Manual car wash company Hands On is amongst the major winners at the prestigious Green Apple Environment Awards, after developing a process that uses just 2 litres of water to clean a family car – compared to approximately 150 litres used in an automated car wash.
The eco-friendly company, operating at more than 140 supermarket, shopping centre and sites throughout the UK, has been awarded the Environmental Best Practice award for its Greener, Cleaner Car Wash project. By developing a whole new washing methodology and introducing specially designed micro-fibre cleaning materials – which retain water and draw dirt into their fibres for a less ‘thirsty’ process – the company has created a service that provides the same thoroughly clean finish as ever but, astonishingly, reduces water consumption by more than 60%.
Hands On were also praised by judges for their implementation of environmental best-practice throughout the business; including the use of local suppliers to reduce transportation emissions and costs, introduction of video conferencing between offices to conserve fuel and ensuring only non hazardous and non caustic chemicals are used in the cleaning of cars.
“Changing our entire approach to car cleaning has been a real labour of love for us,” explains Rick Plowman, Chairman and founder of the Hands On Group. “It’s taken a long time to get right, but it’s been worth every hour and every penny to ensure we operate in the most ecologically responsible way possible. The Green Apple award is vindication of all that hard work and we hope this kind of recognition will help to give customers peace of mind when they see the Hands On sign in their local car park.”
In addition to the Green Apple Award the company has won a clutch of other esteemed environmental accolades in the space of a month. The Green Achiever Scheme, which demonstrates the company’s devotion to certain environmentally friendly practices, the Green Hero 2009, helps to enhance the environment and encourages others to nurture the planet and to complete the quartet Hands On has been given the Green Mark, a recognised environmental credential which helps organisations save money by reducing costs through energy saving techniques and following green policies for procurement.
Hands On will be featured in the next Green Book, the world’s only work of reference on environmental best practice, and have been invited to attend a special prize giving ceremony at the Tower of London next year.
The company, which operates a ‘wash-whilst-you-shop’ service to save customers time and inconvenience, collected their Environmental Best Practice award at a high profile ceremony at the House of Commons.
As a direct result of the win, Hands On may also represent the UK at the 2010 European Environmental Awards. The Green Apple Environment Awards is credited as an official ‘feeder system’ for nominating the top European environmental achievers.
The Hands On Car Wash service costs £5 and takes approximately 20 minutes to complete.
Hands On founder and Chairman, Rick Plowman, opened his first site in 1996 after years of research into developing a ‘secret recipe’ to combine specialised cleaning equipment, low-chemical detergent and water efficiency.
Operators use mobile cleaning units to make sure that the service comes to the customer and there’s no queuing and no need to take the customer’s car keys.
Hands on tel: 0845 345 6833 www.hands-ongroup.co.uk