A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Cleangreen's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Cleangreen is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Highlighting best practice
Director of Operations
The teams meet up to clean
up a local car park
Clean Green Services offer a range of cleaning and
maintenance solutions to a number of clients, including
both private and public residences, housing associations
and offices. Established in 1989 with a focus on sustainability,
they always try to find the most environmentally friendly cleaning
method and try to promote eco-friendly practices across their
services. The company is also linked with various charities around
the world, including the British Heart Foundation, and has a long-
running partnership with a Maasai village in Kenya. Director of
Operations Michael Dixon tells
TheParliamentary Review
A focus on sustainable practice
In 1989, my parents established Clean Green Services. Originally, we set out to
produce environmentally friendly supplies for use in the commercial cleaning
sector. After supplying various housing associations with these products, we were
continually asked if we knew any service that used them. Unable to find one,
we decided to establish our own service, aiming to promote greener practices
within the sector. Our cleaning service has now overtaken our product arm and
constitutes our main source of income. Our business has grown from a single van
to include 110 employees.
We service the entire South East of England, from Birmingham down through
the home counties and into London. Last year, we re-launched our product arm,
supplying housing associations, hotels and pubs with both conventional and
eco-friendly cleaning supplies. We are currently looking to develop this range
further, adding new products and moving back towards our original purpose.
»Director of Operations:
Michael Dixon
»Founded in 1989
»Based in Benfleet, Essex
»Services: Cleaning and
maintenance services,
alongside janitorial supplies
»No. of employees: 110
»No. of clients: 26
Clean Green Services
As mostofour contracts begin in
April, we have pushed to utilise this
downtime to develop and strengthen
the production element of our
business. Ultimately, we would like our
cleaning services to use only products
that we have made – another strategy
we hope to employ to reduce our
carbon footprint.
The key element of our business
practice is an unceasing desire to
become as sustainable as we can.
This ethos infuses all of our practices.
To try to reduce the impact of our
cleaning services, we always advocate
the use of public transport where
possible, and we track all of our vans
to see if more efficient routes can be
found. Within our own office, we
aim to recycle as much of our waste
as possible, whether this be using
recycled office supplies or recycling
any leftover food. We also donate
any working appliances that we
remove through our void cleaning
and bulk rubbish removal services,
sending them to Ghana, where they
can be used directly or for parts.
Our horticulturalists grow our own
plants in greenhouses, and we have
implemented eco-bins to cut down
We also advise the housing
associations that we work with,
helping them to become more
sustainable and reduce their costs. We
utilise maintenance systems that find
defects within housing association
properties, which we then help
to change. This could range from
installing energy-efficient light bulbs
to advising on the installation of more
effective insulation. These alterations
help these associations, some of which
we have worked with for 25 years, to
become more cost-effective, as well as
reduce their carbon footprints.
As a company, we are also very
committed to fulfilling our duty of
social responsibility. For every contract
we win, we make a donation towards
Unicef, providing supplies and
vaccinations that help to eradicate
polio. In the last three years, our team
has raised over £10,000 for the British
Heart Foundation, mostly gained
through sponsored marathons, a
A local litter pick,
including pupils from a
nearby school – helping
keep Britain tidy
Ultimately, we
would like our
cleaning services
to use only
products that we
have made –
another strategy
we hope to
employ to reduce
our carbon
Highlighting best practice
charity that we have been partnered
with since our inception in 1989.
Additionally, due to a chance meeting
in Mombasa airport, we have been
linked with a Maasai village in Kenya
for a number of years, supporting a
primary school and children’s home.
Challenges for a small
One of the main challenges that we
face, especially as a smaller business,
is being able to compete with larger
competitors. This issue becomes even
more pronounced with the gulf in
price between environmentally friendly
cleaning supplies and more harmful
products. To try to combat this, we aim
to source the bottles for our products
from ocean-recycled plastic.
We have also been affected by
plans to tighten regulations on
van emissions in the London area.
Although many of our vans would
conform to these standards and thus
not have to pay the charge, a few of
our older models would be liable. As
we are a small business, the impact
of this would be huge. While larger
companies may be able to shoulder
this additional cost, our size prevents
us from doing so. We have therefore
decided to shift our business away
from London and move towards
the Midlands, primarily to avoid
One of the main problems for our
production arm is the cost of importing
raw materials. One of the main
resources we import is silicon, which
is susceptible to drastic fluctuations
in price. Brexit could deepen these
issues. We own the trademark which
allows us to export our products to
Europe, and restricted, or at least more
difficult, borders between European
nations could significantly damage our
future growth. Thus, we are looking
to base a company in the Republic of
Ireland and circumvent Britain’s exit
from the European Union. However,
this plan of action is still susceptible to
the ongoing disputes over the nature
of the border between Northern
Ireland and the republic.
We have also recently been affected
by increasing fees for the disposal
of waste created by our gardening
service. As a result, we are in the
process of developing eco-sites. As
we work with a lot of care homes, we
have been trying to create recycling
sites on these premises. Provided we
gain the permission of the various
landlords, we aim to recycle all the
waste our gardening arm produces.
As climate issues become more severe,
the need for eco-friendly services like
ours will only increase. It is vital that
we try to address these changes before
they become irreversible, and we hope
to continue to contribute to the fight
against climate change for many years
to come.
We own the
trademark to
export our
products to
Europe, and
restricted, or at
least more
difficult, borders
European nations
could significantly
damage our
future growth
Best cleaning practices
across all sites

This article was sponsored by Cleangreen. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.

In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.

We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.

And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.

As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy