Woosh Washrooms

You’re serious about sustainability but don’t know where to start – Steal and improve…Here’s how.

What do we mean by steal and improve?

Research what other industry leaders are doing. Find out if it’s working (because at this point in the sustainability crisis, no matter who you are, it’s all still a work in progress…). Consider whether it applies to your business. Then replicate and or improve that methodology/practice.

Firstly, get your resources right.

One of our very informative resources was attending the third annual sustainability event; edieLIVE. A great event which combined exhibitions, seminars, advice clinics and included shared results from other businesses implementing sustainability and ways to measure how it can benefit your business.

Our intention was learning as well as market research. That’s essentially what edieLive was about (in our opinion anyway). edieLive was perfectly aligned with our ambitions as a supplier wanting to find more ways of being environmentally savvy with our products and the service we offer. For us and our customer’s peace of mind.

Head of Environment, Oliver Rosevear, and Sustainability Manager, Jodi Wheatley represent Costa Coffee. ‘Making Circular Real: Driving internal engagement on resource efficiency.’


Seminar speakers came with detailed case studies and analytics of how they prioritised where to start when it came to their contribution to being more sustainable. Some started with their energy use, others with the onward journey of the waste they or their consumers produced.



What we could all steal (Uhm… replicate.)


An awesome example was from Tesco’s Energy Manager, Rebecca Douglas. Rebecca gave a detailed overview of Tesco’s approach to reducing their energy use on a massive scale.

Rebecca Douglas, Energy Manager for Tesco, talks about energy behaviour change in retail.

Rebecca shared the concept of ‘energy profiling’ across their stores. This can also apply to ‘waste profiling’. They analysed where they can make the most impact on reducing their energy use and as a result, ended up saving money.

Rebecca did reference the small matter of implementing the behavioral change with staff on the ground (in this case, the bakery staff) over the six week trial.

They managed to gain more control and support by engaging with staff in implementing increased reporting from their management staff on this process alone. It worked.

Experiment until you get the right figures.


As a result, Tesco reduced their bakery’s energy use by 12%.  According to Rebecca, they will now be rolling this out across 768 stores with a predicted 9% annual saving on bakery energy consumption alone. A good start right?

From left to right: Rebecca Douglas (Tesco), Dr James Robey (Capgemini), Dr Bernd Leven (Vodafone) and George Richards (JRP Solutions).

Conclusion


Any business, large or small, can adopt this approach. This is where the roles of Facilities Managers, Heads of or even Directors can adopt the concept of ‘energy profiling’, ‘waste profiling’ or even ‘consumer/staff behaviour profiling’.

Collaborate on where your business needs to start first and where you can make the most impact. Get the buy-in from the top, engage with your teams, report and then replicate as you work down the priority order (rinse and repeat). Just like we’re told to do the hardest bits first in pretty much any project.

Our takeaway: Start with where you’re able to make the most impact (from the top down).

You can register to attend edieLIVE 19-20 May 2020 here.

If you’d like more advice on reducing your carbon footprint, check out The Woosh BLooprint. The BLooprint covers water management systems, waste management and the processes that are out there including the waste-to-energy project.

Illustration from Chapter Four of The Woosh BLooprint

Is this something you think you can implement in your business?

If you’re a business about to embark on the journey to sustainability, leave a comment below – your story could inspire more businesses to do the same.

The BLooprint – The Facilities Manager’s Guide To Effective Washroom Management

Today marks the launch of our landmark guide for the facilities management industry.

As you may have guessed, this document, which will be the first edition of a series we’ve called the ‘BLooprint’, is all about washroom management – how it’s done, why it matters, and what the experts think. The premise of the BLooprint is simple: it looks to equip FMs with the knowledge they need in order to manage and maintain truly outstanding washrooms.

So, why have we written this? Having engaged with notable industry figures like Martin Pickard, Beth Goodyear and Liz Kentish, we found that there was a gap in knowledge that needed filling. These three contributors showed us that a go-to guide would be ideal for FMs looking to raise the standard of their facilities, especially for those who are new to the profession and unsure of best practice.

As conversations with the three contributors progressed, it became clear that washrooms are an often overlooked yet critically important aspect of an FM’s remit, with little direction or advice out there in the public domain. This is ultimately why we have started the BLooprint series. We believe this edition will provide FM professionals with the final word on how to achieve washroom excellence.

Granted, there are bigger things in life than washrooms and it should be a given that they are properly cared for. All too often, however, building users are let down and have to put up with less than satisfactory facilities. This needs to change.  

Let’s put this in perspective. The typical office worker pops to the loo around three to four times a day. For an average-sized facility, that’s over 1.1 million complaint opportunities per year – and that’s leaving aside other visitors and important guests. What if instead these visits were opportunities to leave a positive impact? With edition one of the BLooprint series to hand, this becomes a far more realistic target. It gives readers the advice they need to fundamentally change how their washrooms are managed, dramatically increasing the chances of turning a potentially bad impression into a wholly positive one.

Research has found that a bad washroom experience has a profoundly negative impact on the perception of an organisation, with visitors being far less likely to spend time or money with a company that has a poorly maintained building and facilities. “Toilets are a touchstone of building,” says FM ‘guru’ Martin Pickard, “if you want to know whether a building is being cared for or not, go in the loo, and you can just tell whether somebody’s got their handle of this place and are looking after it properly.”

It’s not just reputational damage that results from poor washrooms, though. Consider the financial impact that it can also have. In 2016 alone, there were an estimated 137 million working days lost due to sickness or injury – and that’s just the UK. As Pickard again goes on to highlight the “obvious yet decidedly ignored connection between washroom hygiene and a company’s profit margins.”

Management is one thing; effective management is another. We recognise the FM industry’s tendency to prefer data and ‘hard facts’, which is why there’s a quantitative approach to accompany the opinions of our FM luminaries. Taking on board both the qualitative and the quantitative approaches, readers will be able to build a clearer picture of how a washroom functions, how it impacts an organisation, and what needs to be done to see it sparkle all year round.