Emirates FM launches eco-friendly initiative
EFM to use eco-friendly cleaning products in all of its operations
As part of its drive to promote public health, safety and environmental awareness among its stakeholders, Emirates Facilities Management (EFM) has announced a strategic initiative that will see the company use eco-friendly cleaning products in all of its operations.
The programme, which is aligned with the UAE’s 2021 sustainability goals, will see the company phase out conventional cleaning products in favour of those that are environmentally friendly and free of health risks.
The year-long phase-out, which commenced on 1 March, 2014, will end on 28 February, 2015.
Jaber Al Ali, general manager, EFM, said: “With government ministries and public sector institutions comprising the bulk of our client base, we seek to do our best in supporting the UAE’s efforts towards encouraging sustainable living. Switching over to green cleaning products that contain ingredients benign to human health and the environment is a vital step forward for EFM.”
“We hope to inspire a mass uptake for these products to pave the way for a green economy,” Al Ali added. “We believe in well-rounded facilities management development, and addressing key environmental concerns is embedded in our company’s mission.”
He pointed out that the use of eco-friendly cleaning products could impact the quality of greywater, which is a critical factor to consider in a desert environment where massive amounts of water are required for land irrigation.
“Green cleaning products cause less pollution to the water, which means less energy and processes are needed to treat greywater,” Al Ali explained. “Such options would make it viable for the UAE to increase its use of greywater for easing up its water burden. The green cleaning product approach is also better for our marine ecosystem that we need to actively protect.”
Explaining the economic impact of switching to eco-friendly cleaning agents, Ali said: “This will involve a slight increase in costs, which Emirates Facilities Management will completely absorb. There will be no impact whatsoever on our fee structure, which is already competitive.”
EFM’s switch to eco-friendly products is in line with a growing trend in the global facilities management sector, where procurement policies are being reviewed to favour the usage of green cleaning products.
Many of the chemicals usually found in traditional cleaning products have active ingredients that may cause respiratory and dermatological problems to employees, building occupants and the environment. Green cleaning programmes are designed to alleviate such hazards to end users.