The eco-friendly revolution is already well under way. Everyone in the cleaning industry is well aware of how important reducing environmental impact is to clients across a huge range of industries, which is why so many of our customers are asking us to recommend cleaning products and consumables with less hazardous ingredients, less plastic waste, and a lower carbon footprint. We’re glad to be able to offer these – taking meaningful steps to preserve the planet for future generations is one of our highest priorities for this year and next – but it can seem like the drive for environmental sustainability is overshadowing some other aspects of ethical business behaviour which are also massively important.
Like caring for those in society with disabilities. The people who go through their lives constantly struggling and overcoming challenges just to lead the everyday lives that so many of us take for granted. If we care about looking after our planet, we must surely care about looking after the people that live on it too.
One company that isn’t ignoring their responsibilities here – they’ve built their entire business model around it – is Clarity & Co. They’re a non-profit manufacturer of high-end soaps, built to provide employment for the blind and those with other disabilities. I was lucky enough to meet Stephen, their wonderfully friendly receptionist, and his dog Owen at The Cleaning Show in London earlier this year, and they opened my eyes to how much the cleaning and facilities services industry could do to help people like them. There are the possibilities around direct employment which I’ve written a little about before - the fact that many people with physical or mental disabilities who would be able to work in cleaning are ignored or overlooked by employers.
But there’s also potential to help people in need through the products we choose to buy and promote to our customers. Every refill bottle of Clarity soap creates 1 hour of meaningful employment for people with disabilities, so offering their products to the offices, hotels and restaurants we already supply washroom consumables to, we have an opportunity to not only make a big difference to the lives of real people out there but also give clients a way of feeling good about themselves through making positive, socially responsible choices. Maya Angelou’s iconic line, “People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel”, couldn’t apply more closely. You have an opportunity to let your clients feel amazing. Right here.