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Farnek first to launch carbon neutral cleaning

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31 Oct 2017

Leading UAE-based total facilities management company Farnek, has partnered with Swiss-based environmental protection foundation myclimate and the Dubai Carbon Center of Excellence (DCCE) to introduce the Middle East’s first carbon neutral cleaning programme.

The initiative now accommodates environmentally-conscious businesses in the UAE, that want to offset their carbon footprint, neutralising the environmental impact of their cleaning operation, by investing in a range of projects that replace the use of fossil fuels with renewable energy.

Markus Oberlin, CEO, Farnek.
Markus Oberlin, CEO, Farnek.

To initiate the programme, Farnek’s management team closely assessed its own carbon footprint, in accordance with ISO standard 14064 and myclimate tools, the results of which were independently verified by the DCCE.
The assessment took into consideration and accounted for any activity, direct and indirect, that could generate CO2e, during their cleaning process. This covered every relevant aspect of Farnek’s operation, areas such as staff accommodation, transportation, cleaning equipment, uniforms and chemicals, electrical equipment and associated waste disposal.

The analysis concluded that the Farnek cleaning operation produced 1,637 tonnes CO2e per year, equivalent to almost 11 kg of CO2e per cleaner per working day, or close to 3.5 tonnes of carbon emissions per year. That’s the same amount of energy used by an average household over two and a half years. The same carbon footprint calculation can be applied to any external cleaning operation that Farnek carries out for its customers.

Markus Oberlin, CEO, Farnek, said: “Like many industry operations, a cleaning process can make a significant impact on the environment, especially when large areas are cleaned on a daily or regular basis.

“And the effect of cleaning doesn’t end with the chemicals used in the cleaning process, rather it cascades through the production and disposal of the mops, uniforms, shoes and plastic used by cleaning technicians, transportation and the management of our cleaning operations, including recruitment and staff accommodation.

“Carbon neutral cleaning, measures all these factors to provide the client with an accurate picture of the true environmental impact of the cleaning services we provide. This empowers them to take steps to reduce as far as possible and then offset the rest of their carbon emissions – in whole or maybe just in part – against a range of accredited projects recommended by myclimate.

“This is the first scheme of its kind in the Middle East region, which helps our customers to engage with their supply chain and reinforce their commitment to the environment. We believe the awareness generated by carbon neutral cleaning heightens the level of climate change awareness and responsibility, among all stakeholders, indeed we already have the backing of the EWS-WWF which is fully supporting this concept,” he added.

First introduced in the 1980s, carbon offsetting is a market-based means of balancing the carbon emitted by an entity through financial contributions to international projects that mitigate CO2e. These projects achieve balance by introducing large-scale renewable infrastructure, planting trees, or financially supporting the provision of renewable technologies for solar panels, fresh drinking water or biogas plants, for example.

Projects recently undertaken by myclimate, include the provision of solar stoves to communities in Madagascar, reducing firewood and charcoal use, as well as household expenses; clean drinking water for schools and homes in Uganda; and high-tech solar home systems for communities and enterprises in Tanzania.

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