In recent years, the professional industrial cleaning sector has seen a notable shift towards environmental sustainability. This change is largely driven by the growing emphasis on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting. As global awareness about environmental impact intensifies, large blue-chip companies are increasingly held accountable for their carbon footprints and environmental practices. This shift signifies a broader recognition that tackling environmental challenges is not solely the responsibility of governments, but also of industries and businesses.
The move towards green cleaning is also being driven by changing client expectations. Customers, whether in the public or private sector, are increasingly demanding that the companies they do business with demonstrate a commitment to environmental stewardship. We have found that this has led to a surge in demand for cleaning services that use eco-friendly products and processes. As a result, Capability’s adoption of green practices is creating a competitive edge in the market, particularly amongst clients who are conscious of their environmental impact.
Here are three key areas where green cleaning practices can have a large, positive impact:
- Biodegradable cleaning products
A key area of focus in this green revolution is the use of biodegradable cleaning products. The traditional cleaning industry has long relied on chemicals that, while effective, pose significant risks to the environment. As a response, there is a growing trend towards evaluating and prioritising the biodegradability of cleaning agents, particularly in large industrial settings where hundreds of litres of cleaning chemicals are often required. This shift not only involves scrutinising the actual chemicals used but also entails a broader assessment of the product lifecycle, from production to disposal. By choosing biodegradable options, Capability is helping our clients reduce their ecological footprint, ensuring that the products used in their industrial and manufacturing facilities break down naturally and cause minimal harm to the environment.
- Protecting the water table
Another critical consideration for industry—particularly water-intensive sectors—is the protection of the water table. Given the large volumes of water used in industrial cleaning, there is an inherent risk of contaminating water systems with wastewater. To mitigate this, many companies now employ environmental specialists tasked with overseeing water usage and waste management. These experts ensure that the water returning to the environment is treated and cleaned, minimising the impact on local water tables and ecosystems. This approach is part of a broader commitment to sustainable water management, recognising the need to preserve this vital resource for future generations.
- Energy usage
Loadshedding aside, the issue of energy usage is also at the forefront of any industry’s green transformation. Industrial cleaning equipment, particularly the larger machines, traditionally consumes substantial amounts of power. However, the industry is witnessing a gradual shift towards more energy-efficient models. These newer machines are designed to deliver the same level of performance while using less power, reducing the overall energy footprint of cleaning operations. Capability’s adoption of these efficient technologies means our clients do not need to make this investment themselves, but they can still benefit from the overall energy efficiency they offer.
The future of green cleaning
In many ways, we are at the beginning of this journey. ESG has become a regular feature in annual reports customers, suppliers and clients are choosing to work with environmentally conscious brands. Going forward, however, governments and regulatory bodies will be playing an increasingly key role in this transition. By setting environmental standards and offering incentives for green practices, they are encouraging all companies to adopt more sustainable methods. This regulatory push will be complemented by various certification programs that recognise and reward companies for their environmental efforts. Compliance with these standards not only helps companies avoid penalties but also enhances their reputation and credibility in the market. In an industrial or manufacturing, employing green cleaning solutions is a simple yet highly effective way to achieve better ESG results.