As businesses and organisations move to a sustainable future, the importance of the products and services they use should not be overlooked. We do not live in a world of infinite resources, so products need to do more with less. Choosing products that are designed with sustainability – or even circularity – in mind can help reduce carbon emissions, reduce waste and increase cost savings.
A greener economy means new growth and job opportunities, but we need to move quickly. The good news is that eco-design, eco-innovation, waste prevention and the reuse of raw materials can bring net savings for EU businesses of up to EUR 600 billion.
The characteristics of sustainability products
When businesses decide which sustainable products to use, they need to look at how the product helps control usage, lower maintenance costs and reduce waste. Well- designed eco-products tend to share several key characteristics. Looking out for these can help a business make more sustainable product choices:
- Manufactured with recycled, biodegradable or compostable materials.
- Assessed by trusted independent and internationally recognised third-parties.
- Endorsed by sustainability accreditations and science-based data.
- Built for longevity.
- Designed for easy disassembly and recycling.
- Promoting energy efficiency features.
- Transported efficiently and with minimal packaging.
An example of looking for sustainable credentials might be checking how companies package their products. The product should be designed to use as little packaging as possible, be made of recycled content and be recyclable after use. How the product is packed and transported should also be considered. The more efficiently it is loaded, the more products on the trucks, the fewer trucks on the road, and the lower the carbon emissions.
Work with business partners that understand eco-design
Sustainable innovation should not compromise capacity, quality, or functionality. Therefore, at Kimberly-Clark Professional™ they adhere to sustainable design principles throughout their products research and development process. As manufacturers, they know from years of experience when weak points in design can emerge, so they can innovate design processes to strengthen products and surpass industry standards. Designed controlled dispensing systems to ensure that the right amount of product (hand towels or toilet paper)is being dispensed, contributing to generating less waste. Kimberly-Clark Professional™ also look at the product itself, making it highly absorbent, increasing its efficiency while reducing the quantity itself, making it highly absorbent, increasing its efficiency while reducing the quantity needed to perform. As well as being more respectful of natural resources, by always looking at new fibre sources so that they can maintain the standard 70% of recycled fibres contained in products – also investing in equipment needed.
Finding these resource savings is essential as using paper towels remains the most hygienic hand-drying method, as recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Paper towels remove 77% of bacteria that would otherwise remain on hands. Ensuring less usage of a vital product means less waste and, in this case, also contributes to better hygiene.
Bunzl Cleaning and Hygiene Supplies have partnered with Kimberly-Clark Professional™ to ensure we work and invest together to create a circular economy and become more sustainable together. If we don’t act sustainably today, it will last well into the future.