Tips From A Green Business: Food Packaging for Greener Environment

Today, consumers are more environmentally conscious. So restaurants are encouraged to look for ways for their business to incorporate green or sustainable practices and solutions.

There are many sustainable practices that restaurants can do – that not only attract consumers but save you money as well.

One of these practices is to use eco-friendly, organic, trendy and sustainable products and services.

Alsco is pleased to share with you a story about an online retailer and wholesaler of sustainable products and services, Go Green World and how they became good environmentalists.

History of Go Green World

1. What sparked the idea for you to start Go Green World?

The spark of Go Green World was ignited by the Director and Co-Founder Amit Patel in 2012 when he was studying Bachelor of Business Sustainability. During his studies and through research he identified that every business whether small, medium or large is facing tremendous challenges in our resources constrained world.

Businesses are struggling to survive due to high:

  • raw material costs
  • generation and disposal of large amounts of waste
  • ever increasing costs
  • strict enforcement of laws.

Businesses do not understand the role of environment and social aspect and how these factors affected the economic side of the business.

Go Green World is created based on the concept of Sustainability.

The ideas of Go Green World incorporates 3 aspects into their business operations:

  • Environmental
  • Social
  • Economic

Go Green World believes that this is the only way to move forward in the global business arena.

Amit and his partner Aziz an IT professional, Director and Co-Founder discussed the idea of Go Green World while having their cup of tea at the family coffee table and within few days the idea was converted into becoming a business that offers environmentally friendly, biodegradable, compostable and sustainable packaging solutions in Australia.

Why Choose Sugarcane Bagasse and Bamboo Pulp

2. What is your most famous product, and why?

Products that are made from Sugarcane Bagasse and Bamboo Pulp are great and lovely. Back in 2012, when we touched these products for the first time, we fell in love with them. We found these products beautiful and a great alternative to plastic products available in the market.

Sugarcane and Bamboo products are made from renewable resources which were considered waste in the past. Sugarcane is grown all around the world to produce sugar. Once the juice is extracted, bagasse is left from the stick which was considered as waste and was thrown away.

Now Sugarcane Bagasse is used to produce innovative disposable products that are a great alternative to plastic. Sugarcane Bagasse products are biodegradable and compostable.

3. How do you keep your customers happy and satisfied?

For Go Green World, our customers are not just customers, but we consider them as our family.

We:

  • Provide them with a complete understanding of the products.
  • Suggest suitable products based on their needs to them.
  • Offer the best available products in the market rather than marketing for any specific brand.
  • Pass discounts to our regular customers.

Know more about 3 R’s

4. What cost/energy saving tips would you like to share with others?

There are many ways businesses can improve their bottom

line. Many businesses in Australia fail in their first years of operations because they have a lack of understanding of various costs involved in running the business. On top of this there are many government regulations to follow if you are in the food industry.

There are lots of ways to save costs and energy if your business follows Sustainable Business Practices. If you are a restaurant or cafe then check your operations, investigate which process, equipment or resources is the most expensive to operate and why. Look at the alternative, environmentally friendly option to your conventional resources.

For example, check your lightings to verify if they are energy efficient, check your wastage. If there is too much waste and you are paying a waste levy to your local government.

We would emphasise on these 3 R’s:

  • Reduce resource consumption.
  • Reuse your resources.
  • Recycle where possible.

Every business must have their own 3 R’s strategy which will have a huge impact to their bottom line.

5. What are the most crucial things you have done to grow Go Green World?

Everything that we do at Go Green World is considered to be vital and very important to our business. At Go Green World, we believe in quality. We have grown our business tremendously in last 3 years of its operations.

Our business model is quite unique and we work directly with manufacturer supplier and customers.

Both the directors; Aziz and Amit spend an enormous amount of time together to offer superior quality of products, timely service and most importantly promote sustainable environment through their business model. Our business ethics is very strongly focused on Sustainable Development and we constantly engage ourselves in promoting the green economy.

Sharing the Good News of going Green

6. What sustainable practices do you have at your workplace?

Go Green World business model is developed based on the concept of Sustainable Development. our business is constantly evolving and adopting o change as we move ahead in the future and encounter extreme challenges of climate change. We constantly work towards reducing our carbon footprint.

We work very closely with our manufacturers, suppliers, and customers to reduce, reuse and recycle resources where possible. We provide ongoing education to our customers on new environmentally friendly products and their benefits to our environment.

7. What’s the best learning experience in the business that you’d like to share to others?

Go Green World has provided us the opportunity to work in the industry that is forward thinking and innovative. The concept of Sustainable Development is new to many organisations and is constantly evolving with the new research and development activities. We have experienced many innovative ideas that are and will change our lives.

For example using biodegradable products was unknown to many when we started our business. When we started our business in 2012, we faced extreme difficulty explaining our customers on the concept of environmentally friendly, biodegradable and compostable products.

Since then the time has changed and now every day new customers come to us and ask us that they are planning to change their existing conventional product lines with our product offerings:

  • We help them to adapt to change.
  • We help them with the selection.
  • We help them economically through offering discounted products.
  • We help them to educate their customers on the benefit of using these products.

Our experience with the concept of the business and products has been very memorable and we believe that we have yet to experience much more in this area.

Healthy and Happy Relationship to all Customers

8. What’s your top secret marketing tip that you can share with newbies?

Relationship! Build a relationship with your customers. Your customers will become your advocates, they will market your products and service. There are many marketing tools available in the market from direct marketing to digital marketing but as a business you must always ensure that you maintain the quality of your products and service.

At Go Green World, we are committed to the quality of our products and services and we constantly research the market for the best innovative products that we can offer to our customers.

9. What’s that one thing in your business venture that you’re really happy about?

Our product line. Go green World product offerings are innovative, green, a wide range of biodegradable and compostable packaging products and constantly evolving.

Go Green World

 

Alsco would like to thank Amit & Aziz of “Go Green World” for sharing this informative story on how they started and how they became good environmentalists.

We want to keep our environment clean and green. Through recycling  our old and unused stuff, at home or at the office – like papers, plastics, bottles, gadgets, and computers, etc. we can make a big difference. Share this information and we’ll be able to reach our Green goal.

At Alsco, we always want to make sure that everyone knows the importance of recycling and make use of materials that will not harm the environment. Get to know more of our Mat Rentals – it is not only made to protect you from floor dirt but it will also protect you from slips and trips which is one of the common accidents in workplaces. Pick up your phone and call our friendly representative – 1300 659 892!

Photo Courtesy: Go Green World

Christchurch branch receives prestigious Richard R. Steiner Award

The Richard R. Steiner Award is reserved for only very special circumstances and occasions, and this year it was presented to the entire Christchurch Branch of Alsco by Alsco Group Chief Executive, Bryan McEvedy.

“At Alsco we often talk about our Vision, our Mission and our Values. Our values are very important to us here at Alsco and we really do believe we care for our people and our customers,” said Bryan when presenting the award. “On 22 February last year, these values were tested to the limit in Christchurch when an earthquake devastated the city, changing it forever and leaving the staff at the Christchurch Branch with the enormous task of getting Alsco’s business up and running again in a city that was in total chaos.”

The branch staff were faced with trying to service customers that still required service, without a factory that was operational. “You were faced with assessing what had to be done to get our factory up and running as quickly as you could. Many tasks had to be handled simultaneously and decisions made in a very short space of time. It is rare that anyone is tested in this way. You and your team were sorely tested last year and passed with flying colours,” said Bryan.

“The reason we are all here today, is in a small way, to recognize and acknowledge that achievement, and for me to be able to say thank you to you and your entire team here in Christchurch. Tony, myself and the entire management at Alsco in New Zealand are truly grateful that we had you here to oversee this massive undertaking for us. Our shareholders, the Steiner family in the United States, particularly Bob and Kevin Steiner are also extremely grateful for the wonderful job that you and your managers and many of the people here today did for the company over that period of time. Thank you for taking care of our business and our customers.”

Only once before has the Richard R. Steiner Award been awarded in New Zealand.

You too can be a part of this amazing Alsco family who put customers before all else each day and more so in the most trying circumstances. Alsco linen offer hassle free, flexible, pre-agreed delivery schedules to suit individual requirements. Try them out and we are sure you will be delighted!

 

Image Courtesy: Davidlohr Bueso

 

How to Engage With Employees to Build a Positive Organisational Culture

Sustaining Organisational Change

A change in the culture of an organisation is a prerequisite for sustainable organisational change. Without a change in the culture, any initiatives, including work health and safety (WHS) initiatives might produce some momentum initially. However, they will soon meet a natural end.

The initiatives will not be able to sustain and will gradually extinguish. This might happen, say, after a month or so and the behaviour of the organisation and its people will revert to normal. This was the key message from a panel discussion on organisation culture at the NSW Safety in Action conference and Exhibition, held in Sydney in 2014.

Decay Theory

This organisational behaviour was very aptly termed as “decay theory” by Greg McLoughlin, managing director of Health By Design. Employees learn the new behaviour, show some initial enthusiasm to display it. However, if their behaviour is not reinforced, the employees tend to fall back to old habits.

Decay Theory in cognitive psychology deals with memory and forgetting. The theory proposes that memory fades due to the mere passage of time. It suggests that if we do not attempt to recall an occurrence, then the greater the time since the occurrence, the more likely are we to forget it. Greg McLoughlin explained that employee behaviour follows a very similar pattern of behaviour.

It is worthwhile to mention that the standard of behaviour will usually settle at a level slightly better than before, but not as good as it should be. However, much of the efforts undertaken to introduce the modification in employee behaviour go waste. Hence, there is a need for another round of effort for the same WHS initiative to be reintroduced which creates another improvement spike followed by another gradual decline.

Employee Risk Propensity

WHS initiatives need to go beyond just identifying risks, raising awareness and providing training. Every employee has a different “risk propensity” (e.g. Some are adrenaline-junkies or risk-seekers and others are very careful). McLoughlin has categorised employees into five different mindsets regarding change:

  1. Pre-contemplator – not at all interested
  2. Contemplator – thinking “maybe I should do something”
  3. Prepared – ready to do it
  4. Action- oriented – actually does it
  5. Maintenance – the desired state, as new behaviour has become an unconscious habit

Targeted Customised Messaging

The problem is that awareness campaigns and training are often generic, yet they are aimed at employees with widely divergent mindsets. Backgrounds also vary widely, due to the type of job (e.g. trade person versus office worker versus manager), age, gender, past experience and other personal attributes.

The aim must be to ENGAGE employees first, then attempt to change behaviour. This requires using messages customised to suit different groups of employees ( e.g. sent via different types of media, and preferably interactive).

Identifying mindsets involves studying brain chemistry, in particular asking the question: “Why does the employee behave that way?”

Most organisations handle both management (e.g. compliance) and a “coal face” (e.g. training, workplace adjustments job design, physical and economic factors) matters quite well. However, they often do less with the “unseen” factors that significantly influence culture. These include consultation, collaboration and obtaining buy-in from all stake holders.

A Positive WHS Culture

Dr Paul Johnson, a lead consultant at Safety Dimensions, said that all workplaces have a “culture”, which could be good or bad. However, distinguishing features of a positive WHS culture include:

  • Employees believe that the organisation cares about them and places WHS ahead of production and costs.
  • Employees take an active role to keep each other safe.
  • Employees have a desire to contribute to and improve WHS.
  • This goes beyond compliance to include a moral obligation.

Mind Your Language

Michele Farley, director of Safety Journey, said that the choice of language has a significant impact on WHS culture and requires a lot of practice to make the right choices.

For example, when talking to employees you should seek to genuinely enquire and understand rather than simply confirm. Suitable phrases may include “What issues are there?” or “Do you have any concerns?”. On the other hand, “Is everything okay?” amounts to seeking affirmation, and may be perceived as dismissive, not empowering.

Farley referred to the common problem of “confirmation bias”, which means that when people are uncomfortable when they see something “wrong” or confronting, they tend to see only what they know to be true and which confirms their own  views.

“Buyer’s remorse”, when people seek to justify bad purchases, is a common example of confirmation bias.

Interrupting employees at work is difficult for most people to do, but if it is done often and in a genuine way, it is likely to send the message of caring for employees. Farley quoted that following example.

An oil drilling rig exploded a few hours after an onsite “safety leadership visit”. The visiting managers said later that they had noticed “confusion” at the time, but did and said nothing because they “did not want to interrupt work” as they thought that would have undermined the supervisors’ authority and sent a message that the employees were not trusted.

However, this was perceived by the employees that interrupting them would have taken the time (and added to cost) and that it implied consent to what the managers saw. The unanswered question was “why were they here?”.

Again the type of message and language use needs to suit the culture.

Workplace Info

Alsco would like to thank Ray Welling of WorkplaceInfo for allowing us to share this very informative article that talks about how to understand your employees. WorkplaceInfo is a proactive online resource for Australian HR/IR professionals. To learn more about WorkplaceInfo visit their website workplaceinfo.com.au.

To have a good relationship with your employees is a must – in order for them to work well and productivity will be high. Each employee must feel comfortable in their workplaces, accepted no matter what their status is and most of all respected regardless how they look and what type of work they have.

Alsco provides solutions to maintain your company’s environment healthier, safer and greener while at work. With the use of Alsco’s workwear employees can work comfortably and will improve their work performance. Want to know more of our service? Call us now 1300 659 892.

Photo Courtesy: Highwaysengland

Hello Sam! The Story Behind a Burger Café’s Success

Hello SAM is a gourmet burger cafe that uses Alsco anti-fatigue mats, wet area mats, entrance mats, tea towels and wipes since they opened in October 2013. Alsco is happy to have serviced such an amazing and well-sought burger cafe.

Have you heard of Hello SAM gourmet burger? Check out their fabulous story here.

The Hello SAM Story

In September 2013, Katherine Sampson found a run-down café at the Northern end of Chapel Street. There had been four previous businesses in the site over the previous eight years. Katherine believed that she could reinvent the site and spent weeks researching the area, its local residents and surrounding customers.

She decided that the area needed a casual dining establishment, catering for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The price point had to be at the lower end so that residents could eat there regularly.

A burger café concept was decided upon and Katherine then set about creating a brand for the site. the name Hello SAM was born from her surname “Sampson”.

Two New Zealand chefs were employed to create and unique menu, which would help create a point of difference in a quickly expanding burger market.

Hello SAM has been successful in the burger space, with a positive review from serious Burger Bloggers helping to grow the business.

Katherine is now on the lookout for a second site and hopes to open another Hello SAM by Christmas 2015.

Our Motto at Hello SAM is “We Make Burgers For Grown-Ups“.

Featuring a huge array of burgers including 100% Angus beef, chicken, lamb, salmon, and vegetarian. We also cater for Coeliacs, vegetarians, vegans and for those with fructose intolerance.

The Business and the Customers

1. How did Hello Sam – Gourmet Burger Cafe come to life? What’s the story behind its name?

I purchased a run-down café in Chapel Street and converted it to a Gourmet Burger Café. As my surname is Sampson, I went with “Hello SAM” as a business name.

2. What’s the best compliment you got from a customer?

We have many Coeliacs (gluten intolerance) come into our shop. they tell us they haven’t eaten a burger for years. They get so excited when they can sit and enjoy a burger, knowing that they won’t feel ill afterwards.

3. Do you have a funny story to share about one of your experiences in the business?

We have a moist hand towel that we place on the side of our burger plates. One lady opened it up and thinking its was sauce, tried to squeeze the contents into her burger!!

The Secret to Success

4. What are your best tips for getting new sales in the door?

Consistency, great service and new products. Also, we’ve recently introduced Happy Hour Specials, between 3-6pm daily. $10 gets you a Simply Sam burger plus chips. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday we have $5 beers/ciders/wines from 3-6pm.

5. From your tasty menu, which one is your favourite and why?

I change every few months. First it was the Spicy Sam. Then I switched to the Parmesan. Then it was the Aloha Sam. There are so many great burgers, so I don’t have a single favourite.

6. How do you make things lighter of hassle-free when you manage your business?

Employ great staff, respect them, treat them well and they will look after the business while I’m not there to keep an eye on things.

Working while Helping the Environment

7. What green, sustainable practices do you do in your workplaces?

Recycle every can, bottle, container. Have a separate paper/cardboard compactor. Ensure that we separate our recycling from our rubbish.

8. What’s that one thing in your business venture that you’re really happy about?

My team. They make my day. They all get along so well and we have a laugh whilst working away.

Hello SAM choose Alsco

9. What’s one thing that Alsco does for you that no one else can?

Provide great products with fantastic service. They were able to source the most unbelievable fatigue mats. Our lives have changed. I don’t suffer from lower back problems. My barista doesn’t have sore feet anymore. We are happy, happy, happy!!

10. How was your Alsco experience so far?

Can’t fault it. The current support/admin team are always there to help and answer any questions I have.

When is the Best Time To Visit Hello Sam?

Hello Sam has a daily HAPPY HOUR 3-6pm:

  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday $10 for a Simply Sam Burger and Beer Battered Chips
  • Friday, Saturday, Sunday $5 Beers, Wines & Ciders

Hello SAM

 

Alsco would like to thank Katherine Sampson of Hello SAM, for sharing her amazing story on how she became successful with her delicious burgers.

Alsco supply feasible solutions to keep your organisation healthier, cleaner and safer while at work through a wide array of cost and resource efficient rental services. With Alsco Anti-Fatigue Mats, standing at work for a long time will not be a problem anymore! Pick up your phone and call our friendly representative – 1300 659 892 and get to know more of our products.

How Can You Help The Food Wastage Problem

The Alarming News of Food Wastage

8 to 10 billion dollars of food is wasted in Australia every year. Four million tonnes of food ends up in landfill each year. At the same time, two million Australians rely on food relief.

Food wastage and food insecurity are critical issues in today’s society and the responsibility to contribute to positive change, lies with each and every person.

Humanity Saves The Day

OzHarvest is the first Australian organisation to rescue all types of perishable food that would have otherwise ended in the landfill. Every day OzHarvest drivers using a fleet of 30 iconic yellow vans pick up quality surplus food from donors and deliver to around 680 charities nationwide.

To date, OzHarvest has diverted more than 12 million kilos of surplus food from ending up in the landfill and delivered more than 38 million meals to Australians in need.

Our purpose is to Nourish Our Country under these 3 pillars:

  • Rescue
  • Educate
  • Engage

Program for Greener and Healthier Future

Our NEST (Nutrition Education Sustenance Training) program teaches vulnerable people, the skills and knowledge to nurture themselves through healthy eating choices. Our other program, nourish, educates, trains, mentors and provides hope to disadvantaged youth by providing them with employment pathways in the Hospitality Industry.

By implementing small changes and behaviors around our homes and workplace, we can all do our bit to minimise food waste and save our planet.

Good Food Selection means Healthier Environment

Selecting good quality produce goes without saying for any restaurant, café, bar or hotel.

What happens to the fruits and veggies that aren’t as cosmetically appealing?

Approximately 40-50% of all fruits and vegetables are wasted, based on their appearance. Although a carrot might not be perfectly straight, or an apple vibrantly green, they still taste delicious on the inside. Often fresh produce which is slightly imperfect is discounted in price, which means you get more for your dollar and aren’t contributing to landfill.

It seems relatively straightforward for most to ensure you set your fridge at the correct temperature. It is recommended to keep a fridge between 1-5°C. This universal temperature range is best for storing fresh produce. Leaving any food out which is intended to be refrigerated, can become spoiled and ultimately it is wasted.

When ordering stock, think carefully!

Over-ordering will most likely result in some of the stock to being wasted and/or thrown out. The following is straight forward, but must order less of ingredients which are least and more of the ingredients commonly used.

Adhering to this practice will assist in:

  • Stock management
  • Reduce the wastage of food
  • Keep expenses to a reasonable amount

Serve the Right Amount of Food

Have you ever noticed particular items on your menu are never finished?

Perhaps you could reduce the portion sizes of the food you serve to customers. Not only will this reduce your impact on food wastage and decrease monetary expenses, it will also encourage customers to be mindful about food waste when dining out.

Evey day we collect surplus food from incredibly generous food donors all over Australia. We collect food from local businesses, supermarkets, cafes to high-end restaurants such as Peter Gilmore’s Quay, and Rockpool bar and Grill. We often collect food from TV show production sets as well as photo shoots or conferences.

Your business can also be part of our ever growing family!

Be a Member

Becoming an OzHarvest food donor means your business and the environment will benefit. The disposal of food can be expensive and by reducing the disposal of excess food, you will see significant savings! Most importantly all food donors are making a valuable impact and contribution to those in the community.

It is largely absurd that we produce too much food for consumption yet so many people still go hungry!

So, How do YOU get involved?

There are three ways in which you can help OzHarvest and reducing food waste!

  • Donate your time– We have over 1000 volunteers who positively contribute whether it be collecting and delivering food or assisting on market stalls and events.
  • Donate money– For every $1 donated to OzHarvest, we can deliver 2 meals to those in need.
  • Donate food– Reduce the amount of food that would have been destined for the landfill, and help someone in need.

Food waste is a problem in the food service sector that needs to attention!

You can also get involved at home by changing your own individual food waste behaviors. Creating lists when grocery shopping, buying local and seasonal fresh produce and using leftovers before creating new meals will assist in reducing food waste

With the support from many, we will fight food waste!!

Ozharvest Logo

 

Alsco would like to thank Louise Tran, Communications & Marketing Manager of OzHarvest for sharing this wonderful article. For more information visit www.ozharvest.org or call 1800 108 006.

Just like OzHarvest, we at Alsco promote better and greener environment. Your restaurant can also stop wastage by using clean reusable wipes instead of disposable ones which end up in landfills. And you can have this serviced – collected, laundered and delivered back to you ready for use. Check out this page for more details or you can Call us now for more information – 1300 659 892!

A Milestone For Alsco – The Move to Glendenning – One Year On

A Symbol of Change and Growth

In the 50th year of operation there was a milestone for Alsco. The new building at Glendenning was complete and Clean Room Garments, Deane Apparel and Fresh & Clean had made the big move in.

In a year in which we shared many images of change & growth in the business, the new building at Glendenning may now be considered another symbol of change and growth. In 2013 the three business units, with their unique identities and culture came to work under the one roof, under the one large Alsco sign. As we approached one year of occupancy, a theme emerged – there was a new sense of belonging to the Alsco family.

The efforts began a long time ago to get the right building, layout, fitout plans and workstation arrangements. Lastly came the physical efforts to pack, move and unpack. It all progressed so smoothly and was an outstanding achievement.

Almost 12 months on, the committed and adaptable staff exchange greetings at the back of Kev’s coffee van. Matt from CRG wheels Leah’s First Aid order around the wall into the Fresh & Clean building, Guru from CRG wanders down the stairs to hand deliver a PO for a customer’s pants & shirts with Deane’s, Neil from Fresh & Clean takes a short stroll to install a First Aid kit on our wall and then when Mitchell passes by to exchange mats the Alsco group is complete.

Positive Changes and Great Attitude

There are frustrating events, couriers knocking on the wrong doors to make deliveries and Aaron’s music in the CRG Warehouse penetrating Deane’s office walls. However, the facilities are a huge difference from the tired old Artarmon building and the purpose built training room facility has had a heap of use by the growing ‘Managed Training’ side of the business. For some the distance to work is far greater while for others it is much less.

Since moving, CRG has made some changes to take advantage of the flexibility of the IT help desk’s continuous and ongoing support. The ICE system became available to CRG employees and is seen as an innovative way to manage their administration needs. The Admin team did a great job in working through payroll and other large administrative changes. The great attitude of individuals and the strength of our relationships have helped us work with each other through these changes positively and as always there has been plenty of cake!

New Initiatives and Product Ideas

CRG continues to grow to seek the needs of individuals, companies and the wider community by continuing to provide an excellent level of service at the appropriate cost. There are great new product ideas such as Biorem out in the market to support businesses to ‘go green’ and innovative changes to help patients and staff in operating theatres with new textile packs. CRG continues to demonstrate care for the wellbeing of others with the continual development of the Managed First Aid, Fire and Evacuation products.

The great work continues to meet the needs of our current customers; the individuals just like us who have a list of jobs to start working on each morning. For us, starting them in a new purpose built building with the people who successfully made such a big change makes it all the more enjoyable.

Alsco employees with a winning attitude are here to serve you as well. They are friendly, knowledgeable and eager to assist you. Just call Alsco today and you will know for yourself!

Alsco Announces the Launch of its LinkedIn Page

Alsco is pleased to announce the creation of a new communication channel via LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/alsco-australia.

With this new page, Alsco has taken another leap forward in its overall strategy to reach out to and connect with its various stakeholders. This LinkedIn page will be a crucial channel for the company to engage with its employees across the nation, to keep them informed of happenings in other parts of the country, to share stories, best practices and matters which may be of interest.

A key aim of the new page is to reach out to potential employees. Alsco intends to use LinkedIn as a means to attract people to exciting career opportunities available.

Alsco, the premier managed services rental company in Australia, has reached its position of success because of its people. Today, it is a dynamic organisation that offers fantastic job opportunities, competitive pay and benefits – both financial and non-financial, recognition of merit and a great work environment.

With a proud history, providing professional rental textile services throughout Australia since 1963, Alsco has its headquarters in Sydney and has processing plants in all states and throughout New Zealand.

Alsco is a wholly owned subsidiary of the international organisation The Steiner Corporation and employs some 2,200 throughout Australasia in a wide variety of roles.

If you’re looking for a great career, connect with Alsco via LinkedIn.

 

Image Courtesy: Sheila Scarborough

 

Alsco Branches Celebrate 50 Years in Australia

Historic Anniversary

A day to reflect and celebrate the achievements of our staff across the nation and across the years.

Staff across all branches had a great day of celebration when they joined together on 1 February to celebrate Alsco’s historic 50 year anniversary. Everyone gathered for group photos and a celebratory lunch at each branch. The day provided the opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the achievements of staff and the company over the past 50 years.

As well as being presented with polo shirts and the book “The Alsco Australia Story: 50 Years in the Making”, employees who had served the company for 20 consecutive years were presented with a ‘day-off’ certificate and $50 voucher as a thank you for their commitment to the company over many years.

Mulgrave celebrated Alsco’s 50 years in Australia with a lunch that all staff attended. Five employees received their 20 year plus certificate and gift – Helen Raeburn, Gary Howard, John James Gavin Warwick and Ana Kaya.

Adelaide branch celebrated the contribution of two long serving employees at their 50 year celebration. Mary Charlton and Brian Hall have been with Alsco for 45 years and 47 years respectively.

Know how Alsco has grown to its pre-eminent position in Australia and all about its history over the last 50 years here.

Your workplace too can benefit from the cost effective rental services from Alsco. Get a free-quote for your selected services from Alsco today.

Dialling a Better Future for Old Mobile Phones

Where Will our Old Phones GO?

Australians are one of the highest users of mobile phones globally and we are continually looking to upgrade our mobile devices. So what happens to all of our old and unused mobile phones and accessories?

Enter MobileMuster the not-for-profit government accredited mobile phone recycling program whose mission is simply to keep mobile phones out of the landfill. MobileMuster estimates that there are 22.5 million old and unused mobiles currently being stored around the country.

The scale of the waste problems is enormous and growing every year.

Should we Keep our Old Mobile Phones or Recycle Them?

Australians are keeping their old mobiles because they think they are worth something or as a backup, but many remain unused and nearly a third are believed to be broken and not in working order. The best way to realise the true value of your old mobile is to recycle it so that all the resources that have gone into making them can be recovered and put back in the supply stream, conserving our natural resources and protecting our planet.

Recycling Old Mobile Phones for Greener Future

MobileMuster provides a free recycling Australia wide for all types:

  • Mobile phones
  • Battery chargers
  • Accessories

Making it easier for organisations and the community to recycle all their components at the one drop-off location. MobileMuster partners with retailers, local government, workplaces and schools to provide over 4000 public and 3000 private drop-off locations.

Last financial year workplaces helped to divert nearly 5000kgs of mobiles, batteries, chargers and accessories from landfill and over the past 10 years they have collected over 85,000kg for recycling.

The Government and the Program

The program has been formally accredited by the Federal Government as Australia’s first voluntary product stewardship scheme under the Product Stewardship Act 2011. This gives assurances to workplace partners that the mobiles and accessories they collect will be recycled to the highest environmental standards using world best practices.

MobileMuster provides the following:

  • MobileMuster provides partners with a free collection unit, pick-up and processing service.
  • We also provide promotional and educational resources to help organisations promote their MobileMuster collection unit to employees and their community.

Each year MobileMuster awards annual certificate of destruction for each collection through the program and the environmental benefits generated for inclusion in your organization’s sustainability reports.

Work as a Team

Partnering with MobileMuster is a great way to engage staff in a positive, environmentally focused initiative.

Independent market research conducted in January 2015 by IPSOS on behalf of MobileMuster revealed that many Australians would like to recycle their old mobiles in the workplace. Establishing a mobile phone recycling program in the workplace is not only good for the environment but it is also good for staff morale and provides a convenient way to recycle.

What Happens to the Mobile Phones?

All of the components are dismantled locally at MobileMuster’s recyclers before the plastics, metals and glass are further processed in Australia or at approved facilities in Singapore or South Korea. These materials recovered through the recycling process can be used to make everything from stainless steel to plastic fence posts.

MobileMuster ensures that all data on the mobile phones is destroyed through the recycling process. This provides participants with the security and peace of mind that their data will not be accessed by other parties.

None of the mobiles is sold for reuse in Australia or overseas!

Our recycler TES-AMM is R2 certified which means they follow and demonstrate strong environmental standards which maximise recycling, minimise exposure to human health or the environment and ensure safe management of materials by downstream handlers.

Benefits of Recycling

Through the recycling process, you are preventing potentially hazardous materials from entering the environment.

Mobile phones are not biodegradable and should not be thrown in the bin as they contain small amounts of potentially harmful substances which, if not managed properly, may harm the environment.

Mobiles are made from many non-renewable materials which have been extracted from the earth – such as:

  • Metals
  • Plastics
  • Glass
  • Ceramics

These are precious resources that only exist in finite quantities so it’s important to conserve them, and limit further use.

Know the Amount of Natural Resources a Mobile Phone Have

Did you know that one tonne of mobile phone circuits can yield the same amount of precious metals as 110 tonnes of gold ore, 123 tonnes of silver bearing ore and 11 tonnes of copper sulphide ore?

Through the recycling process over 93% of the materials in mobiles and accessories are recovered and used to make new products. Recovering these materials avoids the need to mine non-renewable resources, thus conserving our resources, and avoid air and water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

Since the program started in 1998 nearly 1,161 tonnes of mobile phone components have been collected and recycled. This includes 9.87 million handsets and batteries plus more than 576,000kg of accessories.

About MobileMuster

MobileMuster is funded solely by members of the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) including:

  • Microsoft
  • Motorola
  • Samsung
  • HTC
  • Huawei
  • ZTE
  • Alcatel OneTouch
  • Force Technology
  • Telstra
  • Optus
  • Vodafone
  • Virgin Mobile

It is the industry’s official recycling program and is paid for voluntarily by the companies who make and sell mobiles in Australia.

For more information visit mobilemuster.com.au

MobileMuster

Alsco would like to acknowledge and thank Larissa Shaskof, Communications and Education Officer of MobileMuster –Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association  for sharing this valuable article that will educate all mobile phone users that old phones can still be used/recycled.

Latest mobile phone models are better than the old ones – Why? Simply because today all of us can download different kinds of apps. Use you phones to download green apps to help the environment. We at Alsco want to save and keep the environment and our natural resources with our EcoMats. Contact us now 1300 659 892!

The Wonders of Combi Ovens

Many chefs do not own it yet but 98% of chefs were interested in using a combi oven, according to the Star Chef research.

The latest, most innovative equipment every restaurant should have would have to include a combi oven.

While they may have been around for quite a few years the combi oven has been continually improved.

According to the same research, the combi ovens have improved up to 50% in comparison to their initial models. Isn’t that amazing?

Today, combi oves should be considered a must-have item in every commercial kitchen cooking line, together with suitable kitchen staff uniforms, tools, equipment and appliances.

So, what is this miraculous combi steamer oven? What does it even do? Why does your kitchen desperately need one?

Combi ovens combine steam cooking, convection cooking and a combination of the two, hence the name.

The History of Ovens

Even the ancient Egyptians and Romans made brick or stone ovens to bake bread. In ancient Egypt, there were even entire bakeries. This can be seen in the ancient pictures of many people making bread.

Romans also had organised bread baking. Their furnaces for baking were actually in the shape of baking bells. They even managed to create a mobile oven.

It was in the Middle Ages when baking became very popular. Especially baking bread and pastry. Monasteries had their own big bakeries because they gave bread to everyone who came to them. A large variety of breads dates from this period.

In Colonial America, people designed special brick ovens, shaped like a beehive. Sometimes, these would be inside their homes, but often, those would be completely external.

In the 18th century, the first cast iron ovens started to emerge. This may be the first step toward designing the ovens in a way they are made today. They were still using firewood as their source of heat.

Several decades later, in the 19th century, gas ovens started being produced. At first, they were big, industrial ovens and they became common household items only later.

A couple of years shy of 20th century, the first electrical ovens were invented. Electrical ovens and stoves were a real revolution in the kitchen world.

However, the development of ovens and new technologies didn’t stop there. Somewhere around the 1950s the first microwave oven was produced. That was yet another drastic change in the way people prepared their food.

The first combi steamer oven was invented in the 1960’s. In 1976 two German companies, firstly Convotherm and secondly Rational introduced their initial models of basic combi ovens.

Combi-Steam Ovens Today

Today combi ovens have evolved into irreplaceable items in many commercial kitchens around the world. They now feature Touch Screen controls, store hundreds of pre-programmed recipes and when used correctly can save food businesses both on their electricity bills, their food bills and on their cost of wages.

And who wouldn’t want that?

The ovens are being developed every day. Still, the most of combi steam ovens can be classified into two groups:

1. Boiler-based combi ovens

A steam generator creates and injects the steam directly into the oven chamber. They are available in either gas or electric though electric is by far the most popular. This style combi is the more expensive of the two.

Boiler style combi ovens can be used for more delicate cooking procedures, such as the delicate poaching of fish, and intricate desserts.

2. Direct water injection combi steamers

Also known as ‘Spitters’, the steam is created by injecting water directly onto the heating element in the oven chamber.

Water injection models are generally the most affordable and the most popular of the models available. Today they are found in a variety of commercials kitchens.

This style of combi is also suitable for the country area where water quality is generally harder. Boiler units can suffer from calcification issues from the water quality and this reduces the effectiveness of the oven. Calcification is much easier to control in a water injection combi steamer and can be removed during the standard cleaning program.

How Combination Steamer Ovens Work?

Steam cooking is one of the most effective styles of cooking as it can penetrate into the product. The cooking process is from inside to outside.

Convection cooking, on the other hand, cooks from the outside. As the product is exposed to more heat the cooking process then gradually moves inwards to the centre of the product.

The advantage with the introduction of steam into a commercial oven is that the moisture in the chamber allows for the food to be cooked while limiting the reduction of the moisture in the food. Moreover, they are usually faster than the traditional ovens. Here are some more advantages of these ovens:

Advantages of Combi Steamer Ovens

There are many benefits for the hospitality operator in owning a combi-steam oven. Some experts recommend it as a supplemental oven to your professional kitchen, but in practice, they have been proven to be enough on their own.

You can improve the taste and quality of your food

You can cook food at lower temperatures and get better product and results, including retaining more of the foods nutrient value. When used correctly, your meats will be more tender, your vegetables more flavoursome and your results generally better and repeatable.

  • Roasts: More usable product, a more tender product, more flavoursome result.
  • BBQ Chickens: Retain their size so you finish with a larger, more appealing looking product with no more pink bits around the bones.

  • Cakes: Rise more during the cooking process, and your cake has more moisture.
  • Pastries: Become lighter, crispier and fluffier.
  • Steaming: Produce all your steam vegetables without any product degradation, no more overcooked product and never again pour the nutrient value of the vegetable down the sink with the water it was boiled or steamed in.
  • Poaching: Whether you are poaching fish or a delicate dessert you can achieve perfect results every time.

You can cook multiple products at the same time without cross contamination of flavours. One of the best examples I have seen was the baking of a whole snapper and a chocolate cake at the same time. The fish was amazing and the chocolate cake only tasted of chocolate. Try that and see what happens!

You can always get the same, amazing results

When you use the program features you can achieve standardised performance, One of a combi ovens’ great benefits is that you can have standardised results for every meal produced in your kitchen, from executive chef to apprentice or weekend cook.

Combi steamer ovens allow for greater precision in the cooking process by controlling both the temperature and humidity in the cooking chamber.

You can save time by preparing in advance

Combi ovens have a regeneration capability, allowing you to prepare your weekend meals during the latter part of the working week and use the regeneration facility built into the combi ovens programs to reheat these meals. There is no loss of moisture or crispness of the product in this process.

Imagine preparing all the food for that big function during the working week and still producing a better result than food cooked on the day! And reduce the impact of weekend penalty rates from your staffing costs.

Use Cook and Hold ability to cook food at lower temperatures overnight and then hold that food at the appropriate temperature for when your staff arrives in the morning.

For hotels, you could also use the combi to make croissants and then walk in to your kitchen in the morning and have perfect croissants to serve immediately to your breakfast crowd at the buffet.

Combi-steamer ovens allow you to prepare weekend food during the week, at less costly wage rates. On the weekend, you simply require someone to use the regeneration facility to reheat the food. Potential savings are again enormous.

You just need to make sure your tables are perfectly set and that your chefs and waiters have amazing uniforms. Since you will have enough savings and enough time, you can invest in a more professional look of your restaurant.

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You can save money on food

Combi-steamer ovens provide a better cooking environment which dramatically reduces food shrinkage during the cooking process. As an example, if you are currently cooking in a static of convection oven, your shrinkage on roast beef would be about 30 percent.

This means that if you start with 3kg of meat your finished product weighs only 2kg. Now if you are paying $20.00 per kilo for meat the real cost is $30.00 per kilo after cooking. Combi-steamer ovens can reduce this shrinkage to as little as 5 to 10 percent depending on how you use the oven.

Your savings potential here, on an annual basis, is enormous and your return on your investment in the combi oven will be quickly realised.

You can save space in your overcrowded kitchen

Combi ovens can be a space saving device as fewer appliances would be required in your kitchen. Recently we were able to show a nursing home that three items in their current cooking line could be replaced with just two including a combi. The end results would be a better, healthier product for all the customers in their care.

Potentially you can retrofit a combi steamer oven into your commercial kitchen and your cooking line as long as you can create some space for the oven. That space doesn’t even necessarily have to be under the kitchen exhaust canopy as many combi ovens now have an optional venting system that can be purchased with the unit.

These vents come with the same compliance certificates that are supplied with your kitchen exhaust canopy but check with your local food authority or council first for their approval.

And lastly, you can create a safer workplace for your staff with improved Work Health and Safety Issues. Lifting and carrying large heavy pots of boiling water can be a thing of the past with combi ovens. You can now produce the same food with better results in a combi steamer oven.

Still, even with the combi oven in your kitchen, this doesn’t mean that you should neglect your First Aid efforts. Hot steam and other dangers are still around. Therefore, follow the regulations and ensure your restaurant has the necessary First Aid cabinets and trained employees.

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What Equipment Works Hand in Hand with a Combi Oven?

The two best items that you can purchase to enhance your combi oven purchase would be a vacuum sealer and a blast chiller/freezer unit.

The blast chiller/freezer allows you to cool the food down rapidly through the food danger zone. This zone is where bacteria proliferate and is between the temperatures of 5°C and 70°C. In Europe, it is now a standard operating procedure that cooked food must be brought down to less than 5°C in under 90 minutes, something that is just not possible with other forms of refrigeration.

The time will soon come in Australia when this will also become a requirement to conform to the food licensing laws.

The vacuum sealer allows you to store both fresh and prepared food and then hold that product for use at a later date. Potentially it will also allow you to better control food costs.

For a busy club environment serving freshly made pizza, you could bag all the fresh toppings, allowing for exact measurements in each bag and then control both the food costings and the cooking process. Once the pizza has been ordered, then the operator simply has to sauce up the base of the pizza, but the bag containing the toppings and spread them equally around the pizza base.

If you were also using a high-speed oven at the delivery point, you could be serving a cooked pizza under 120 seconds, depending on the base used.

Combi Oven Brands in Australia

There are many combi oven brands available in Australia, with the main ones being:

How to choose the Right Combi Oven for Your Establishment

You need to make the right choices when it comes to size and the quality. Typically one gastronorm sized tray equates to 10 people served. So, if you typically do a function for 100 people or 100 covers in your restaurant then you could easily consider a 10 tray combi oven.

As for the quality, consulting professionals with experience will be of great help. Sydney Commercial Kitchens sells all of brands of combi steamer ovens at competitive pricing, Australia wide.

Alsco would like to thank Neil Willis from Sydney Commercial Kitchens for sharing another informative article.

‘Who wants to eat some cake’? – a famous baker usually asks this to all his guests and customers.

How to choose the right kitchen equipment for your restaurant is a huge question, and, just as important is how to choose the correct company to supply you with this equipment. We always want to make sure that we only serve the best foods and pastries.

Here at Alsco we always want to keep your kitchen people looking smart and feeling comfortable with our good quality products and services.

Learn about our Hospitality Workwear and Chef Clothing in which you can cook comfortably and look professional. These clothes the food industry hygiene standards. Grab your phone and call 1300 659 892! Our friendly representative awaits.


Photo courtesy of Flickr Images by West Midlands Police