Finding new ways to implement sustainable hygiene practices can help benefit your facility as well as the planet. The public is continuing to become more conscious about the brands they purchase from and prefer facilities that prioritise sustainability. It’s now more important than ever that facility managers address their current sustainable practices. Along with incorporating sustainable practices, occupants also prefer facilities that prioritise health and safety through hygienic practices, says Mark Kirchgasser, vice president of Sales – Away from Home, at Sofidel.

Go touch-free

When people are out on the go, they want a safe and clean place to go. Providing washrooms that prioritise sustainability and hygiene practices can help improve customer satisfaction.

A study found that there are up to 229,000 germs per 6.4516 cm2 on high-touch surfaces in washrooms such as handles of frequently used faucets, as well as 83 bacteria per 6.4516 cm2 on flush handles. Switching to touch-free appliances such as automatic toilets, faucents and soap and paper-towel dispensers is a great way to reduce touchpoints that can allow bacteria to transfer.

This also provides a sustainable alternative as many manufacturers supply soap and paper towels for touchless appliances in bulk. Research has found that 20 companies are the source of 55 percent of the world’s single-use plastic waste, while the world’s top 100 companies account for more than 90 percent. Switching to touch-free appliances eliminates the need for plastic soap pumps, which reduces the amount of single-use plastic as well as the carbon footprint of frequent product shipment and delivery.

Re-evaluate cleaning chemicals

Most commonly used cleaning products contain hazardous chemicals that can damage the environment and end users as well as building occupants.
Sustainable cleaning products are made with ingredients that contain fewer harsh chemicals and safer ingredients, resulting in a truly cleaner facility. Green cleaning products have also been proven to improve air quality within facilities as they don’t emit pollutants into the air that are found in common cleaning products.

Hiring professionals to clean your facility allows them to restock hygiene products on a routine basis and saves your employees time. This helps ensure hygiene measures are being met while also reducing the need to frequently repurchase plastic cleaning supplies, which can be costly and take up inventory space. This results in a regularly maintained facility while benefiting your business and the environment.

Be transparent

It’s important to be transparent with your customers when reporting your business’s sustainability and cleanliness tactics. With the presence of digital technology, companies can be exposed to bending the truth, or even flat-out deceiving customers. This can result in a negative impression that can be difficult to recover from. Consumers value business transparency now more than ever. Eighty five percent of consumers say a business’s history of being transparent makes them more likely to give it a second chance after a bad experience.

This doesn’t mean that businesses can’t benefit from acknowledging their mistakes. Transparency allows the opportunity to make changes that improve business and exceed customers’ preferences. Share how your business plans to make sustainable changes whether it’s product ingredients, manufacturing processes or packaging and shipment procedures. Transparency allows for business growth that shows customers they are valued.

Set your standards

Consumers aren’t the only ones who prefer a sustainably focused facility. Nearly 80 percent of employees find sustainable practices in the workplace to be an important focus. When it comes to cleanliness, a clean workplace has been linked to higher office morale and increased productivity. If your facility has a designated cleaning staff, providing routine training sessions will ensure they are up to date on cleaning standards, using equipment and green cleaning products and are exceeding your facility’s cleaning standards.

Facility managers can also implement small sustainable efforts in the workplace such as recycling bins, reusable utensils in the office kitchen, utilising digital documents over paper documents and encouraging employees to unplug electronics when they’re not in use. Offering sustainable alternatives promotes a healthy work environment that reflects positively on employees and the company’s image.

Protect your facility and the planet

Prioritising the health of occupants who enter your facility while also finding ways to better the planet benefits businesses by showing social responsibility. Implementing changes, big or small, can create a positive impact that shows customers that businesses are paying attention to them and are striving to make a difference in their communities.