Vertas Group Limited has agreed a contract to deliver an integrated soft facilities management services solution to five Essex schools built and operated by Skanska, until 31st December 2021.
The contract starts on 1st April 2018 and will see Vertas providing Woodlands School, Castle View School, Cornelius Vermuyden School, Columbus School and College with cleaning, grounds maintenance, recycling and waste management, pest prevention, specialist kitchen cleaning and window cleaning services.
The five schools provide education for a total of 2,240 students. As part of the new service Vertas will run waste management, segregation and recycling sessions for staff and students to help them reduce their environmental impact. This will be supported with the installation of new waste segregation recycling bins throughout the sites.
The Vertas ‘One Best Way’ cleaning regime uses lean engineering principles that reduce cleaning times and provide a safer, healthier working environment for cleaning staff.
The cleaning process is also gentler on the environmental with fewer chemicals and less water used in the cleaning process. The contract will also provide benefits to cleaning staff working in the schools. Specialist equipment, such as trollies and mopping systems, has been selected to reduce staff fatigue, lower the risk of repetition strain injury and potential hazards.
Vertas has made a significant investment in the i-mop technology which uses less water, a battery rather than trailing wires and offers less risk of back strain. The latest generation microfibre cloths remove greasy finger marks and stubborn dirt without the use of chemicals – they are used with water alone and trap 99.9% of bacteria.
Smart devices located in washrooms means that the team is alerted when soap in dispensers run low, meaning hygiene can be maintained without the need for wasted trips to check stock levels.
Bill Smythe, General Manager at Skanska, said:
“The safety of our workforce, all stakeholder schools and those of our partners’ employees, permeates all that we do and we consider it a vital factor when choosing supply chain partners. The innovative cleaning equipment Vertas will be using met this criterion.
“Vertas also offered us one point of contact for all services across all the schools, in a dedicated Contract Manager. We’re very much looking forward to the contract starting and seeing a reduction in both the environmental impact and the costs of keeping the five schools clean and safe and grounds manicured.”
Ian Surtees, Chief Executive Officer at Vertas Group Limited, said:
“Skanska share our priorities of putting staff safety, health and wellbeing first. Skanska is also a company passionate about the environment and sustainability which sits perfectly with Vertas brand values.
“This is the first new contract to include our very recently acquired business – Vertas Environmental – as a service. Since 2016 the cooking oil from the 400 schools we cater for has been converted to biodiesel. With waste management and recycling now part of the Vertas proposition we will use this biodiesel to power our grounds maintenance equipment such as lawnmowers and hedge trimmers across these five Essex schools.
“We welcome Skanska as a new client and very much look forward to looking after these five schools, allowing teachers and school staff to focus on education and pastoral care, while we support Skanska in providing exceptional learning spaces.”