For Solvair, it’s about clean and green 
When the premise of your entire company is green, it’s not hard to take the office to the next level of environmental consciousness. That’s the case for Solvair Cleaning System, a green company based in Naperville, Ill. A new kind of clothing care technology, Solvair removes a wider range of dirt and stains than traditional dry cleaning and in an environmentally friendly method. Dry cleaners in about 20 cities in the United States and Canada are using the Solviar machines.

Here's how it works: Clothes are placed in the machine along with a biodegradable cleaning liquid to remove stains and dirt. Then the machine is pressurized and liquid carbon dioxide is added. That cold liquid carbon dioxide removes the cleaning solution from the clothes. The pressure is reduced, the carbon dioxide evaporates and the clothes are instantly dry. The cleaning liquid and carbon dioxide are purified and reused.

The result is less energy use and less waste. Because the Solvair cleaning process is as energy efficient as possible, the Solvair office is too.

“Our employees continuously strive to be as green as our actual business model,” says Rachel Rich, consumer communications and public relations manager. “We recycle everything – from paper to drink cans to paper cups. Whenever possible, our sales and marketing materials, as well as company business cards, are printed on recycled paper. Office lights automatically turn off when associates are not present.

“Whenever we are making business decisions, we strive to make the most eco-responsible decision since being green is what our business is all about,” Rich says.

One area in which Solvair is not only making an environmental impact, but also a financial one is through the use of hybrid vehicles for its sales team, which spends a great deal of time on the road.

“With the nature of their job responsibilities calling them from one cleaner to the next all across the U.S., sometimes seeing five to 10 cleaners a day in one city before moving to the next, the hybrids have been a great investment,” Rich notes.

Also, the dry cleaning companies Solvair works with are striving to be greener, which, in addition to using the Solvair machine, can include offering reusable garment bags and recycling hangers as well as using hybrid vehicles for their delivery services. Those cleaners also report decreased utility costs and less waste after making the switch to Solvair machines.

Even if your company’s core business service or product isn’t a green one, it’s not tough for offices to go green.

Rich offers these suggestions:
• Recycle everyday office items, such as paper, drink cans and ink cartridges. “Make small efforts and team up to do them. Alternate who takes the recycling each week if it has to be delivered, and if you live in a state like California that offers a recycling incentive, put the money into an office fund for going out to lunch.”

• Cut back on energy consumption. Rich says she opens her office window rather than using the air conditioning, plus she enjoys the fresh air.

“If you start small to make new, greener habits for yourself and your office, the changes in behavior will soon become natural, making the harder tasks seem within reach,” she says.

Keep up with Solvair’s latest green efforts by following the company on Twitter.

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