There’s no need to compromise sustainability – even during a global crisis

Coronavirus has dominated our lives for almost six months now. It has devastated families and brought significant challenges for our economy and society. Public health has, very rightly so, become the world’s number one concern. But not too long ago, sustainability topped the global agenda. And it’s important that we don’t lose sight of that.

A shift in focus
Pre-pandemic, the health of our planet was one of the most pressing issues facing humanity. Concerns around climate change had reached an all-time high and it felt like many businesses were finally realising that they had an important duty to fulfil when it came to the environment.

However, in recent months, attention has shifted to tackling COVID-19, with climate action taking a back seat. It’s worth noting that there have been some green gains during 2020. As our movements became restricted, pollution levels also decreased. But with UNICEF stating that climate change is the world’s ‘largest looming public health emergency’, we cannot afford to push further action to one side as the coronavirus crisis rumbles on.

Public health over our planet’s health?
The cleaning and hygiene sector has long championed sustainability. Well aware of its impact on the planet, from the natural resources used in washrooms to the carbon emissions created during manufacturing processes, many in the industry were taking steps to reduce their impact on our wider surroundings. But sadly it seems that the pandemic has enabled some to suggest that hygiene needs to take priority over sustainability, regardless of the impact this has on the environment.

Since the coronavirus crisis began, we believe that there has been a movement to push the public towards single use, disposable hand towels, despite their poor sustainability credentials. The disposables industry has seemingly undermined its responsibility to the environment, in favour of capitalising on concerned hygiene-conscious consumers to boost sales. This disregard alone is concerning enough, but add to that the fact that the very products that they are recommending come with their own cross-infection risks, it seems illogical.

We don’t have to compromise sustainability
At Airdri, we do not agree that sustainability has to be compromised, regardless of the current situation we find ourselves in. We believe that we can find a balance between hygiene and sustainability – the two do not have to be mutually exclusive. Indeed, there are already products on the market that achieve this – despite competitors’ efforts to discredit them in recent months.

We have spent the last 46 years designing and manufacturing some of the most hygienic and sustainable hand dryers on the market. Both our QuantumTM and QuazarTM hand dryers have achieved the GreenSpec status for using less than 1,000 watts. In fact, the QuantumTM is the lowest energy consumption unit in the world, emitting just 200 watts.

Alongside ensuring that emissions and running costs are kept to a minimum, we have also worked hard to improve the lifespan of our hand dryers, to reduce the number of machines sent to landfill. Using the latest motor technology, our dryers last six times longer than other similar, fast dry models, with a lifespan of around 6,000 hours. Our QuantumTM jet dryer goes even further, performing time and time again over 10,000 hours compared to other popular jet dryers that generally last for only 1,000 hours.

And when the hygiene credentials of hand dryers came into question earlier in the year, we commissioned an independent microbiologist to look into these claims. The conclusion was that the use of hand dryers in the washroom does not contribute to the spread of coronavirus and are safe to use. Therefore, we are confident that we have a number of solutions that support both public hygiene and the environment.

To find out more about our green washroom solutions, click here.