European Cleaning & Hygiene Awards 2017 winner - Markas

5th of April 2018
European Cleaning & Hygiene Awards 2017 winner - Markas

The sustainability policies of cleaning company Markas earned it a 2017 European Cleaning and Hygiene Award at the Rome event in November. Ann Laffeaty asks Markas about the hospital project that made it a winner.

Sustainability is not simply a matter of producing glossy reports and impressing customers with business ethics. It demands a continuous and lifelong approach.

This is what we told companies hopeful of winning the European Cleaning & Hygiene Award 2017 for Sustainability – Best Practice. We then asked them to demonstrate how the principles of sustainability were fundamental to their culture.

And the deserving winner was Markas which earned the award for its contract at the Montichiari Hospital in northern Italy.

“The aim of the Montichiari Hospital project – which began in October 2016 - was to reduce the environmental impact of the cleaning process while at the same time improving quality of service,” said Markas Italy director quality and control Andrea Tezzele.

“Improvement measures were implemented in two phases to cover mop washing and surface cleaning. For mop washing we switched to Werner & Mertz EU-Ecolabel certified products which resulted in a significant reduction in detergent consumption on an annual basis.

“We then introduced the same manufacturer’s Green Care products for surface cleaning in conjunction with an automatic system. This had the benefits of producing no waste and controlling consumption while also allowing us to use reusable bottles for spray cleaning.

“Finally we switched from a hypochlorite detergent to a low impact electrolyte chlorine product, improving the disinfecting performance.”

At the end of the field test the company noticed some marked sustainability improvements. “These included a reduction in the consumption of chemical products used, better cleaning results and a complete absence of the chlorine smell that usually occurs after the disinfection of surfaces,” said Tezzele.

Staff at Montichiari Hospital worked closely with Markas to implement the changes according to the facility’s medical director Paola Giansiracusa. “Thanks to our successful collaboration we managed to make a significant contribution towards environment protection,” she said.

“This was also an excellent opportunity for us to organise meetings with our colleagues to deepen environmental understanding and to train them on the use of new environmental products. By using more environmentally sustainable products we are helping to lay the groundwork for a better future.”

Markas, which was founded more than 30 years ago, has always shown a commitment to social and environmental responsibility. The company aims to minimise its environmental impact across all sites and last year launched the “GoGreen @Markas” initiative inviting employees to leave their cars at home and find more sustainable ways of travelling to work. Awards were given out to those employees who opted into the scheme and switched to commuting by bus, bike or car-sharing.

The company is opening new headquarters next year in Bolzano in the South Tyrol. The facility will use intelligent building management to enhance energy efficiency by forecasting the weather and anticipating heating and cooling requirements.

The building has also been designed to incorporate extensive green spaces to enhance employees’ well-being. And all construction materials have been screened for harmful substances that could have a detrimental effect on air quality.

Markas claims to be among the first companies in its sector to obtain the Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) for its “Markas System” cleaning service. This aims to identify solutions capable of reducing environmental impact and compensating for any CO2 emissions produced.

Markas recently received EMAS registration (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme) from the European Union. This is awarded to companies that have an environmental management system to promote the continuous improvement of their environmental performance and to publish an environmental statement.

The company was honoured to receive the European Cleaning & Hygiene Award 2017 for Sustainability – Best Practice according to Tezzele. “Receiving our ECH award in such an important category shows us that we are on the right track with our present efforts and strongly inspiring us to do even better in future,” she said. “In this way can set a good example for other companies to follow – and this is something of which we are very proud.”

The European Cleaning & Hygiene Awards 2018 will be held in Berlin on November 15 and are now open for entry. Visit


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