vacuums, all comply with the latest EU standards. To find out more about these and all other floor cleaning machines and accessories, download the new TASKI catalogue.

Sustainable Hand Hygiene

Although food safety will be a priority, businesses serving food face many other regulatory and market-driven pressures, not least to adopt processes that are more sustainable. Choosing the right kitchen hygiene products can contribute to both areas.

Food safety is always critical. The majority of food-related illnesses are caused by bacteria. According to the Food Standards Agency, campylobacter causes the most cases – over 250,000 a year – of food poisoning in the UK with E.coli and salmonella also affecting large numbers. Each of these causes unnecessary suffering as well as disruption and loss of reputation to any business whose staff or customers become ill. Listeria monocytogenes causes the most food poisoning deaths although the numbers are very small. Around 40% of all food poisoning outbreaks are the result of poor hand hygiene and cross contamination.

The average person’s hands can carry more than 3000 different types of bacteria and about 100,000 can live on each square centimetre of skin. Many of these are completely harmless but just a few of the wrong type can quickly lead to illness. One bacterium can multiply to over four million in eight hours, so it is clear that keeping hands clean is critical to preventing the spread of infections.

We have known this for a long time and all learn as children to wash our hands before eating and after going to the toilet. Despite this it seems many people continue to ignore this most basic act of personal hygiene.

Hand hygiene products for food service need to be effective yet gentle because they will be used frequently during the day. Modern formulations incorporate highly effective biocidal ingredients as well as emollients that help preserve the skin’s natural protective barrier and keep hands soft. They should not include perfumes to avoid tainting food. Leading suppliers offer a choice and are able to recommend the best option for any particular setting.

Another key issue facing food service businesses is to make their operations more sustainable by using less water, energy and cleaning products. There are lots of ways of doing this without compromising the quality of the food or the safety of customers and staff. Replacing conventional cleaning warewashing and laundry products with innovative formulations that are effective at lower temperatures can be a simple first step.

A further option is to replace ready-to-use or traditional bulk products with ultra-concentrates. Used with simple and convenient wall-mounted or portable dosing and dilution control equipment, ultra concentrates support sustainability by enabling safe, simple and consistent high-performance cleaning while minimising wastage, packaging and chemical miles. Products available as ultra-concentrates cover all key kitchen hygiene tasks including hand hygiene.

Recently, cleaning product suppliers have devised novel formulations that utilise environmentally-friendly ingredients to provide further choices to customers who want to demonstrate the highest levels of environmental responsibility. These are typically derived from plant-based renewable resources such as by-products originating from sugar beet, maize and other common foodstuffs. When products like these are available in ultra-concentrate formulations they provide an additional sustainability benefit.

We’ve Got Steam Heat

Diversey is offering visitors to the forthcoming HCA Forum (11-12 April, Celtic Manor, South Wales) a chance to win one of its advanced steam cleaning machines. All visitors need to do is call in to our stand for a chance to win.

Using steam for floorcare and other cleaning tasks has become popular in recent years. It offers cleaning teams a different choice that is simple to use and highly effective at removing dirt and grime without using chemicals. Steam also kills bacteria and other microbes that can cause illnesses and infections. Floors generally dry more quickly than with traditional mopping because less water is used on any given area. All of these reasons make steam cleaning a useful option in busy kitchens in hospitals and care homes. 

Diversey offers five steam cleaning machines in conjunction with specialist manufacturer Matrix Cleaning Systems to provide healthcare, food service and building care customers enhanced cleaning, hygiene and infection prevention capabilities in demanding environments. The machines are available exclusively in the UK and Ireland and are offered by Diversey alongside its range of advanced TASKI floorcare equipment.

Steam is highly effective when cleaning many different hard and porous surfaces and is ideal for periodic and deep cleaning where users want to refurbish and transform the appearance of their facilities. Adding these class-leading machines to our floorcare portfolio to complement the unrivalled capabilities of our TASKI floorcare range extends our ability to support our customers with a total solution from a single source.

The range comprises five compact and lightweight models offering different capabilities to meet demand in a variety of applications. The two simplest machines are steam-only with a choice of models delivering 4.5 (Model SO4) or 8 (SO8) bar pressure.

One of the mid-range machines (SD4) incorporates a chemical delivery system to accelerate the removal of ground-in grease and grime. This model can be used with routine and problem-solver products from the extensive Diversey range including formulations to remove chewing gum and mould from tile grout. The other mid-range machine (SV4) incorporates a vacuum pick-up that removes condensate and debris to leave the working area clean and dry. Its 12 litre collection tank can double-up as a wet pick up during emergencies to maximise the machine’s utility and save storage space by avoiding the need for additional equipment.

The top-of-the-range SDV8 model combines high pressure steam, detergent and vacuum functions in a single unit and is ideal for the toughest and most demanding applications.

The machines are designed for simple and easy use and manufactured in the UK by steam cleaning specialist Matrix Cleaning Systems. The operator simply fills the machine, plugs it into a convenient power socket and waits just a few minutes for the water to heat up. A continuous water fill feature allows the machine to be topped up at any time. This promotes safety for the operator and reduces the time spent waiting for steam so that more time is spent on productive working. Generous cable and hose lengths ensure operators can easily access difficult areas to optimise the use of the comprehensive accessory set supplied with each machine.

The use of high quality materials and robust construction promotes machine durability for life-long reliability. The models are Diversey-branded and exclusively finished in the same distinctive orange colour as the company’s TASKI machines.

Steam is proven to work across numerous applications but is especially suitable for healthcare, hospitality, food service and building service contractors. It is ideal for intricate and detailed surfaces such as edges, vertical surfaces and grouting in tiled areas that are difficult to clean with other tools and larger equipment.

It is also suitable for many porous materials, such as bedding and upholstery, where it not only cleans and refreshes but will also kill bacteria and micro-organisms including dust mites. The minimal residue left behind after steam cleaning can be removed using microfibre or a vacuum cleaner. In this way the bacteria will not be able to duplicate and the surface will be instantly and hygienically clean.

Don’t forget, for a chance to win one of Diversey’s steam cleaners you’ll need to visit our stand at the forthcoming HCA Forum at the Celtic Manor on 11-12 April.