Case study: Shining Knight’s Eco-Knight Program
In 2015, Kim and Arthur Calcatjicos, co-owners of Shining Knight Facility Services Group, approached Fresh Green Clean (FGC) for advice about the latest green cleaning innovations. Our response? Your staff!
A short time later, Shining Knight’s management team joined Fresh Green Clean’s (FGC) Director and trainer, Bridget Gardner, as she took them through the management workshop called: “Plan and Implement a Sustainability Program”.
Excited by the possibilities, Shining Knight quickly set about establishing their own employee sustainability program they named the ‘Eco-knight program’. The managers divided into three competing eams with rewards for the most sustainable outcomes and engaged team.
With the support of FGC’s Sustainability Support Program and the use of simple tracking and measuring tools, we showed that the ‘Eco-knights’ saved an impressive 731 kilos of rubber from landfill in just 6 months, by making simple changes to their cleaning practices.
FGC took the Eco-knight team through six proven steps of the Sustainability Support Program. These steps are shown in the diagram below:
It is very important that current practices are measured before any changes are made. This enables the benefits to be calculated accurately and gives the cleaners hands-on experience of the improvements. As we often experience, the sustainability initiatives have many safety and cost benefits as well.
Now in its third year, the Shining Knight’s Eco-Knight program has been extremely successful. For example, by rolling out the winning strategies across all their sites across 13 of their portfolios, they have reduced packaging waste and disposable glove waste by 731 kilos in just 6 months. That is the equivalent weight in rubber from 101 average car tyres!
Staff continue to initiate new sustainability programs with their clients, such as recycling polystyrene boxes from a council and 55 kilos worth of empty soap containers from a gym.
These results were explained to Shining Knight’s clients and guests at their inaugral Eco-Knight awards breakfast by FGC’s Director Bridget Gardner, further spreading the sustainability message, and the feedback was very positive.
The keys to success:
There is a genuine top-down commitment to sustainability at Shining Knight that is quite rare for a busy cleaning company. For example, both owners attended the training session and joined the teams during their initial project period.
Kim and Arthur encouraged staff buy-in from the beginning by asking them to choose the program name. They incentivised their engagement by offering financial rewards and recognition for the winning Eco-knights teams at Shining Knight’s annual breakfast
Another important aspect was keeping the sustainability strategies simple, achievable and hands-on. This allowed cleaners on the ground to be involved and helped the managers to engage them in the resource tracking. This sentiment was echoed by Director Kim Calcatjicos:
“This project worked because we really engaged all staff from the start and they knew what to do. They were so proud to be doing something that was important, outside their normal duties”.
From small things, big things really have grown at Shining Knight.
We wish them and their Eco Knight teams all the best for a sustainable future and we look forward to hearing what they continue to achieve in the coming years.