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Chemical-free floor cleaning for a green future

By the journalist Marika Lind

  • A cruise ship cleaned with Twister™
    A cruise ship cleaned with Twister™
  • International airport cleaned with Twister™
    International airport cleaned with Twister™
  • Twister™ - Just Add Water
    Twister™ - Just Add Water
  • A supermarket being cleaned with Twister™
    A supermarket being cleaned with Twister™

An article by the journalist Marika Lind

Today’s society includes a large variation of floor materials. This also includes products and methods for keeping these floors clean. All floor products and methods create environmental impact of different kinds and magnitudes. Twister™, developed by HTC Sweden, is a revolutionary cleaning system which clean and polish floors mechanically instead of using chemicals.

In a study from 2009 written by the Department of Management and Engineering (IEI), at the University of Linköping, Sweden, the environmental impact of the Twister™-method has been evaluated in a comparison with two other methods; Polish and Wax. This has been ascertained through a Life Cycle Assessment, which has been conducted within the study. The results of the study show clearly that the Twister™-method has a substantially lower  environmental impact than any of the more traditional floor care methods.

The importance of using products and methods that minimize adverse impacts on health and the environment grows stronger everyday. More and more companies worldwide are basing their decisions on life cycle information, in effort to gain the most from their actions without unintentionally jeopardizing their ability to thrive in the future. The desire of environmentally-conscious consumers and manufacturers to choose more environmentally benign products and processes has led to the development of  Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). LCA is a response to the identified need for a paradigm shift in our approach to achieving sustainable development that builds on the concept of life cycle thinking.

Environmental sustainability

Twister™ is a patented revolutionary daily floor cleaning system, developed by HTC Sweden AB, consisting of a floor pad prepared with billions of microscopic diamonds which clean and polish the floor mechanically. No chemicals or periodic maintenance is needed, just water. Twister™ is the ecologically friendly janitorial system that leaves a cleaned surface but at the same time polished surface without any requirement for chemicals or special competence. This creates a whole new standard and demand within the contract cleaning industry as well as for buyers of cleaning services. With Twister™ HTC Sweden offers green cleaning as a standard and not as an option in a menu of methods like many of their competitors.

In a study from 2009 written by the Department of Management and Engineering (IEI), at the University of Linköping, Sweden, the environmental impact of the Twister™-method has been evaluated in a comparison with two other methods; Polish and Wax. This has been ascertained through a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), which helps to identify and quantify the environmental impact of these methods from a holistic perspective. The perspective includes extraction, production, use and disposal of materials. In the study a model has been created in order to describe the system that floor care constitute. The model has been created with Eco indicator 99 defined in three damage categories; Human health, Ecosystem Quality and Resources, where the scores has been used for the environmental assessment.

Evaluating the environmental impact - a comparison of three methods

Scenario Twister™ is here set to reference. This means that the values of the environmental impact of the Polish and Wax scenarios in the damage categories has been divided with the environmental impact that scenario Twister™ has in each category. The scenario with a higher value than 100 percent has a worse environmental impact than scenario Twister™. The results show clearly that the scenarios Polish and Wax have a larger impact on the environment than Twister™. (see diagrams above)

This applies irrespective of whether the scenarios have been calculated on the
basis of articles of consumption, or when the machines’ environmental impact has been included in the calculation. It’s also important to note that any toxic environmental impact due to the usage of chemicals has been ignored in the study. This means that the environmental impact for the Polish and Wax scenarios could increase even further compared to Twister™.

If the Life Cycle only consists of Articles of consumption the gap widens between the scenarios in advantage for Twister™. The conclusion is that Twister™ is a floor cleaning-method with a substantially less environmental impact than both Polish and Wax in this study.

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