Why sustainable janitorial supplies should be part of your strategy – what matters in cleaning and hygiene for businesses in 2024
Let us face it: for a long time, sustainable janitorial supplies, and cleaning and hygiene as a whole, have been a bit of an afterthought for most companies in relation to their eco strategy.
Tidying up, cleaning up, resetting for each day – these are necessities to be dealt with, rather than an integral part of their organisational strategy.
Could that be about to change? Well, maybe. While many of the core drivers for good cleaning and hygiene practices in organisations remain in place, there are a few changes afoot, and they may impact how you consider your janitorial supplies and planning.
In 2024 businesses are starting to wake up – and grow up – to the fact that cleaning and hygiene are important. In this blog, we’re looking at how and why janitorial supplies will have a crucial role in business issues for 2024 and beyond – especially in the area of your sustainability strategy.
1. Sustainable cleaning and hygiene momentum will grow
Last year, we saw a huge upturn in interest about sustainable janitorial supplies and cleaning products, lower waste solutions, and cleaning systems and supplies with a lower carbon footprint.
Last year was the warmest on record – but it seems now that 2024 will be warmer still. As things hot up, there is no question that employees and consumers will increasingly look to businesses to step up and behave responsibly when it comes to their impact on the environment.
That means every business and brand must be seen to be doing more – across all areas of your operations – if your business aims to attract and keep loyal customers and staff. That means sourcing supplies responsibly, providing solutions that save on raw materials, cutting down the use of disposables, and choosing long-lasting hardware than does not need replacing frequently.
The benefits of making more informed choices are manyfold, and show that you are acting on your intentions, not just making statements about sustainability.
Even in very large organisations, decisions at a local level all contribute to wider corporate ESG (Environmental, Sustainability and Governance) initiatives.
2. Smart sustainable janitorial spending and streamlined purchasing helps keep cashflow under control
Inflation may have eased, but prices are still rising and will continue to do so. All organisations continue to face rising costs. Smart leadership teams will examine every part of the business to seek opportunities for savings and to manage cash purchasing more intelligently.
Investing in more efficient washroom supply systems can have a far larger impact than most people realise.
When disposables like paper products are provided with dispensers that help change user behaviour, people stop using too much loo roll or too many hand towels unnecessarily, creating potentially dramatic reductions in paper use and cost.
Choosing sustainable janitorial supplies can make a far more positive impact than trying to streamline spend by buying cheaper products.
As a further incentive: the time and cost of removing waste can also go down when you invest in smarter supplies and systems – not to mention avoiding unnecessary plumbing fees when pipes get blocked!
It also makes sense to optimise spending by buying at the optimal time and in an informed way. By managing supplies better, businesses can avoid sitting on tons of inventory unnecessarily, whilst knowing they will never run out of essential supplies. It’s time to say goodbye to enormous stockpiles of cleaning supplies and paper products (that also take up valuable space in warehouses or cleaning supplies store).
It connects straight back to our first point on sustainability too, because if dispensing systems are to be upgraded, you don’t want to be left with stockpiles of unusable paper towels and toilet paper.
Optimising it all is a delicate balancing act that requires a good understanding of usage trends in your company. You need to build accessible analytics reports that help identify requirement patterns and indicate when orders should be placed. Using data in this way will help operations teams streamline purchasing, simplify ordering, and enable timely delivery of cleaning supplies.
3. AI could start cleaning up this year
Mopping the floors isn’t typically something you might associate with AI. But it’s on the way.
Businesses everywhere are looking at where AI might benefit them – even as they assess it from a risk perspective in some areas of business. Official ONS statistics suggest that one in six (16%) of businesses in the UK are implementing AI applications, and those planning to explore its use are most interested in efficiencies (35%) as well as security.
Could 2024 be the year when autonomous cleaning robotics enter the workplace? There are many potential benefits. Perhaps the potential for reduction of labour cost is the most compelling, but it is not the only one.
Not only could work be done more efficiently but it could reduce some of the hazards to health that cleaning processes and products present for humans. Robotic solutions could be relied upon to maintain strict adherence to policies, and to cleaning and hygiene standards – reduction of risk is highly attractive for businesses.
The industrial versions of the familiar rotary robot cleaners many people now have at home already exist – and coming to an office near you very soon.
4. Employee wellbeing in the workplace – and washroom
The pandemic shone a light on employee health and wellbeing as never before. But it has also given rise to a generation of employees who expect more from their employers, in terms of protection. In other words, they care whether you care about them, and how you care FOR them.
To show they value staff, many companies will focus on employee benefits, employee assistance schemes, and similar types of support – plus lots of social events, and the odd gamification scheme.
One of the most overlooked – and perhaps easiest to implement – areas for employee wellbeing is the quality and cleanliness of the washroom facilities. It’s an aspect of the normal working day that can make an instant difference to the way staff feel about their place of employment. A simple, cost-effective change that can have a significant impact.
- Firstly, a pleasant, clean washroom environment shows employees they matter to you. It elevates the whole feel of the workplace. Plus, for visitors to your site or offices, like customers, suppliers, or partners, it’s an unmissable place to make a good impression.
- Secondly, employees expect you to take care of their health and wellbeing. It’s part of whether people stay with you – or even whether they join you in the first place. Attracting and retaining the right people can have a huge impact on the success of your organisation. In a competitive market, simple touches like a hygienic environment are an essential for candidates who visit you on interview.
- Lastly, thanks to COVID, we all know that hygiene in the workplace is paramount. COVID-19 is still circulating, and other pandemics are possible in future. To maintain a healthy, productive workforce and minimise absence from illnesses like seasonal flu and norovirus, clean and hygienic bathroom facilities will be essential for any business wishing to remain viable.
In fact, this is such a priority that the government’s ongoing plans to reform occupational health acknowledge the role employers play in preventing ill-health in staff, and aim to support and promote better practices to bring healthier workplaces
Cleaning and hygiene present a hidden opportunity for success in 2024
Improving how you plan, manage, and purchase janitorial supplies and cleaning products is a hidden opportunity for organisations, offices, and sites in 2024. Excellent hygiene, increased cost effectiveness, reduced cleaning time, lowered risks and less waste can help your business become more economically and environmentally sustainable.
Talk to Avanti about how we can help you streamline your purchasing of more sustainable janitorial supplies, choose the right products, and plan ahead to optimise cleaning and hygiene in your organisation.