Parkside is a 101-year-old Canadian family business distributing innovative, sustainable cleaning products. When fifth-generation family member Caleb Parker married a Kiwi and moved to New Zealand, he spotted an opportunity to bring his expertise here and decided to focus on the hospitality industry. "Within that industry, I focus mostly on economical ways for businesses to be more environmentally friendly," Parker told Hotel Magazine.
As well as manufacturing over 250 products themselves, Parkside always keeps an eye open for new, sustainable toiletries. "We cater to all forms of accommodation that are looking for unique and sustainable guest amenities without sacrificing quality or price," said Parker. "We provide our collections to everyone from small B&B and motel owners to luxury apartment providers and hotels."
Parkside's business model is ahead of the curve as businesses wake up to the need for sustainable practices. Recently, IHG announced the removal of miniature toiletries from their hotels worldwide, and New Zealand small appliances provider Astro launched their Hotel Weka scheme to recycle used plastics into building materials. By providing comprehensive sustainability solutions, Parkside is able to make an environmental impact without complicating the lives of hoteliers. "Most business owners do care about sustainability, but often do not have the resources to focus on it," Parker explained. "It's hard enough running a business without the added difficulty of making sure that all of your products and consumables are as sustainable as they could be."
The good news is that innovative solutions are being generated at an astounding rate, as companies attempt to meet customers' demands for sustainability. Parkside is soon launching a range of guest amenities featuring OceanBound plastic, a product of American company Envision Plastics.
OceanBound plastics are made from recycled plastic collected from Haitian beaches. "The plastics are then treated and given to Envision Plastics to turn them into pellets that can be used for manufacturing facilities," said Parker. "The plastics are used in the guest amenity manufacturing facility and filled with a beautiful collection of natural and organic formulations for our guests." Parkside's nOcean, BlendS, Revere, and Arquiste range are all manufactured this way.
Shipping and distribution of these products is 110 percent carbon-offset, achieving a 'beyond carbon-neutral' status that is, crucially, traceable. "When we offer a collection like nOcean, we have evidence and proof of certification for each claim we make. We have won and lost contracts as a result of being open for discussion on all of our collections - we are constantly making companies aware of New Zealand's recycling, composting, and garbage waste options for guest amenities," said Parker.
Currently, the sustainability movement is still in its infancy, and Parker is optimistic about its future. "I have personally seen a large shift globally in people who are taking interest in environmentally friendly products, and making an effort to understand carbon footprints and the life cycle of products," he said. "It's becoming more fashionable to be sustainable." The difficult part, it would seem, is spreading the message. "We have heard so many times that, 'We didn't know products like this exist!' Everything takes time, but I'm confident we're moving in the right direction. Two steps forward and one step back."