London-based commercial cleaning company Hive Cleaning has adopted the Toucan Eco cleaning system to support its industry-leading sustainable practices.
Led by managing director Louis Beaumont, Hive Cleaning has a clear set of sustainability and ethical values comprising an extraordinary level of service, immaculate cleaning, motivated staff and the use of innovative green technologies that offer environmental protection
Commercial cleaning re-thought
Louis explains: “As well as supporting the London Living Wage for all employees, we are also holders of the Planet Mark (TPM) Accreditation measuring our sustainability and social value. We carry out 100% aerosol free, non-toxic, eco-friendly cleaning, have a 100% electric fleet, powered by 100% renewable energy, and a zero to landfill policy.
“We also have an effective single-use plastic reduction strategy in place attaining Plastic Zero status in 2020 through the Plastic bank scheme to remove plastic from the great Atlantic garbage patch. This means some 1,224kg – the equivalent of 61,200 500ml bottles – were removed by us from our seas last year. This is then either recycled or processed to be turned into products in developing countries, which also creates employment in these locations too.”
“In 2020 we cut our carbon use by 56%, reducing our company footprint to 2.2 tCO2, which we offset by planting trees to become the first TPM accredited company to become Carbon Neutral and Climate Positive.
“We even adopt a beehive with each new contract, and we now have several apiaries around London and the Home Counties. It’s a great way to engage with our customer’s and start a conversation about sustainable cleaning practices.”
The company’s sustainable activities were recognised recently when the Planet Mark awarded Louis the Sustainability Influencer Award. Hive Cleaning now employs 120 staff across 80 clients, providing eco-friendly cleaning services to buildings across the capital.
Looking for greener ways to clean
Hive Cleaning is continuously searching for the next innovation in cleaning and Marc Kemp, MD of Futures Supplies, introduced the business to Toucan Eco – a green technology product that lets you make a powerful, eco-friendly and safe disinfectant cleaner on-demand from just water, salt and electricity, which kills more than 99.99% of germs.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of the cleaning industry and the need for improved surface sanitising,” Louis continues.
“There has been a big increase in chemicals being used to achieve this and as part of our continuous approach to environmental stewardship we wanted to find a better solution. When we were introduced to the Toucan Eco range, we knew we were on the right track.”
Marc adds: “With Hive’s leading green credentials, Toucan Eco was a natural solution for the business to consider. Not only is it proven to kill 99.99% of germs, including enveloped viruses, it reduces the use of chemicals and single-use plastic waste. It also minimises your distribution and manufacturing footprint. I asked Hive if they had come across the technology before, and we took it from there.”
Hive Cleaning’s strict set of criteria
To ensure Toucan Eco was the right approach for Hive, they used a 7-point checklist and Toucan Eco ticked all of these boxes:
- Efficacy – it must kill microorganisms, especially highly-resistant spores and viruses, which are used as the gold standard for microbial effectiveness.
- Speed of kill and regrowth rate – it must kill germs quickly and once killed, the germs must remain dead.
- Quick, effective and easy to use – deliver effective, smear free cleaning results and be simple to use, enabling quick adoption by users.
- Safe for users – it should be safe for everyday use and contact with human skin without causing harm or irritation.
- Planet positive – it should have strong green credentials by being chemical-free and reducing usage of single-use plastic bottles.
- Industry certification – the solution would have to pass the relevant disinfecting certifications.
- Cost effective – it should cost the same or, even better, save money.
Louis strongly believes that hypochlorous acid, which is one of the main ingredients when the salt water is electrolysed by Toucan Eco, is a real game changer for the cleaning industry.
About Toucan Eco
Toucan Eco lets you take tap water and normal salt and, using a special form of electrolysis called electrochemical activation, makes a multipurpose disinfectant cleaning solution virtually on tap.
The models, which are available in a range of sizes depending on your business or domestic needs, makes a solution which is certified to EN antiviral and antibacterial tests to wipe out more than 99.99% of germs.
Its active compounds are hypochlorous acid (HOCl), which is also made by your immune system to fight infection, along with a very low concentration of sodium hypochlorite (NaClO), producing a gentle pH of around 8. This creates a powerful, eco-friendly and safe solution that you make yourself on demand, reducing the need for over 80% of synthetic chemical cleaners and the single-use plastic bottles they are supplied in.
Hive Cleaning have initially purchased 12 of the Toucan Eco Worktop models, which each makes 1 litre of hypochlorous disinfectant in just five minutes. The solution can be used to spray, wipe or mop any surface, and when you run out you simply make some more.
At Hive Cleaning, Toucan Eco is being used to replace its antiviral sanitising and multi-surface products and is applied using refillable trigger sprays and microfibre cloths to all surfaces, including glass.
Rolling out Toucan Eco
Excited about Toucan Eco, the business began the roll out of the chemical-free cleaning regime by testing the system on six sites with 20 cleaners, including checks by cleaning professionals and client feedback.
“The efficacy of the product was not called into doubt,” explains Louis. “Its technical specification and sanitising abilities are clearly proven by the EN 1276, EN 13697, EN 14476 and EN 16777 certifications. This trial testing process was purely to assess the cleaning performance in a real-world setting.
“We have been delighted with the feedback and cleaning results from the trial, and it seems clear that the solution is a very effective cleaning agent. Its neutral pH and gentle action mean it is safe on all surfaces and fabrics.
“Our staff love it. Not only does it clean well and provides sparkling results, but it’s also safer to use and reduces our chemical miles,” he added.
As Louis rolls out Toucan Eco across more Hive Cleaning sites, the environmental benefits it delivers will grow with every spray.
“We are now in a position to rollout Toucan Eco across another 10 offices in April, followed by another 30 sites which will grow to 75% to 80% of the company’s portfolio by the end of the year. This is part of an overall aim to reduce our cleaning solutions to just three products – Toucan Eco as our antibacterial surface cleaner, plus a descaler and a specialist pro-bio floor product.
“Toucan Eco will help further reduce our already small carbon footprint (2.2tCo2e), create zero chemical miles, and continue to demonstrate our environmental leadership within the cleaning sector. It will also contribute towards significant savings, while reducing plastic use and the transportation of chemicals.
“For cleaners looking for new, sustainable ways to provide their services, I believe that Toucan Eco is revolutionary way we can do more to reduce our industry’s impact on the planet,” he concludes.
For more information about Hive Cleaning please visit www.hivecleaning.com.