New Zealand’s first truly sustainable cleaning company, Clean Planet, has been approved by the Asthma Foundation’s Sensitive Choice programme – proving that it does pay to be good, even in the business world.
“The cleaning industry is one of the worst affected by asthma,” says Angela Francis, Chief Executive of the Asthma Foundation.
“We’ve been impressed by Clean Planet taking the problem seriously and its concerted efforts to clean up the industry’s working conditions.”
“It’s not just about the healthy products, but also about the processes and equipment the franchisees use.”
“Clean Planet has introduced wide-ranging improvements for its franchisees since opening in 2007. From the clothing they wear and the cars they drive, to the safe cleaning products they use daily in their work, Clean Planet is the leader in healthy cleaning.”
New Zealand has one of the highest rates of asthma in the world so with one in four children and one in six Kiwi adults experiencing asthma symptoms (more than 600,000 Kiwis).
Asthma statistics for Maori are particularly worrying. For example, from 2003 to 2005, the leading cause of public hospital admissions among children aged 1 to 4 was respiratory disease. Admissions because of asthma among this group were 60 percent higher for Maori than non-Maori.
“The Asthma Foundation’s approval of our service is very important to us,” says Mitch Cuevas, CEO of Clean Planet and former CEO of the Ecostore.
“The relationship between toxic cleaning products and asthma is widely acknowledged – in the US, green cleaning in schools is now mandated and a school in Vermont found a 60% decrease in asthma attacks after moving to a green cleaning programme,” explains Cuevas.
Clean Planet avoids environmentally damaging chemicals such as bleaches, chlorine based cleaners, EDTA, dyes or phosphates and keeps the use of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to an absolute minimum.
Its cleaning team’s uniforms are made from sustainable textiles; franchisees drive Euro 4 eco-friendly vehicles; customers are supplied with eco-friendly cleaning products and consumables for use between visits; and its vacuum cleaners have HEPA filters to clean the air, while only Norwes microfibre cloths are used for cleaning.
Where possible, the company uses products with Environmental-Choice certification, and it aims to have many Clean Planet-produced products certified to this standard. Environmental-Choice is one of the world’s leading environmental certifiers, is endorsed by the government, and accredits consumer products in New Zealand.
Approximately 90% of the products Clean Planet currently uses are produced in the company’s own Mangere Bridge factory.
“We work with some of Auckland’s cleanest workplaces, such as Labtests NZ, to some of its dirtiest, such as Fletcher Steel,” explains Cuevas, who says the dirt can sometimes be less toxic than the unseen nasties in a so-called ‘clean’ office.
Clean Planet will be launching a range of healthy products that harness the power of nature to help protect your family’s health in May.