Hand Dryers Offer a Sustainable Alternative

Hand dryers help drive a sustainable message.

By Mackenna Moralez

Sustainability is at a high priority for healthcare facilities managers. In many cases, consumers are aligning with companies that share values that are similar to theirs, and environmentally friendly products are becoming more popular. As people return to in-store shopping, it is important that these values continue throughout their shopping experience. Hand dryers are popular in public restrooms because they produce no waste and are never out of stock, allowing visitors to have clean and dry hands. In this manufacturer roundtable, Healthcare Facilities Today talks with hand dryer manufacturers about the ways they are aiming to become more sustainable with their products. 

How are hand dryers becoming more sustainable? In what other ways do they help remove waste? 

“Many of today’s hand dryers, such as the ones in Excel Dryer’s high-speed, energy-efficient product line, are a far more sustainable hand-drying option than paper towels. In fact, a life cycle assessment that was peer-reviewed to ISO 14040 standards showed that the XLERATOR hand dryer reduces the carbon footprint of hand drying by 50–75 percent when compared to paper towels and traditional electric hand dryers. 

In contrast, paper towels come from trees, a threat against the increasingly important need for environmentally sustainable practices. What’s more, most don’t recognize that recycled paper does not mean it’s recyclable. Hand dryers, on the other hand, produce no waste and are never out of stock, so restroom visitors will always have the opportunity to leave the space with dry, clean hands. Some companies, like Excel Dryer, also have created greener hand dryer models that use room temperature air. 

Further, as the concept of environmental responsibility becomes increasingly important for all types of facilities, hand dryer manufacturers must take measures to ensure that their products can be properly assessed for sustainability. Excel Dryer is the firsthand dryer manufacturer to publish third-party, verified environmental product declarations, which assess the impact a product will have on the environment through the study of its energy consumption during production, usage and disposal.” 

— William Gagnon, vice president of marketing and sales, Excel Dryer 

“It is well documented that dryers help save paper. Bobrick takes an agnostic view on this, as it is a patron preference issue in regard to what paper amenities are offered in the restroom. There are many reasons paper towels are appropriate beyond simply drying hands” 

— David Leigh, vie president of marketing, Bobrick Washroom Equipment 

Mackenna Moralez is the associate editor of the facilities market. 

November 3, 2022

Topic Area: Sustainable Operations

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