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Team B’s Mini-project Case Study

In February 2015, Shining Knight Facility Services began a Green Cleaning Program with their core management team. Dividing into three competing teams, each group took on a mini-project that would change a simple product or process, then monitor and measure the sustainable outcomes.

Team B chose three different projects to tackle: to reduce waste by replacing disposable gloves with reusable gloves; to reduce chemical use by scrubbing with hot water only every second night; and to find a better way to recycle empty chemical canisters. Team B’s project engaged the cleaning team in measuring and gathering evidence to help them find the most practical and sustainable outcomes.

Team:

Ros, Arthur and Angelo formed the management team, and Vidhin led the team of enthusiastic cleaners at Virgin Active, Bourke Street.

Stakeholders:

Team B stakeholders included the cleaners and the Virgin Active floor manager.

Process:

During both months of the project, Team B members recorded the number of gloves they used on a sheet and collected them in a box. The volume of chemical and water used in the scrubber was recorded daily, while the canisters were weighed at the start and finish, and stored ready for reuse when empty.

Challenges:

The team were concerned that the client might perceive reusable gloves to be a cross-contamination issue, and some were not happy with the change. However a bigger challenge was the tiled floor. Due to constant usage and chlorine from the pool, hot water was not able to replace chemicals more than once per week, and when it did, it required significantly more water.

Strategies:

The growing pile of disposable gloves was a powerful motivator for the cleaners to wear reusable gloves, and has helped to phase them out. Colour-coded reusable gloves and a washing / drying process has overcome the hygiene concerns.

Outcomes:

Some of the more ambitious projects taken on by Team B were not as successful as they had hoped, but it is only by pushing the boundaries that real sustainability can occur. Importantly, by monitoring the results and addressing the challenges as a team, this team has built a lasting commitment to sustainable practices.

Results:

The results of Team B’s reusable gloves and chemical reduction project were:

◊  In 1 month, Team B saved $13.45, prevented 1.5kilos of rubber going to landfill, and 2.84 litres of hazardous chemical from going down the drain.

◊  In six months, this strategy is projected to save a total of $98.66 and prevent 11.3kilos of rubber from ending up in landfill.

 

“Building a commitment to sustainable practices”.