Since we only have one planet, everyone has a stake in protecting the environment. Certainly, Mark VII is no exception. Admittedly, we enjoy an advantage in the industry in that our parent company, WashTec, is based in Germany. Europe’s environmental standards are considerably more stringent than even the U.S., so environmental stewardship — from chemicals to equipment — is a significant focus for both companies.
Let’s start with an area which could make an obvious environmental impact: our chemistry. Both WashTec and Mark VII have taken huge steps to ensure that we are using products that are not harmful to the environment and sustainable. For example, some carwash formulations still contain a chemical that cleans well but is very hard on equipment and poses a risk to employees, operators and the public. Mark VII products contain no hydrofluoric acid or phosphates.
We also met with our blender and asked the company to look at our formulations to ensure that we are meeting all federal, state and local standards for green products. All of our chemicals meet or exceed those standards.
The next stage in this arena is to learn more about the future and how Mark VII can be part of doing the right thing. For example, do we need to change how we package our chemicals? Right now, we can recycle our 30-gallon drums, but haven’t found anyone to take our 15- and 5-gallon containers. Every aspect of our chemical program is on the table for consideration as we seek to further reduce our environmental impact.
More than chemistry
Of course, chemicals are only one aspect of our efforts to be good stewards of our environment. Our carwash equipment is engineered to minimize the consumption of water and electricity, making our washes some of the most efficient in the industry.
In fact, utilizing a commercial carwash — as opposed to washing a vehicle oneself — is one step everyone can take to benefit the environment. Washing a car by hand uses far more water than a Mark VII carwash. Plus, all the detergent one uses — and any dirt, oil and other contaminants washed off or picked up by the water — flows right into the storm drains. Those drains empty directly into local rivers and streams.
On the other hand, water used in carwashes is collected in underground tanks and often filtered, cleaned and reused. Any water discharged goes through the municipal treatment system, not into area waterways.
Protecting the environment we share is everyone’s concern, and Mark VII is doing its part. We will strive to make our chemicals and equipment more eco-friendly while looking ahead and planning for an even greener future.
Kelly Maria is the vice president of chemical operations and sales – U.S. and Larry Azevedo is the chemical field operations manager for Mark VII.