Issue Date: 20 November 2019
Simple Steps To Sustainable Energy Savings
Gary Bradburne, Application Specialist, Diversey, UK & Ireland
Reducing energy consumption is often a key objective when improving the sustainability of cleaning operations. Using less energy saves money but also protects valuable resources and reduces CO2 emissions associated with burning fossil fuels in power stations or heating water on-site. There are some simple but effective ways to reduce energy consumption.
Choose the right product for the specific task. This reduces the need for repeat cleaning which avoids additional water heating and electrical equipment running costs let alone savings in time and product consumption.
Switch to cleaning products that work at lower temperatures. Alternative low temperature formulations are available for key tasks such as general cleaning, floorcare and laundry (including disinfection) and will deliver payback from day one. Many can be swapped in to existing processes with minimal need for retraining or significant change.
Switching to a lower temperature laundry product, for example, can save around 35% on water heating costs, consume 34% less water and cut wash time by almost 20% - all excellent sustainability gains.
Maintain existing equipment properly. Inefficiencies waste energy so routine and scheduled maintenance should always be completed at the correct time. Equipment used in hard water areas can be prone to lime-scale. This can accumulate and restrict the passage of water and impact on the equipment’s reliability. It also limits the efficiency of the heating element which means more energy will be required to heat the same amount of water. Regular descaling with a specialist product or switching to formulations that prevent lime-scale will help prevent this issue.
Consider completely different processes: used with water alone for general surface cleaning, microfibre offers a double win because no chemicals are used which means there is no need to heat a solution to a recommended working temperature; ultra-concentrates promote consistency to reduce repeat cleaning while smaller pack sizes reduce transport-related costs and CO2 emissions.
Adopt modern cleaning machines. These are generally far more energy-efficient than the models they replace. For example, recent changes to EU regulations covering vacuum cleaners led to innovative models that are quieter and consume around half the energy yet have the suction and performance of machines rated at over 1000W. These quickly deliver savings on running costs.
Reputable suppliers can advise on the most energy-efficient combination of their products for specific applications. They will support their claims with proper documentation and may have tools and calculators to help assess savings.