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Home / ANALYSIS / Can district cooling make FM go green?

Can district cooling make FM go green?

by CW Staff on Oct 9, 2016


A touch of green: The global green cleaning products market will be worth $51bn by 2021.
A touch of green: The global green cleaning products market will be worth $51bn by 2021.

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Engineering consultancy Aecom announced this August that it has committed its operations to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 20% across its global operations by 2020. Aecom said it will focus on its largest sources of emissions – fleet vehicle fuel, purchased electricity, and heating and cooling for offices – to fulfil these aims.

Clearly, sustainability is rapidly gaining traction in the Middle East’s FM sector. While it is likely that making hard services more environmentally-friendly will require increased construction collaboration to succeed, the region’s soft services sector – led by district cooling companies – is already making a mark on the Middle East’s FM sustainability landscape.

Green cleaning

The global market for sustainable cleaning products is expected to be worth $51bn by 2021, spurred by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4%. Increased construction activity and rising demand for LEED-certified facilities managers has raised the profile of sustainable cleaning products, with equipment manufacturers now tailoring their product designs to suit regional demand.

fmME Awards 2016’s Cleaning Company of the Year, Khidmah, has devised systems to introduce sustainability concepts into its operations. Partnering with Innu Service, the company introduced a ‘cradle-to-cradle’ sustainability cleaning programme over the last year. Khidmah also launched its Healthy Green School Programme in the same period, which saw the deployment of natural cleaning products to 40 schools in the Western Region.

According to the Autism Research Institute, certain cleaning products are known to contain carcinogens. Khidmah’s choice of cleaners – made with natural soil bacteria – ensure that cleaning operations avoid such materials. At the time of its award win, Khidmah said these cleaning agents pose minimal danger as they contain no harmful chemicals.

Additionally, the FM provider was awarded for implementing two mopping systems that have aided in reducing water consumption to an average of 700 litres per cleaner every month. This is a stark achievement over previous systems, which rendered per-cleaner water use at around 1,000 litres per month in one of Khidmah’s residential towers in Abu Dhabi.

The company said it also effected time savings of 60%, cutting down on movement from one building to another to change water in a mopping bucket.

Nevertheless, such forward-looking cleaning operations will have to be supported by building management teams. Adrienne Doolan, CEO at Green Touches Cleaning Services, said the market is currently witnessing “a growing trend towards green cleaning solutions with hospitality and residential sectors showing the strongest demand”.

In a statement released by Middle East Cleaning Technology Week (MECTW) last month, Doolan added: “However, the commercial sector has still to adapt to greener practices and needs to put the health of the consumer before profit.

“The market is being further pushed by UAE’s sustainability goals under Vision 2021; this change will force the commercial sector to adopt green solutions. Some trends to watch out for in the green cleaning sphere include high-performance machinery and adopting of HEPA standards, a move towards more efficient cleaning machines, steam cleaning, and the adoption of quality microfibre cloths and mops,” Doolan added.

Representatives from the organiser team of MECTW said green cleaning products account for 3% of the $150bn global market at present.

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