Statement of Environmental Commitment
At Menzies we take the responsibility of reducing our impact on health and the environment very seriously. It is essential to our core business to maintain health and hygiene standards and protect our shared future.
The adoption of environmentally sustainable cleaning practices was a natural progression from our long-standing commitment to quality assurance, health and safety. To this end, Menzies maintains the following third party accredited management systems to ensure we achieve consistently high standards:
- AS/NZS ISO 9001:2008, Quality Management Systems
- AS/NZS ISO 14001:2004, Environmental Management Systems
Good environmental practice is good business. Environmental sustainability has been adopted as a key principle across our entire operations, from procurement and training through to service delivery. Commonly called ‘green cleaning’, we define this approach as: “Cleaning effectively with minimal risk to health and environment.” 1
We know that decisions made today will be reconsidered tomorrow, in line with our continual improvement commitments as new evidence and solutions come to light.
The guiding principles of the Menzies’ Green Clean Program and how this benefits our client’s are described below.
Menzies has long been recognised for our commitment to meeting and exceeding our Work Safe obligations for chemical safety. We were one of the first companies to introduce the JohnsonDiversey J-flex system, designed to eliminate chemical exposure and over usage. We also limit our base range of chemicals to just four carefully selected products.
To minimise chemicals further we continue to actively research the latest green chemistry and chemical-free cleaning alternatives. This is in line with the Substitution Principle2, which is enforced by law in parts of Europe and is a corner stone of true green cleaning.
Environmentally Preferred chemical Certification is another vital link in our green cleaning story. International scientists are concerned that even low doses of certain chemicals found in cleaning products could have the potential to damage the central nervous system or endocrine system. These endocrine disrupting chemicals have been linked to the escalating rates of autism and Alzheimer’s disease, while the use of strong chemicals has long been linked to the rising cost of asthma. This has led to regulation changes in Europe and the USA.
Our Johnson Diversey products are Green Seal Certified (USA) and such third party certification is the basis of Menzies’ procurement criteria. It provides our clients and our own cleaners with the assurance that our materials are free of chemicals of concern. Stringent sustainability guidelines are being extended across all aspects of our supply chain, from consumables to equipment, to reduce our whole environmental and carbon footprint.
Indoor air quality
The CSIRO estimates the cost of poor indoor air quality (IAQ) in Australia may be as high as $12 billion per year through lost production. Studies have shown that poor IAQ can increase school absenteeism and decrease mental performance such as concentration, calculation and memory. Cleaning chemicals can have a significant impact on IAQ, especially though Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Cleaning products emitting VOCs can combine with ozone (commonly emitted from office equipment) and release formaldehyde into the air.
To ensure we protect our client’s health and wellbeing, the JohnsonDiversey products we use contain VOCs well below the California Air Resources Board (CARB) limit. Dust particulates are another cause of poor IAQ and can cause allergies and more serious respiratory illness. Menzies address this problem by implementing vacuum filter maintenance procedures and using vacuum cleaners fitted with 4 stage HEPA filtration, capable of removing potentially harmful particulates to .3 microns in size.
Low harm but high hygiene
At Menzies, our aim is to provide our clients with hygienically clean buildings. This is a vitally important, but unfortunately an all too often forgotten aspect of green cleaning. We use professional quality microfibre cloths, but will only implement microfibre cleaning technology where cloth laundering and effective chemical-free cleaning is possible. Alternatively, our certified chemicals and controlled dispensing system leave contactable surfaces free of harmful chemical residues.
A high standard of cleanliness, hygiene and cross-contamination prevention are ensured through the provision of staff training, rewarding good performance, and implementing best practices such as color-coding, cloth replacement quotas and a daily tool maintenance schedule.
Energy and resource efficiency
Through the controlled dispensing of super-concentrated chemicals, Menzies has significantly reduced the environmental impacts, such as carbon emissions, associated with packaging and shipping. The Johnson Diversey J-flex system dilutes up to 750 parts compared to an average of 4 parts, which saves 149 kilos of plastic waste and 452 kilos of CO23 equivalent when compared to ready to use (RTU) bottles.
These sustainability measures extend to the careful maintenance and re-use of tools and equipment, and are supported by procurement guidelines that stipulate durability and efficiency. As energy prices are anticipated to increase significantly over the coming years, Menzies has commenced an energy efficiency program such as the use of the energy efficient Tennant ecH20. We are currently investigating carbon off-setting schemes and strategies to further streamline our travel and delivery requirements.
Waste places a significant burden on the environment, through the impact of collection, disposal and replacement. Effective waste management strategies fall under two categories; waste minimisation and recycling. Our chemical dispensing system has significantly reduced our own packaging waste burden and for our clients, as do all our reusable tools and durable equipment. We also offer the highly effective Eco Bin office system designed to increase the capacity of occupant recycling.
The Menzies Green Clean Program
The Menzies green clean program is focused on implementing and monitoring quantifiable health and environmental outcomes. The results of this initiative will be measured independently by the FGC Benchmark Review. This comprehensive audit provides our clients with the assurance that their buildings are hygienically clean and healthy, and our environmental impact and carbon footprint are continually being monitored and reduced.