DIV17/09: Sustainable Cleaning For Schools (18 May 2017)

Issue Date: 18 May 2017
Ref: DIV17/09

Sustainable Cleaning For Schools

Schools are keen to embrace sustainability into their everyday operations and cleaning is no exception. Many have recognised that sustainable cleaning can reduce energy and water consumption, minimise waste and transportation burdens, and improve safety-in-use while delivering lower overall cost-in-use and creating a more pleasant environment for pupils and staff. But schools are also increasingly incorporating sustainability topics into the school day in lessons, projects and activities across a wide range of subjects. Diversey is helping to bring these two objectives together as the new headline partner of Eco-Schools England.

Cleaning suppliers have met school demands for more sustainable cleaning with a range of innovations. One popular option is to replace traditional bulk and ready-to-use products with highly sustainable ultra-concentrate formats. When used with dosing and dilution control systems, these promote accurate preparation of solutions that support cleaning consistency while eliminating waste, reducing packaging, minimising chemical miles, and delivering lower overall cost-in-use. Despite these benefits, many schools want to go further by using products which demonstrate the very highest levels of environmental responsibility.

Diversey responded with SURE, its new range of 100 per cent plant-based, 100 per cent biodegradable cleaning products. The 18 products in the range cover all routine and daily cleaning requirements in school kitchens, washrooms and personal care. Available in ultra-concentrate formats, each has been formulated to deliver superior professional results while maximising safety and gentleness for people and the environment. In most areas, all daily tasks can be completed using just three or four products.

The entire SURE range is manufactured from environmentally-responsible plant-based ingredients from renewable resources. These are typically derived from by-products of the agri-food industry originating from sugar beet, maize, straw bran, wheat bran and coconut. The products contain no artificial dyes, perfumes, quats, chlorine, phosphates or oxide compounds. They meet typical eco-certification criteria and, where applicable, all are EU Ecolabel certified or have approval pending. Most are non-classified and have been formulated to achieve the lowest hazard classification.

Diversey has collaborated with schools for three decades, working through many legislative changes, to provide highly effective solutions that allow them to do more with less. The company is now building on this strong heritage by becoming headline partner of Eco-Schools England, and with it part of the largest environmental schools programme in the world. The company will offer advice and support on sustainable cleaning and wider sustainability topics to schools that want to achieve and maintain Eco-Schools accreditation. This will include bespoke materials for pupils and staff and online resources available from a dedicated website.

Eco-Schools empowers pupils to make positive change with a highly focused programme that provides a framework for learning and action. Schools follow a simple seven-step process, based around nine core topics, to achieve a sustainability accreditation. In England, the programme is operated by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy. More than 18,000 schools participate and 1,150 of these currently hold the highest level of award, the Eco-Schools Green Flag.

Sustainable cleaning can be linked to almost every topic in the Eco Schools programme. Study plans and classroom discussions around the Energy, Litter, Waste and Water topics could, for example, include information about how sustainable cleaning processes can reduce energy and water consumption, the amount of raw materials used and the waste produced. With the Biodiversity topic, pupils could learn about the ingredients in cleaning products and how manufacturers decide which ones to use. In Transport, they could learn about “chemical miles” and the benefits of smaller pack sizes. The Healthy Living topic could help children understand the link between cleaning and hygiene and protection from infections. In the Global Citizenship topic, children could learn about international sustainability initiatives such as the World Wide Fund for Nature and Soap for Hope that are supported by Diversey.

Supporting Eco-Schools is a natural extension of Diversey’s commitment to sustainability and working with schools and the community. The company will use its long-standing experience in cleaning and hygiene to help schools improve sustainable processes, achieve their Eco-Schools programme objectives and secure a Green Flag Award. It will also work with the Eco-Schools team to help them identify opportunities to develop the programme.