Security and facilities group G4S is making its global headquarters building in Crawley, West Sussex, a demonstration site for green and ecological initiatives, with its first step being the installation of low energy Mitsubishi Jet Towel hand dryers throughout the building.
“As a company we have premises all around the world, and if you add up their total carbon footprint or the total financial cost for facilities, you get to some very big numbers indeed,” says Kelly Bateman, Facilities and Fleet Co-ordinator for the HQ.
“We want to reduce our impact on the environment, and of course there is always a business case for trimming costs too.
“With so many buildings it is difficult to have one companywide strategy. So HQ is leading by example and we will encourage other sites to follow.”
The Mitsubishi Jet Towel does not work like a normal hand dryer. Instead it directs a stream of air onto both sides of wet hands which blows the moisture off rather than evaporating it. The high-speed motor produces an airflow rate of 90 metres per second, drying hands in ten to twelve seconds. Hygiene is ensured with its antimicrobial material and the inclusion of an integral drain, rather than being blown around the room in a bubble of warm air.
Drying takes about one-tenth the time of conventional systems, with consequent energy savings. When installed in a large building full of people who wash their hands throughout the day, the energy saving soon adds up. Pay back of the installation costs is usually achieved in a matter of months.
Kelly continues: “We drew up a list of possible green initiatives and I looked at hand drying because we previously used paper towels, the purchase price of which over a year is astonishing plus there is the additional cost of employing someone to go around refilling the dispensers regularly. Then on top of that is the fact that the used towels go to landfill, and local councils around the world are charging ever-more for that.”
Kelly is so confident that Jet Towel is the green solution for G4S that she has arranged their installation throughout the building. She explains that everyone she has shown it to has been very positive and keen to see them fitted.
“There is a novelty angle, because they are so different, and our office 25 miles away in Sutton has already gone down the Jet Towel route and is reporting major successes on many fronts, including energy savings, cost reduction, and their quiet operation.”