circular economy

Apply principles of the circular economy with green cleaning products

The Green Key member toolbox now shows a new tool for those interesting in new puzzle pieces to a circular economy strategy.

Green Key establishments now have access to a short assessment of carbon and plastic savings to be made by using green cleaning products. The calculator helps estimating the environmental footprint of the sites’ conventional cleaning products. Establishments can calculate how much plastic waste and crude oil products can be avoided by applying circular economy principles. This tool developed by Werner & Mertz and powered by Green Care Professional is now available in the “washing and cleaning” section of Green Key website’s toolbox.

Green Care products’ components provided by Werner & Metz are coming out of renewable sources. The packaging is also made out of 100% recycled plastic - a good way to save crude oil, plastic and CO2 emissions. These products received the European Ecolabel and Cradle-to-Cradle logo, a certification measuring the safety and sustainability of products made for circular economy.


Some of the Green Key establishments have already switched to Green Care Professional products. For instance, Wildlands adventure zoo at Emmen, Netherlands, opted for a complete green strategy. Their use of Green Care cleaning products in the past six months permitted the saving of 17kg of plastic and 177kg in CO2 emissions.

Furthermore, this CO2 neutral site replaced plastic cups by cups made out of bamboo, since the latter is available in large quantities. Wildlands saves millions of litres of drinking water thanks to its own water treatment plant and uses renewable energy from solar panels. Wildlands Nature and Education Fund purchased 23 hectares of tropical rain forest in Costa Rica in order to brainstorm regarding the development in and around the park. A “children’s council of advice” has been created to involve kids into this thinking process, proving that education has not been forgotten.


Molecaten’s camping and vacation parks are other examples of circular economy in green washing and cleaning. Five of the establishments received the Green Key award thanks to their significant reducing of CO2 emissions. It also rewards their solar panels, energy-saving lamps and timers for air-conditioning and heating. Their use of Green Care products is presented to the clients to emphasize the holistic green concept of the parks, as guests expect an ecologic management approach.

Green Key establishments using sustainable energy resources and green cleaning products contribute a lot to the development of a sustainable tourism industry!

Calculate the benefits of switching to green cleaning products

As climate, energy, and plastics problems are being discussed across the globe, it is getting more important to point out existing solutions of environmental pioneers. The PERFORMANCE CALCULATOR of our partner green care PROFESSIONAL is a tool that shows the exact savings on crude oil, plastics and CO2 when products from the green care PROFESSIONAL line are used.

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The green care PERFORMANCE CALCULATOR ascertains the crude oil savings from the packaging weight, product ingredients and the share of recyclates contained in the packaging and converts them into CO2 equivalents. The customer obtains a summary of a measurable, certified value and meaningful evidence of the actual efficiency of green products. The calculator is available free of charge at

After a period of use of green care PROFESSIONAL products, the real savings can be certified and added to any CSR report or used in marketing of a tourism establishments. Many products of the green care PROFESSIONAL range trust on the EU Ecolabel certification and the additional circular label of the Cradle-to-Cradle® Institute.

Even if an establishment doesn’t plan to replace its cleaning products with green care PROFESSIONAL products, the calculator is a useful tool to estimate the environmental footprint of its conventional cleaning products.

The calculation was validated by environmental auditors and acknowledged as one the first footprint calculation tool for recycled plastics:

Nominations include the Amsterdam Innovation Award at the INTERCLEAN exhibition and best practice example at the Circular Economy meeting in October 2018 run by the French government. Most recently it received the silver prize for innovative solutions in cleaning services at the Europrope cleaning fair in Paris.

The manufacturer behind the brand is the Werner & Mertz Group and well known across Europe for its pioneering cleaning eco-brands like “Frosch”, “Rainett” aside green care PROFESSIONAL.

It also received many packaging prizes for its first-time developments of 100% recycled plastic materials and is one of the highlighted partners within the Ellen MacArthur foundation looking to preserve the oceans.

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Talking Point: Could your kitchen fats, oils and greases boost the circular economy?

Restaurant kitchens face continuous drainage problems, so hotels need to be more aware of how they dispose of their fats, oils and greases.

Michelle Ringland, head of marketing at drainage specialist Lanes Group wonders whether hotels can find fats, oils and greases (FOG) solution that’s also eco-friendly.

Every year, drainage firms are called to deal with thousands upon thousands of blockages. There are many reasons for these occurring, but the most common cause is when FOGs are poured down drains. These congeal, solidify and eventually block the pipe - both in drains underneath the premises and along the streets in the sewers.

Sending out companies like ours to deal with drainage and sewer issues caused solely by blockages costs water companies, with bill payers having to cover the extra expense.

By virtue of the fact that commercial kitchens deal with such large quantities of oils and fats, it’s particularly crucial that hotel catering staff know exactly what to do with the waste product. But today there’s an eco-friendly solution that even helps hotels play a part in a more circular, sustainable economy.

Concerned that kitchen staff often lack the knowledge of how to deal with FOGs properly, we asked 60 drainage engineers, from a mixture of Lanes Group and other firms, about their experiences of dealing with the hospitality sector.

Almost all of them (94%) told us they’ve been called out to clear blockages caused by FOGs. Half said that they deal with issues in restaurants several times a week, while 70% said that staff members’ lack of knowledge was the biggest issue.

Below is our key advice to avoid having to spend quite so much on drainage callouts:

  • Keep your staff educated

Even when oils are hot, they can still block drains. It’s a misconception made by many, but once the oil cools down it hardens and won’t budge without expert intervention. Putting improved signage around kitchens is a small but important step hotels can make to help reduce blockages. It’s all about modifying people’s behaviour.

  • Oils like coconut and rapeseed do just as much damage

‘Fashionable healthy alternative’ oils such as coconut oil are just as harmful to drains as traditional cooking oils and fats, despite what’s sometimes claimed. It’s something that we’ve found many people in the sector seem to forget.

  • Waste oil can just be collected

It can be daunting, especially for smaller businesses, to know how to get rid of waste oil - especially if there’s a lot of it from fryers. Fortunately, it’s now possible to simply have it collected for disposal. Services like Uptown Oil collect used oil from your hotel and turn it into biodiesel. Their customers receive a certificate showing their contribution to carbon reduction and cleaner air. They’ll even deliver new sustainable vegetable oil to your hotel, and they can show you ways to get 30% more use from your oils, reducing waste and making your oil consumption more economical and sustainable. The biodiesel they create can be used in most diesel vehicles and unlike fossil fuels, it doesn’t add CO2 to the environment.

By partnering with a company that converts used oil into biodiesel, hotels are helping the environment and contributing to circular economy. Some companies also provide safe containers to store the oil before they pick it up. In the UK the Environment Agency will be able to let you know which services are available in your area. 

  • Have a grease trap installed - and make sure it’s emptied regularly

Make sure you’re providing the right facilities so your staff can easily dispose of fats and oils. Some 62% of the engineers we asked pointed out that a lack of appropriate facilities often leads to major drainage problems, and many suggested installing grease traps to combat the issue. Grease traps intercept FOGs before they manage to settle in drains, separating the water from all of those substances you don’t want to go down the pipe. They should be maintained regularly to ensure they’re working well – you’ll probably be shocked by how much oil, fat and grease they collect.

Don’t forget, it’s not just fats, oils and greases that can block drains. Solid food is also found to be a common culprit, so make sure every sink has a strainer. If you have floor drains, remember to never brush excess food down them - it all ends up in the same place after all!


Source: Green Hotelier