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Switch to microfiber cloths and mops


Segment    Family    Class




SDG Alignment

9. Build Resilient Infrastructure, Promote Inclusive and Sustainable Industrialization and Foster Innovation

SDG Target


Target Description

By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities

Level of Effort

Level of Effort Scale


1 -Quick Wins: solution involves adding criteria for the good or service being purchased (ex: certifications), minimal internal process changes.

2 -Long Term Adoption: solution requires some changes to internal processes and/or more capital investment (ex: digital transformation to reduce paper use).

3 – Disruptive Opportunities: requires significant investment and changes to internal processes (ex: retrofitting building)

Category Assessment

ETCH Procurement Process .png


• Identify the variety of cloth materials currently being used for janitorial services.

• Conduct research on the different types of microfiber cloths available in the market (example: standard weave, waffle weave, micro-chenille, microfiber pad, heavy-duty and medium grade).

• Perform cost analysis to evaluate the economic feasibility to make the switch, as microfiber cloths are expensive but have a longer shelf-life.

• Research and identify different vendors of microfiber cloths in the market. Also check with your current suppliers to see if they can provide microfiber products.

Opportunity Identification 

Long term cost savings due to higher lifespan of microfiber cloths, reduced need for cleaning chemicals.

Increased safety due to a decline in cleaning chemicals used and reduced water used for cleaning microfiber cloths - microfiber products uses 10 to 20 times less liquid than standard cotton mops (cotton mops use 105 gallons of water to clean 100 rooms while microfiber mops use only 5 gallons of water to clean 100 rooms).

Strategy Build & Execution

• Based on the cost analysis conducted earlier, determine the level of change incorporated (gradual vs full switch).

• Based on the analysis done on the different types of microfibers, determine the best option to proceed with various types depending on the purpose (wood, glass, machines, etc.).

• Select a supplier or check if the existing supplier has the option to provide these cloth materials and establish a contract if required.

• Explain to the company janitorial department on the sustainability view behind the switch.

• Provide the department employees training on how to use the microfiber cloths effectively.

Supplier Negotiation & Contract

• Leverage on the existing relationship with current suppliers on the discount options for bulk purchases with a variety of choices.

• Evaluate new products carefully by requesting for certification and product performance reports; assess product safety.

• Establish a pilot or test period for the new microfiber product.

• Agree on the quality management of these products with your supplier.

Supplier Performance & Management

• Monthly checks on the water consumption records and and cost savings (evidence on your utility costs).

• Maintain records on purchases, inventory costs, and average inventory level. There should be a decrease in overhead as microfiber products will be replaced less often compared to traditional cotton cleaning equipment.

• Perform annual reviews post program implementation with internal stakeholders and analyze records to evaluate the commercial impact of large-scale switch to microfibers in terms of purchase, and environmental impacts through your water usage and overall cleaning chemical purchases.

Resource Links

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