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.