Water is a valuable commodity and an increasing number of sustainable cleaning companies are coming up with solutions that help to reduce its use. ECJ asks manufacturers about their latest – and smartest - water-saving products.
Sustainable companies are working towards achieving a vast number of admirable goals. They aim to reduce emissions while also conserving energy: they strive to minimise environmental impact while reducing waste production. And they also make every effort to improve the health and safety of their staff.
Reducing the use of chemical cleaning products has been another goal of many manufacturers, with an increasing number of processes relying on water alone. But as supplies of this precious natural resource continue to dwindle, manufacturers are having to come up with new processes that limit water use as well.
Water is one of the world’s most valuable resources according to Kärcher’s head of sustainability management Andreas Mayer. “Because of increasing global water scarcity it is important to include water in any sustainable cleaning system,” he said. The company manufactures high-pressure washers, scrubber dryers, steam vacuum cleaners and concentrated chemicals that are all claimed to help produce water savings.
“Using a high-pressure cleaner already achieves water savings of almost 80 per cent compared with a traditional hose because the impact pressure substantially loosens the dirt,” said Mayer. “The Servo Control function of our high-pressure cleaners also enables the operator to precisely reduce the amount of water used during the cleaning application. And all Kärcher high-pressure units can be equipped with an additional water inlet filter that enables dirty water or rainwater from cisterns or tanks to be used.”
The company’s scrubber dryers feature an Intelligent Key that enables the facilities manager to predetermine settings including the amount of water to be used. “Another sustainable function is our Eco Efficiency mode which can be used for maintenance cleaning,” said Mayer. “This reduces power and water consumption by more than 50 per cent.”
He believes that increasing global water scarcity will make water reduction essential for years to come. “On a global scale, the number of regions where drinking water is becoming scarce is increasing and the efficient use of drinking water will become one of the main challenges to mankind,” he said.
Water scarcity already affects every continent and industry according to Sealed Air Diversey Care global marketing director Lars Bo Madsen. “Around 1.2 billion people - almost a fifth of the world’s population - currently live in areas of physical scarcity while 500 million more are approaching this situation,” he said. “The cleaning industry will have to constantly re-imagine its way of working with water resources.”
Diversey Care has committed itself to reducing its overall water intensity by 25 per cent by 2020. “The use of water will be thoroughly evaluated with every innovation we bring to market,” said Madsen.
Diversey products and solutions said to reduce water use include the Taski Intellibot automated scrubber dryer; the Intellidish cloud-based monitoring system and the new Pro series of concentrated chemicals.
The Taski Intellibot scrubber dryer uses a recycling system that is claimed to reduce the use of water and chemicals by 85 per cent compared with conventional machines. “It can clean continually for up to three-and-a-half hours with 53 litres which provides a very high operational efficiency and sustainability,” said Madsen.
The Intellidish system is part of the company’s Internet of Clean platform which connects machines, dispensers, sensors, beacons and other smart devices. “This monitors dishwashers in commercial kitchens and gives real-time updates on water usage to ensure hygiene compliance and reduce waste,” he said. “We have seen customers reduce their water usage by 100 per cent because they are given full transparency over the dishwasher process and can manage peak hours and water resources much more effectively.”
Reduce environmental impact
The company’s Pro Series includes Smart Mix Pro, a dilution control alternative to ready-to-use spray bottles; and Snap´N Dose Pro which comprises portion-packed trays for easy distribution. “Both systems are designed to reduce transport, energy and water which significantly reduces the environmental impact of cleaning,” said Madsen.
Bio Productions – manufacturer of biological cleaning products - claims its urinal Bio Blocks can also lead to significant water savings. “An average urinal is flushed 36 times a day which is a colossal 13,140 flushes a year,” says managing director Angela Gill. “When using Bio Blocks you can reduce this flush frequency to four times a day or less which results in savings of around 100,000 litres of water a year for every urinal.”
In fact reducing the number of flushes to three times a day can actually increase the effectiveness of the products, according to Gill. “Not only does it save more water, it also allows the enzymes more time to work on the uric acid which helps to keep the pipes clear,” she said. “Too much flushing washes the goodness away.”
TG Hylift manages its water consumption by using the same supply for cleaning and powering its equipment. The company’s Hycleaner system is designed for use on façades, roofs and solar panels.“The brush rotation of our cleaning machines is generated by a water motor, and the same water is used for drive as well as for cleaning,” said managing director Andreas Grochowiak. “The Hycleaner series can be operated using tap water or rainwater as well as osmosis water and demineralised water.”
He believes this dual use of water will evolve into multiple-use systems in the future. “Reductions in water use will become increasingly important in years to come and even today there is an ongoing debate on how to realise water reductions in some regions,” he said. “However, I believe the most important element in any sustainable
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