15 August, 2018 Facilities

Huntergreen: making sustainable cleaning choices at St Michael’s

St Michael’s is proud to announce a new green cleaning program, which has been implemented as part of the School’s wider ‘Environment and Sustainability Project’. A collaborative involvement has seen the School’s Business team and cleaning provider, Mermaid Cleaning Services, work with Hunter Industrials to implement a program called Huntergreen.

Huntergreen: making sustainable cleaning choices at St Michael’s

Huntergreen has empowered the School to make informed choices about the cleaning products and consumables we use at St Michael’s. Over the coming weeks you will see changes at the School, such as the implementation of biodegradable garbage bags and a change in cleaning and paper products.

‘Conventional plastics, when discarded, persist for a long time in the environment. However, the new garbage bags utilise a special ingredient (epi) that accelerates the rate of the degradation by several orders of magnitude. This means the garbage bags degrade and physically disintegrate more rapidly allowing garbage to decompose,’ says Hunter Industrials.

The cleaning chemicals we have introduced will utilise more environmentally friendly ingredients. The core range of the Huntergreen cleaning chemicals have Good Environmental Choice Australia certifications, ensuring that less favourable chemicals are minimised and that products comply to a very stringent standard of sustainability. The majority of cleaning chemicals contain a sugar-based surfactant (corn and coconut oil) that meets the requirements for ready biodegradability, and have no harmful polluting by-products and low aquatic toxicity.

‘The paper products that we use are also of the highest credentials when it comes to environmental sustainability,’ says Hunter Industrials. ‘The manufacturer, SCA, continues to be a member company of the global sustainability index FTSE4Good for the 12th consecutive year, which confirms that SCA delivers on its ambitious sustainability standards. Their paper products have also been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).’

As part of the program, the School has been provided with a “Green Cleaning Manual”, designed to educate cleaning staff on the most environmentally beneficial cleaning methods. This allows our staff to choose the best-fit chemical for the various cleaning tasks, and has greatly reduced the use of environmentally harmful chemicals.

We are also working with Hunter Industrials to minimise deliveries to the School. Verified carbon offsets have been purchased by Hunter Industrials (through Carbon Neutral) and we have committed to reduce the frequency of deliveries to our site, which in turn reduces carbon emissions.

Many organisations have little influence over the cleaning products and equipment used on their sites, as they are left up to the contracting companies to provide them. At St Michael’s, we have recognised the opportunity to take ownership of what is used at the School by setting up a ‘labour only’ cleaning contract with Mermaid Cleaning Services. This has produced a better outcome in relation to the OH&S responsibilities of the School and has allowed us to choose the standard of product used at St Michael’s.

‘We are proud to be making positive changes at the School and taking ownership for how we operate beyond the classroom. Choosing Huntergreen products for St Michael’s maintains our dedication to sustainability, and ensures that our business practices protect the environment, our students, staff and community,’ says Mr Farai Mufuka, Director of Business at St Michael’s.

‘Many schools are starting to follow the lead of St Michael’s and collectively, this will change and build awareness across all schools of the things we can do to have a positive impact on the environment,’ says Hunter Industrials.

Programs like these, and the Environment and Sustainability project led by many of our student leaders, set a good example for all students and members of our School community. We will continue to utilise the latest developing technologies to ensure that we continue to be at the forefront of environmental sustainability.