In 2013 a kompost client challenged Gwen to come up with a solution to address the huge volume of hotel soap and toiletries being sent to landfill, or being incinerated, in the UK each year.
Soap recovery and recycling was already well under way in many parts of the world, but the proper recovery and repurposing of the toiletries had not been done anywhere in the world.
Gwen and Dennis started running trials from their one bedroom apartment in May 2014 and it took 6 months’ of negotiations with the Environment Agency to obtain a special Waste Exempt, to make CleanConscience the first and only organisation in the UK to legally treat the half used soap and toiletries discarded by the hospitality sector.
Another 6 months were spent to finally obtain Registered Charity Status in March 2015, and then the search started to find a specialist Insurance Company, willing to underwrite CleanConscience’s Public and Product Liability. This type of activity had never been done in the UK before, so a 27-page Standard Operating Procedure, to include Risk Assessments and Method Statements, had to be written up and submitted for the Insurance Company to find an Underwriter.
To enable CleanConscience to become a financially sustainable organisation, initially with start-up support from Foundations and Trusts, we had to convince the hotels to pay a Programme Fee.
The CleanConscience Unit officially opened in July 2015 and our first hotels, lead by Brown’s Hotel and The Ritz London, joined immediately.
In October 2015 we hosted our first volunteers.