Creating a Greener and Cleaner Workplace

Clean towels

Creating a greener and cleaner workplace is the new norm. 

All businesses should strive to lower their negative environmental impact and promote sustainability at all levels. A greener and cleaner workplace means that your business can combine products, design, construction and initiatives to reduce your ecological footprint. 

Building a greener workplace means that you can optimise resources efficiently while creating healthier (and safer) environments for staff to work in. This can boost worker satisfaction and productivity, which trickles into better services and an amazing reputation to your customers. 

Although it can be an overwhelming process to shift your business into a greener and cleaner workplace, this article will give you some easy tips on how to improve your sustainability and recommends the eco-friendly hygiene products that are worthwhile to enhance your business’s work spaces. Check out our guide below! 

Reduce Energy Usage – Green Lighting 

Reducing your business’s energy use is an efficient way to create a greener and cleaner workspace. There are many ways to go about achieving this: you can invest in special sensors to control lights in low-use areas and incorporate timers for after-office hours. 

While optimising natural light is highly recommended throughout your office spaces, there are also other eco-friendly lighting alternatives, such as energy-efficient light bulbs that use LED technology, meaning that they are able to consume less power per unit of light emitted. This reduces greenhouse emissions from power plants.

Alternatively, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) are a decent option for creating your greener and cleaner workplace, since they are recyclable, generate less heat and contain less mercury than incandescent lights. By building this green power, this will ensure that your workplace becomes more eco-friendly, safe and hygienic in the long run. 

You should also consider creating onsite generation of renewable energy such as solar and wind power, while also taking into account the heating or cooling facilities used within the office. Use sufficient insulation to reduce the need for artificial temperature controls, which will help lower your energy costs and create a greener, cleaner workplace.

Use Non-toxic & Protective Furnishings 

Having an eco-friendly design layout in your workplace will ensure that your business is properly equipped to improve sustainability and cleanliness. Unfortunately, many businesses often have poorly manufactured furniture cluttering their offices. Most of the furnishings and decor are not sourced sustainably, while the materials often emit harmful chemicals – these can severely affect the health and safety of your staff. 

That’s why investing in the proper furnishings to decorate your business spaces is crucial, while simultaneously fostering a greener environment. There are a broad, versatile range of eco-friendly furniture out in the market, from handcrafted rattan or custom-made bamboo pieces, sustainably sourced timber, recycled homewares, oxide-free ceramics and choosing non-toxic upholstery fabrics. 

Many businesses also often overlook the importance of flooring. Alsco’s Dust Control and Floor Protection Mats are specially designed to trap 80% of dirt, dust and water before they even enter the workplace. Not only does this make your spaces cleaner, it reduces floor wear and tear while minimising any slippery accidents. They are also environmentally friendly, made from recycled PET bottles – awesome right? 

Optimise Your Washroom Design

The key to creating a greener and cleaner workplace is to optimise your business’s washroom design. The washroom is undoubtedly one of the dirtiest spaces in your business – the good news is that there are so many ways to improve your washroom hygiene, leaving it aromatic and squeaky clean. Check out these innovative eco-friendly washroom products: 

  • Odour Control Designed for maximum circulation, Oxygen-based dispensers are a revolutionary product for your workplace. Not only do they help businesses reduce their carbon footprint, they use an oxygen-based delivery method to release pure natural oil-based aromas and eliminate malodours. 
  • Instant Hand Sanitiser – Hand hygiene is crucial for any workplace. With these Instant Hand Sanitisers wall-mounted in your business washrooms, you’ll never have to worry about bacterial infection and contamination. This gentle sanitiser kills 99.9% of germs, while being environmentally safe and waterless. 
  • Feminine Hygiene – Feminine Hygiene units are a hygienic and eco-friendly way to keep your business washrooms feeling cleaner and greener. These include compact sanitary bins with a lift-flap mechanism, which requires minimal contact for optimal hygiene. The anti-bacterial liner in the bin also kills 99.999% of germs.
  • Intense Biological Treatment – Professional deep cleaning is a must for any business. With the Fresh & Clean Intense Biological Treatment, you can eliminate persistent odours and grime plaguing your washrooms. The 100% biodegradable and environmentally sustainable hygiene solutions will leave your washrooms sparkling. 

Invest in Greener Cleaning Products 

  • Non-Solvent Parts Washers – Alsco’s EcoSafe Washer is a 100% natural and eco-friendly alternative to harmful solvent washers for your business’s industrial cleaning needs. It uses aqueous, non-toxic and water-based cleaning fluids, which powerfully cleans the grease and oil through a unique process known as Bioremediation. This neutralises hazardous chemicals and minimises contaminants.  
  • Industrial Wipes –  Reusable wipes are an affordable and eco-friendly way to clean just about every surface. This makes them a perfect industrial cleaning solution for all kinds of businesses operating in different industries. Made from 100% cotton, Alsco’s uses advanced filtering techniques and complies with Australian standards, so contaminants are recycled or disposed of under the right processes.
  • Continuous Hand Towel – Cloth towels dry the hands quicker and more thoroughly, which means reduced risks of bacterial cross-contamination. They also have separate chambers for the new and used portion of the towel, which ensures no contact and optimal hygiene. Compared to paper towels, they use 63% less energy, create 48% less greenhouse gases and up to 79% less waste. 

Outsource Your Garments & Workwear 

Our society is becoming more environmentally conscious, so consumers and businesses alike have adapted accordingly. A great way to create a more hygienic and greener workplace is to outsource your laundry to a company that uses environmentally-friendly equipment and actively incorporates going green into their services. 

At Alsco, we’ve decreased the energy usage of our newest facilities by 63%. We’ve also researched and improved our water reuse systems, meaning that we use up to 50% less water and 30% less chemicals. Choosing Alsco means choosing a brighter, greener future for our environment. Not only that, it also means creating cleaner, healthier Australian workplaces.

A high-quality, well designed and maintained uniform can improve staff motivation, brand image and customer service. Alsco offers a flexible range of industrial workwear and work uniforms that combine style, comfort, durability and safety to ensure your staff look and feel their best. Through our Managed Rental Program, we supply the freshly cleaned uniforms you select for your business, which are regularly washed, dried, pressed and re-delivered to your door on a weekly basis. 

Creating a greener and cleaner workplace has never become easier with Alsco’s professional hygiene products and rental services. For more information, contact us now!

Alsco’s New and Improved Ecosafe Washer

New Ecosafe Washer in a warehouse

With growing concerns for the environment and workers’ health, it is important that businesses adapt to create new, innovative products which minimise any negative impacts.

Aqueous or water-based parts washers are becoming an increasingly popular and eco-friendly alternative for businesses. Compared to solvent washers which clean parts using petroleum-based contaminants (that are toxic, flammable and polluting), water-based parts washers are much safer and effective, since they use aqueous, non-toxic and water-based cleaning fluids. It’s high performance cleaning liquid cleans tough grease and oil and then recycles it into water and CO2, leaving you with clean parts and minimal waste.

By using a water-based parts washer, your business will also foster a safe and comfortable environment for your employees. You’ll minimise any harmful chemicals in cleaning solutions, which are notorious for causing adverse illnesses and hazardous injuries on workers such as breathing difficulties, headaches, skin irritations (dermatitis) and loss of motor function. 

How does it work?

A 100% natural alternative, Alsco’s Ecosafe Washer is the perfect water-based parts washer for your business. This unique Ecosafe washer utilises a process called bioremediation, where grease and oil are converted to carbon dioxide and water. 

Biological agents, such as microbes or plants, are used to neutralise hazardous substances and contaminants. This ensures a safer workplace where you clean mechanical parts without breathing or soaking your hands in dangerous hydrocarbons. 

The process of bioremediation is listed as one of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) innovative technologies.

The Alsco Ecosafe Washer is particularly ideal for engine cleaning and industrial parts cleaning. You won’t have to worry about your employee’s health being jeopardised since there are no harmful chemicals and fumes, while also being non-toxic and non-flammable. The non-solvent washer guarantees that there are no side-effects from volatile solvents. Even better, no waste disposal is required so you can significantly reduce your business’s eco-footprint! 

Many mechanics have been opting in for this amazing product since not only is it environmentally sustainable while prioritising workers’ health and safety, it also effectively cleans brake parts without damaging rubber seals or corroding metal. The Ecosafe Washer is easily transported around the workshop unlike solvent units. This makes it the ideal washer for reducing OH&S hazards around the workplace. 

The Alsco Ecosafe Washer contains a sturdy and robust tank which can hold up to 250kg of parts. There are no sharp edges on the sides of the tank, and its convenient height allows for easy loading and unloading of machine parts. 

Alsco’s Ecosafe Washer is the best solution for your business!

Why buy when you can rent? Alsco’s Managed Rental Service is designed to give you a peace-of-mind, with no large upfront costs. Under this program, you’ll pay a convenient and fixed monthly fee – no capital outlay required!

You don’t need to service, fix or maintain any equipment provided. Alsco will visit your business regularly to ensure that the Ecosafe Washer is working perfectly. Our weekly services include topping up liquid, checking the fluid temperature is optimal, checking pump, heater and aerator operation, cleaning the uni and a yearly desludge of the Eco Safe Washer.

So why hesitate? For a demonstration fill in the form or call 1300 136 784.

An Eco-Friendly Solution: Why Choosing Alsco is good for the Environment

2020 is the year of the environment. More and more individuals are becoming aware and eager to learn about the fragility of the environment and how they can protect it. 90% of Australians are concerned about the environment and its sustainability. With 85% of the Australian population living along the coastline, we’re surrounded with natural beauty everywhere. Companies are scurridly assessing their input resources, outgoing products and business processes, examining if they can be more environmentally friendly in any areas of the business. Individuals are willing to spend more on certain brands if they are environmentally friendly, allowing them to believe they’re doing their part to help the planet. 

Our latest environmentally friendly actions include:

  • Decreased energy usage of our newest facilities by 63%
  • Using up to 50% less water and 30% less chemicals by improving our water reuse systems
  • Creating and using more optimal delivery routes for lower gas consumption, emissions, and overall carbon footprint
  • Offering 100% PVC-free mats and facility products and adhering to the strict standards and certifications of Green Seal, Eco Logo, Design for the Environment, Enviro Kleen, and the National Floor Safety Institute.

We’ve also created an Ecosafe Washer, where oil and grease are turned into water and carbon dioxide (bio remediation). Reducing the need for harmful solvents, our Ecosafe Washer ensures a safer workplace where you can clean soiled parts without breathing in or touching dangerous hydrocarbons. With the non-solvent, there are no possible side effects which can harm individuals, while reducing the need for waste disposal and any further contamination. Alsco’s Ecosafe Washer is the safer, economical solution for cleaning oils and greases off mechanical parts without harming the environment.

At Alsco, we also provide a managed rental uniform service. Our rented uniforms are washed and repaired professionally, ensuring they last longer than traditional uniforms or any uniforms maintained by your employees. Having uniforms that last longer is one way of conserving resources and taking care of the environment. 

We are all about helping Australian businesses, the community and the environment. We are constantly working on how we can improve our products and services to help the environment. We’re here to help you create cleaner and healthier workplaces, which benefits your staff and the environment.

Why it is more hygienic and environmentally friendly to outsource your laundry

Washing Machine

Whether you’re in the food and beverage, medical or the industrial industry, your uniforms are guaranteed to get messy. You’re in contact with a large range of products and contaminants all day and now you’ve got to figure out how to clean them off your uniform.

Should you make your staff responsible for the cleaning their own uniform? What if they don’t wash it right and bacteria multiplies and thus increases the potential of infection to others? 

So how do you provide a more hygienic work environment? Outsource your laundry!

How is it more hygienic?

Regardless of the industry, staff are rarely taught how to properly wash their uniforms. Most individuals just throw their uniforms in with all their other laundry at home and turn on the machine. No special thought is given to disinfecting the uniform prior to the wash or even stain removal. Studies have found a significant presence of bacteria on the uniforms 48 hours after the shift ended. Thus the importance of washing your uniform correctly is crucial.

Most laundry cycles performed at home are done in a cold wash (around 30 degrees), due to cold washes being cheaper to run than hot washes. However, according to the NHS it is recommended that linen, underwear and other contaminated clothes should be washed at a minimum of 60 degrees to prevent any germs spreading. A good washing detergent is also required in addition to the hot wash, another measure which can not be guaranteed when asking staff to launder their uniforms at home.

It is also recommended that staff in industries with high contamination risks, e.g. the food and beverage industry and medical industry wash their uniforms after every shift. Research has shown that staff may not be able to do this due to the lack of uniforms available

Be more environmentally friendly

There has been more and more focus on becoming more environmentally friendly in recent years. Increase your corporate social responsibility by outsourcing your laundry to a company that uses environmentally friendly equipment and incorporates going green into their services. 

At Alsco, we’ve decreased the energy usage of our newest facilities by 63%. We’ve also researched and improved our water reuse systems where we now use up to 50% less water and 30% less chemicals.

Choosing Alsco means choosing a brighter, greener future for our environment. Not only that, it also means creating cleaner, healthier Australian workplaces.

Alsco Joins Replanting Project in New Zealand Waterways

What An Effort

Alsco staff, family & friends contributed 300 volunteer hours – what and effort!

Did You Know That Alsco Cleans Up Rivers

Earlier this year, Alsco joined with the exciting Million Metres Streams Project. It’s a three-year partnership that will help transform New Zealand’s waterways.

Million Metres is led by the Sustainable Business Network (SBN), in partnership with the Department of Conservation. Its aim to is to support communities to replant one million metres of New Zealand waterways by 2026. Alsco is an SBN Member, joining more than 500 other business finding ways to change the way we work to put people and planet first.

This winter, Alsco staff joined Million Metres at planting days around the country. More than 130 Alsco staff, family, and friends from five branches got stuck in. Together they contributed more than 300 volunteer hours to the effort.

Along with volunteers from local community organizations and other business, they helped get an impressive 3,900 native plants in the ground along 1480 metres of waterway:

  • 800 plants at the Whau River in Ken Maunder Park, West Auckland.
  • 900 plants at Mangaonua Stream in Silverdale, Hamilton
  • 1,000 plants at Tahawai Stream in Katikati, Bay of Plenty.
  • 800 plants at Mangapapa Stream in Woodville, Manawatu.
  • 400 plants and trees at Belmont Stream in Seton Nossiter Park, Wellington.

Throughout the year Alsco has also donated $3,000 to eight waterway restoration projects around the country, via Million Metres crowdfunding platform (www.millionmetres.org.nz)

As the trees from these projects grow they will shade and cool the waterways. They help protect the waterways from soil erosion and pollution and they provide habitat and food for native birds and fish.

The Million Metres project is gaining momentum all over the country. It has now raised over half a million dollar for 25 waterway restoration projects across New Zealand.

Georgi Hart is project lead for Million Metres.

“What is underway is a vital shift in the way New Zealanders relate to their streams, rivers and lakes,” she says, “It wouldn’t be possible without partners like Alsco.”

“It’s so great that Alsco staff and their families have given their time and energy to this. We look forward to doing more!”

Gavin Smith is Business and Product Development Manager for Alsco. “Million Metres is a wonderful partnership for Alsco. It is something our employees, families, suppliers, and customers can really relate to and there is a genuine energy associated with our involvement. It is fantastic to see kids, parents and friends join our teams for these plantings. Not only do they enjoy participating, but we know we are making a positive and tangible long-term environmental impact, and that flows onto social goodwill and community pride,” he says.

“Alsco is a large user of water and we want to do whatever we can to minimise our impact on the environment. Our support of the Million Metres initiative is a tangible and collective action by our teams nationwide that is creating a real social, environmental, and economic difference. We are really grateful for all the wonderful support and feedback from the wider Alsco family in relation to our contribution to Million Metres.”

21 Remarkable Ways Guaranteed to Make Your Office Greener at No Cost

Recycle plastic cups

Being a green business is highly beneficial for both your business and the environment. Here is how: You’ll greatly reduce your operating costs, get tax credits, have a healthier workplace, productive employees and benefit from consumer demand.

Better still, your sustainability efforts will save the earth from the effects of climate change and global warming, thus making it a wonderful planet to live in.

A perfect way to achieve these wonderful benefits is by making small simple green changes in your workplace.

So let’s take a closer look at these highly effective tips. What’s more, implementing them is absolutely free.

So, here we go…

1. Reuse

Do your printing on both sides of the paper, for lesser paper use. Use used paper for note taking. Furthermore, instead of disposing of used papers, send them for recycling.

Old files and folders can be reused by simply flipping the records inside out and using the fresh looking folder instead of new ones.

2. Recycle Waste

Form a habit of recycling waste materials. For example, you can dramatically reduce your office expenditure by recycling office supplies such as empty cartridges.

There are plenty of office supply firms that take in the used supplies. While at it, some even reward you with cash incentives.

For waste materials made from aluminum and glass, send them to the relevant recycling companies. These are commendable efforts that can reduce environmental pollution through the reduction of garbage waste.

Also, have a strategically placed recycle bin at your workplace, and encourage everyone to make use of it.

Photo courtesy of Pexels Images by Digital Buggu

3. Use Cloth Towels for Hand Drying

Hand washing is a common good hygiene habit that is often done throughout the day while at the office. But there’s one problem: If you are using paper towels or hand dryers, they are hurting the environment.

Here is a better option. Use the continuous cloth towel.

Why? Because cloth towels besides being hygienic, also offer significant environmental benefits, with less than half the environmental impact of paper towels, using up to 63% less energy, and creating 48% fewer greenhouse gases and up to 79% less waste.

4. Use Energy Efficient Lights

Obviously, any workplace must be well lit, but it shouldn’t result in very high electricity costs. Simply switch to energy efficient lighting like LEDs and save up to 80% energy.

Any lights that are not in use within the office must always be switched off. Another option is adding motion sensors so that lights are only on when there is occupancy.

5. Grow Office Plants

Live plants are great at reducing carbon dioxide emissions and act as natural air purifiers. Moreover, they add a dash of natural beauty to your office, therefore creating an enjoyable ambiance for everyone.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay Images

6. Turn Off Electronics

Lower your electricity bill by constantly switching off any electronic not in use. Computers and other electrical appliances can also be saved from damage in case of power overload after a blackout.

Did you know that if still plugged in, electronic appliances consume power even though you’ve turned them off?

Therefore, completely unplug the electronic appliances from power cords or sockets after switching them off.

7. Establish Natural Ventilation

To create a comfortable internal climate in your workplace, use natural ventilation which is much cheaper and healthier compared to air conditioners.

8. Switch to Recycled Office Supplies

You can help reduce wastage by using recycled office supplies. Printing papers and toner cartridges for your printing needs is a great start.

9. Purchase Gently Used Items for Work

Nowadays, thrift stores are well stocked with quality gently used items that can be purchased at a lower price than new ones. Office furniture, general decor, storage items and much more can be purchased and repurposed to suit your taste. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to even get nice clothing appropriate for work.

10. Donate

More often than not, something you don’t need may be of great benefit to others. Rather than rendering your gently used items obsolete, donate them to charity or local development groups. For example; old furniture, computers, printers, phones, books and manuals.

11. Telecommute Where Possible

Commit to having your employees work from home whenever possible. They will not only save on transport costs but will also reduce gas usage and carbon emissions.

Working woman at home
Photo courtesy of Pexels Images by Pixabay

12. Change the Way You Commute

Adopting a simpler approach to how you commute to your workplace can help save money and reduce carbon emissions. For instance: public transport, carpooling, cycling, or even walking to work.

13. Go Digital

Maximize the use of digital communication tools to share information with your workmates.

Replace the traditional paper cards with electronic cards.

Paper versions of newspapers, trade journals, magazines etcetera can be made available electronically, saving your budget and the environment.

14. Switch to Green Non-toxic Cleaning Supplies

Naturally, your workplace must be sparkling clean, but are you using the right products to get the job done? Frankly, biodegradable products free from volatile organic acids and harsh chemicals are the best options.

Here’s why: They keep the people cleaning the office environment and other office utilities safe from harm. Plus you’ll be supporting companies that value sustainability.

15. Encourage Use of Reusable Utensils

To reduce expenses and environmental pollution, use reusable water bottles and mugs. If you’re carrying lunch to the office, make use of reusable containers and bowls. You’ll have eliminated wastage of packaging paper bags which eventually end up in the garbage.

16. Dress in Layers

Layering your dressing is another great way to save on office energy costs. While keeping you appropriately warm, it eliminates the need for turning up the heating appliances in the office.

17. Limit Frequent Travels to Meetings

Incorporate virtual meeting tools for your meetings to limit travels thereby saving time, costs and lowering transportation emissions.

18. Redesign Your Office

Improve your working environment with simple office redesigning techniques. It’ll help improve your workers’ comfort and boost productivity. Aim for fresh natural air and sufficient sunlight while at it.

19. Think Before You Act

Think through the things you need to do and consider other eco-friendlier options. For example, appending a reminder signature at the bottom of an email asking one to consider if they really need to print that document is a good practice.

20. Get Everyone Involved

Share green tips with everyone in the office. This will encourage a good working culture that is eco-friendly. Moreover, when everyone involved is in the know, it makes collaboration easier leading to much faster accomplishment of tasks and goals.

You may also appreciate and motivate employees who demonstrate sustainable work habits.

21. Ditch the Elevator for the Stairs

Rather than using the elevators which consume a lot of energy, take the stars. Remember every step of stairs is your chance to burn kilojoules for a healthier and fitter you.

Your Greener Workplace

Now it’s your turn. Go ahead and implement these highly effective tips for a greener workplace that you will be truly proud to be associated with.

Remember our lovely planet, which is the only home we’ve got, will also benefit from your efforts. Better yet, you’ll make huge savings on your office expenditure.

Sounds impressive, right?

Now, don’t get left behind. Start greening your workplace by switching to an environment-friendly way of hand hygiene – use cloth towels. With an average of 200 uses per towel, you can’t go wrong with these hygienic and super soft absorbent towels. Order your cloth towel today.

Photo courtesy of Flickr Images by Eric

13 Ridiculously Simple Lighting Tricks Guaranteed to Make Your Office Greener

Operating a profitable business is not a walk in the park. It takes a lot of planning, budgeting and internal controls to break even or increase profitability. Don’t even try to deny it.

Employee salaries, travel costs, logistics and much more do impact the office budget when looking into cost-cutting measures. But there is an area that is often overlooked-the electricity bills. It often takes a major portion of your office expenditure and you can do something about it.

According to Climate Works Australia’s Energy Productivity Index, Companies could improve their profits by 2-10% each year by saving energy.

For example, improved energy efficiency has already led to USD $1.2 billion in annual savings for the 70 companies analysed across six sectors: airlines, automobiles, chemicals, steel, paper and construction.

And that’s not all, The United Nations Environment Organization shares similar sentiments as well;

A troubling thought, isn’t it?

Let’s have a look at some ridiculously simple and practical ways that can help you reduce the lighting electricity expenditure and boost your profits.

But you know what else? You’ll be reducing your carbon footprint and helping our planet stay greener; a noble task that most companies and businesses have undertaken to help save our planet from further destruction.

And while we are at it, you could also use eco-friendly products and services at your workplace to further that noble course of making our planet greener.Sounds good?

So let’s take a closer look at the simple tricks you can start implementing today for a greener workplace and reduced lighting bills.

1. Reconsider Your Lighting Options

First of all start by identifying and upgrading your office lighting to more energy efficient options.

And here is the best thing:replacing all the incandescent and CFL bulbs with Light Emitting Diodes (LED) will save up to 80% energy.

If you’re on a tight budget, start gradually with areas where lights are on for longer periods.

Here are the benefits and features of LED lighting;

✓ Long life – it features long operational lifetime expectations.

✓ Energy efficiency – it features much better energy efficiency.

✓ Ecologically friendly – it is much more eco-friendly.

✓ Durable quality – its illumination can withstand rough conditions.

✓ Zero UV and IR emissions – it features close to no Ultraviolet and Infrared emissions.

✓ Design flexibility – it has powerful flexible design features.

✓ It’s operational in extremely cold or hot temperatures.

✓ Light disbursement – it to achieve higher application efficiency.

✓ Instant lighting and frequent switching – it can be turned on/off many times.

✓ Low-voltage – it can run on low-voltage power Supply.

Low voltage bulb
Photo courtesy of Pixabay Images by qimono

2. Take Advantage of Natural Lighting

Whenever the sun is shining in abundance during working hours; make good use of it for illumination. It wouldn’t make sense to have the lights on, on a bright sunny day, would it?

Even in the mornings, have the curtains and blinds adjusted to let sufficient light in, instead of having the lights on.

It helps to have the workplace arranged in a way that allows maximum natural light in.

Your employees will appreciate the natural light, plus it has been proven to prevent eye strain, boost good moods, increase productivity and enhance an overall sense of satisfaction.

3. Install Motion and Occupancy Sensors

This is an excellent hassle free option to manual on and off switching of lights. Take note of the rooms that aren’t always in use and install motion-activated sensors so that the lights are switched off by default.

The most common types are dimmers, motion, occupancy and photo sensors and timers.

They are flexible to implement because you can easily add them to new or existing light fixtures. Rooms that are best suited for these sensors may include individual offices, the conference rooms, restrooms, storage areas, and the mailroom.

4. Decorate with Light Colours

Use light colours on the walls combined with high gloss sheens. They easily reflect off daylight reducing the need for artificial light.

Here is more on the psychology of light and colour.

5. Label Switches

For easy identification, labelling switches will help your staff to know the relevant switches for use thus reducing unnecessary lighting.

6. Install Light Dimmer Switches

Light dimmers save energy by enabling you to adjust the light intensity for your intended purpose. Dimmers let you have one light for different applications, allowing you to only adjust the brightness of any one light to serve various purposes.

It’s a very versatile option for your office use and saves you money.

7. Task Lighting

This is a method of lighting your localized workspace to eliminate unnecessary lighting, therefore, reducing energy use and costs. The targeted work areas will have higher illumination levels than that produced by overhead lights.

Examples of task lights are lamps, under-cabinet lights lamps that will consume less energy than overhead lights in most workplaces

Here is an excerpt from a research conducted on the case for task lighting.

Consider spotlighting for display areas but not for general illumination. If you’re in the retail or hospitality industry, always keep the lighting at reduced levels and then switch them on when you’re just about to open.

8. Turn off Lights Campaign

Instill in your employees a habit of turning the lights off when not in use.

For instance, it’s pointless to have the lights on in an unoccupied office room or washroom all day. Place reminders for switching office lights off when leaving for home and the outdoor lights when they’re not in use.

You could even consider having a reward system for the members of staff who consistently switch lights off. Even a simple extra 10 minutes paid lunch break would go a long way.

Light switch on/off
Photo courtesy of Freepik Images by shayne_ch13

9. Daylight Linking

Using sensors and smart control systems, you can link artificial light levels to natural light levels to minimize energy use.

10. Use Two-way Switching

For office rooms with two exits; ensure that lights can be easily turned off when leaving the room.

Here is more on the difference between one way and two-way switches

✓ One-way switches only have two terminals while two-way switches have three.

✓ A two-way switch can be used to control a light from two locations while a one-way switch cannot.

✓ One-way switches have definite on and off states while two-way switches don’t.

11. Choose Light Fitting Wisely

There are some light fittings especially those that have coloured fabric or glass that can block up to 50% of the light. This means that they’ll need a higher wattage globe which is costly.

Check out these tips on how to choose your lighting wisely.

12. Use LED Lighting Fixtures for Outdoor Lighting

Instead of having outdoor security lights, spotlights or flood lights on all night; you can install infrared or movement sensors.

Apart from reducing your electricity bill, they will also alert people that there is something going on in your office building.

13. Clean Lamps and Fittings

Clean lights remain bright and have a longer lifespan through reduced heat. Always ensure they are free of dust and build up for optimal output.

Do the cleaning regularly using a soft cloth and plain water, or if excessively dirty, you could use a mild detergent.

Create a Profitable and Greener Workplace

In essence, these simple daily efforts that are sometimes overlooked, do make a big impact in the long run. Don’t get left behind, start implementing these tricks at your workplace today for a profitable and greener business.

Here is all you have to ensure;

✓ Sufficient natural light at the workplace

✓ Selected lighting corresponds to the appropriate visual task

✓ Balanced direct and indirect light

✓ Optimized use of energy saving lamps

✓ Use of flicker- and glare-free lighting

✓ Ensure the light intensity in the room is individually adjustable

✓ Use pleasant and bright light colours (warm white, neutral white)

✓ Avoid glare and distracting reflections

It really is that simple.

Want to know more on how you can make your workplace even more eco-friendly? Check out Alsco’s eye-opening resources to make your workplace greener and healthier.

We guarantee you a comprehensive solution to your business worries – from convenient, cash flow friendly payments through to a regular servicecompletely flexible to your needs. And isn’t that what you want?

Photo courtesy of Pexels Images by Pixabay

10 Ideas To Make Your Small Business More Sustainable

Recycled bulb shade

Considering we spend about a fifth of our lifetime at work, it’s worthwhile thinking about how we can make our workplace better both for ourselves and the environment.

Sustainability in the workplace is much more than using energy-saving bulbs and recycling — it’s an holistic approach to creating a general sense of wellbeing in a workplace that cares for both people and the environment.

Although this might seem a difficult concept to introduce to small and medium size businesses because of the limited resources available, it doesn’t have to be that expensive.

As Human Resources Strategist, Therese Ravell of Impact HR states, it’s been proven that employees who share their organisation’s values are more likely to perform better and stay longer in the company.

As an experienced consultant in helping small and medium size businesses, Therese suggests ten low-cost yet effective ideas to improve sustainability in your Australian workplace.

1. Change Your Team Habits

Big changes start with small steps. Motivate your team to change their everyday habits in favour of eco-friendly choices.

Replace disposable coffee cups with reusable mugs, add recycling bins and managed sanitary bins to the office, use prompt them to print less. They will feel motivated to do something useful for themselves and the planet.

2. Create Green Spaces

Having plants in your indoor environment will help clean the air and improve the general mood – and of course it will make the office look prettier. Encouraging your employees to take care of the plants will make them feel more responsible and involved.

3. Recycle, Recycle, Recycle

Create a recycling culture within your team and if possible, give each of them a specific task to help recycling in the office.

Some ideas could be installing and checking the usage of recycling bins, managing the printer by making sure everything gets printed double sided and printer cartridges gets refilled when necessary, collect used batteries and recycle them (even better switch to rechargeable batteries) and making sure the food waste is kept to a minimum.

4. Introduce Flexible Work Policy

Giving flexible working conditions to your employees is another great step towards sustainability.

For instance, working from home has considerable advantages both for employees and the environment – it will help them have a more productive workspace and it will cut down the carbon emission they would normally produce on their commute to work.

5. Have a Weekly Office Food Shopping Expedition

Ever thought about doing an office food shopping? Most of us will probably spend their lunch break at work so why not planning the week meals together with your team.

Doing a common food shopping trip will help your employees saving money and time and it will also make them feel good about their food choices.

6. Stay Online

Minimise paper waste as much as you can. This will not only help the environment but it
will also save you money when using the office printer.

Try and manage work activities such as reading reports, sending invitations, taking meeting notes and sending documents online. Having online meetings and conference calls also helps when it comes to reduce pollution and save money on travelling.

7. Get Them Involved

Your team involvement is key to their retention. Motivate them to take part in eco-friendly initiatives such as managing the kitchen waste smartly, taking part in Australian Recycling Week and carpooling.

You can also get creative with your team building activities – ever thought about organising a gardening workshop or a green week challenge for your team?

8. Manage Your Office’s Energy Consumption

Keeping the energy levels of your office equipment under control is useful, especially when it comes to reducing your electricity bills. Ask your team to switch off their equipment overnight and shut everything down during long weekends and holiday periods.

When buying new laptops and technology equipment for the office, make sure to do some research beforehand and choose the best energy efficient items within your price range. Once your equipment is out of use, recycle it to minimise landfill.

9. Start Acting Local

Transport and energy costs are reduced considerably when you buy locally made products. Have you ever thought about where the tea and coffee you buy come from? By buying local products you will decrease production costs and you will support companies with a similar ethos to your own business.

10. Sharing is Caring

Having a sustainable working environment also means saving financial resources that could be invested somewhere else within the business. Encourage your employees to share their ideas about how to save energy in the office and attract more socially-engaged customers. Make sure you reward the ones who have the best ideas – even better with something eco-friendly such as a plant or a reusable coffee mug.

These are some general tips that you can take as an inspiration and adapt to your own workplace. By doing your best to improve your employee working conditions and your own work environment, you’ll be more likely to attract a stronger and more reliable workforce.

Contribution by:
Therese Ravell is the Director of Impact HR, an innovative HR consultancy for SMEs based in Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Passionate about people, performance and profitability, Impact HR’s tailored approach will ensure each business receives the right help to grow and manage their workforce.

If a healthy and environment-friendly workplace is what you want, contact Alsco today for workplace solutions for your business.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay Images by domsen

Discover the Simplest Ways to Make Your Hotel More Eco-Friendly

Hotel officer assisting visitors.

Running an eco-friendly business has become more and more popular each day. It is always good to see that the number of people caring about the environment is getting bigger, right? However, that number would be even greater if people do not think that making their business more eco-friendly is an extremely difficult and complex activity.

Well, good news is that, actually, it does not have to be! Yes, it is familiar that running any type of business consists of serious, demanding and time consuming steps and tasks.

Running a hotel business can be especially tricky of course! You have to think about all the details related to the design, hiring professional staff and providing the best possible service. Even the washroom details are huge subject of interest for you here! But, doing all these activities in a more environmentally-friendly way does not require introducing some ground changes!

What you have to do for a start is to implement small and easy steps which will eventually take you to your goal! Just keep reading and learn about the simplest ways to make your hotel more green! As simple as that!

Educate the Staff

Your clients and guests first meet the staff when they enter your hotel, right? So, maybe this is a good sign for you to start with the staff too!

All you need to do here is to educate and train your staff to behave in a more eco-friendly way while doing their jobs. This does not demand some serious, long training session at the beginning. It is enough to get them familiar with some basic green behaviour, such as:

  • Turn off the lights in the rooms which are not occupied
  • Turn down the heating and air conditioning in unoccupied rooms and areas
  • Check for leaking toilets, showers and faucets regularly
  • Turn off unnecessary or currently not used electrical equipment

It cannot be simpler than that, wouldn’t you agree?

Save Energy

When someone mentions ‘going green’ and ‘energy saving’ in one sentence, people usually think of a big investment, such as using solar panels for powering the hotel. However, implementing some minor changes will do a great job for a start:

  • replace the bulbs with LED lights since they consume less power
  • use more natural light
  • use motion sensors in your bathrooms so the lights don’t need to be kept on all day/night
  • schedule an energy audit who can help you be more efficient

Get Rid of Disposables

Ditching all disposables you can will make an enormous step in being more eco-friendly! The easiest and simplest way to do this is to replace all plastic and paper cups which are used for coffee and drinks with reusable mugs and glasses.

Taking a break with a cup of coffee
Photo courtesy of Freepik Images by katemangostar

One small step for you, big for the environment! So easy, right?

Provide Eco-Friendly Activities for Your Guests

Why wouldn’t you let your clients and guests help you with the ‘Going Green” action?

Provide bicycles for rental. Offer your guests walking routes. Just think how much would you do for the environment if your guests reduce the use of cars. At least while they are staying at your hotel! And what is the best of all, you are actually doing something good for your guests’ health as well! They will certainly appreciate your thoughtfulness!

Use Green Cleaning Products

You can do miracles for the environment if you just buy different cleaning products. Green ones, of course! Keeping the areas clean and spotless is extremely important for running hotel business. It has a massive impact on your overall business image.

Areas which are crucial are the washrooms! They always have to be perfectly sanitised and maintained regularly. The amount of products necessary for doing this activity in an appropriate way is extremely big. So, for a moment think about the benefits you provide for our planet if you replace all the detergents and regular cleaning products which are full of toxic chemicals with eco-friendly ones.

The benefits could be tremendous, right? And the most important is that you are not adding more responsibilities to your to-do list. Buying cleaning products is a must and has to be done on a regular basis. You just have to choose different ones, the green ones, and you’ve done the job! It cannot be easier!

Basically, there are countless ways to make your hotel more eco-friendly. Now you know that the ways of going green do not always have to be complex, time consuming or expensive. Sometimes all you need are small, simple and easy changes to achieve your goal.

However, if you think of making a bit more serious investment, we are here to help you! Choosing our Intensive Biological Treatment will do wonders both for your business and the environment!

Your hotel’s washrooms will be spotless and sanitised. You get the best possible result with using 100% environmentally-friendly system. It does not just sound amazing, it really is!

To find out more about it and to get the best possible offer, call Alsco now! Our friendly representatives are there for all your questions and will happily find the most suitable solution for your needs!

Photo courtesy of Flickr Images by fhotels

4 Incredibly Easy Steps to Greener Automotive Industry

Mechanic servicing automobile car engine in repair garage

Automotive Industry is definitely one of the biggest ones. It is very complex and consists of numerous procedures before actual vehicle making, such as finding the appropriate material for each part, producing vehicle parts, designing, maintaining both the parts and working areas, etc.

Although people nowadays cannot imagine living without vehicles, this industry does not have a positive impact on the environment and our planet.

Air pollution is one of the worst consequences. Also, hazardous waste reduction, oil disposal and other production and recycling costs to the environment are impossible to measure. Considering the fact that we have only one planet to live on whereas, on the other hand, living without vehicles nowadays would be science fiction, some action has to be done!

Many vehicle manufacturers have been working on a more environment-friendly approach to production in the last years. However, like every other change, it requires time. And when talking about the environment and our planet, time is priceless.

So, it would be the best to start at least with smaller actions, which would definitely be of great help! Here are four simple steps you can implement right away into your workshop and help our planet instantly!

1.Deal Properly with Hazardous Chemicals and Materials

Firstly, when it comes to purchasing all the chemicals and materials you need, try to make a list and then read it thoroughly. Find the most hazardous chemicals and materials and try to find a less hazardous replacement for them. Maybe you even realise that you can stop using some of them!

When it comes to less hazardous chemicals, focus on those which are water-based or biodegradable.

Photos courtesy from Flickr Image by James Bastow

The next thing that would be smart to do is storing all the toxic chemicals in the appropriate way! Pay attention to the expiry date and put them in the order you purchase them. In this way, there would be far less waste which is always beneficial for the environment. Also, it would be great if you separated all the flammable chemicals in a separate area. Nobody wants an extra fire-danger in the workshop, right?

2.Save Water

Whenever there is some info about taking care of the environment, water saving is always number one priority! And with a good reason, since the only thing we really cannot live without for a very long time is water!

Now, what you can always make sure you do before you close your workshop for the day is to check the taps, showers and toilets for leaks. Furthermore, consider installing rainwater tanks for car washing and toilet flushing. Also, take care of evaporative cooling towers and get them serviced on a regular basis. This will prevent leakage and enormous water losses.

In addition, while washing hands, do not let the water running from the tap all the time – stop the water flow while you are soaping your hands! This may sound a bit too simple. However, this simple act will save huge amounts of water.

3.Reduce Waste in an Appropriate Way

When reducing waste the crucial thing to do first is to separate the recycling waste. This act will be extremely helpful since mixing wastes may make them unusable for recycling. What you can do here is next:

  • Metal waste is gathered in one place and sent to a local metal recycling facility. In this way, you are reducing the carbon emissions involved in transporting metal.
  • Cardboard is segregated, saved and sent to a paper recycling facility.
  • Oil filters are no exception to recycling. The only thing you have to do before sending them to the appropriate recycling facility is to drain them and store them safely.

Make sure none of the employees and workers ever forget to recycle! You can create a recycling schedule or hang recycling posters all over the workshop. It will serve them as a great reminder!

4.Clean Smart

When you think of how many areas, parts and tools you have to clean in just one workshop, you cannot but think about wasting water. So, in order to save water, washing vehicles, degreasing motors and cleaning areas should be done as practically as possible.

In terms of chemicals used for cleaning, try not to use toxic and hazardous ones. There is a number of different detergents and sanitisers which are environment-friendly, so you have many options to choose from. If you already have to use toxic and hazardous chemicals during production and repairing, at least you can avoid those chemicals in the maintaining part of the job!

Also, one of the best things you can do is consider hiring a professional service for washing parts. Ecosafe Washer is a great tool since it is easy and safe to use, cost-effective and powerful! What’s more, it is completely non-toxic and non-flammable which means it is safe both for you and your environment. It cleans parts thoroughly without damaging them, and it is water-based and contains no chemicals at all!

Call Alsco now, and our friendly representatives will happily answer all your questions and give you the best offer based on your needs!

Photo courtesy from Freepik Image by Peoplecreations