Halcyon Group announces expansion plans that could boost Roscommon Town
As published in the Roscommon Herald, February 2021
Specialist cleaning-services company Halcyon Group has announced big growth plans for its head office in Roscommon Town. Owner and Managing Director, Peter Kirwan, shares his vision.
Halcyon is a highly specialised cleaning services company that sits within a niche in the contract-cleaning industry. Facilities-management companies are among our customers, and we supply them with the expertise, skills and knowledge to do their technical cleaning and certification, from ventilation-extraction cleaning through to biohazard cleaning and infection control. Although we have innovative products and services in our existing suite of offerings, we realised, during the last 12 months, that in order for Halcyon to grow, we need to immerse ourselves in research and development, both of new products and of new ways of doing things. So, we’ve looked at two key areas where Halcyon can make an impact: sustainability and investing in our local community. To address both of these issues we will be expanding our operations into manufacturing and safety education.
At the moment every company is thinking about sustainability. Our filters and oil-filtration machines are used widely in all types of commercial kitchens from restaurants, to canteens and nursing homes. This product addresses a key issue in the sustainability challenge: waste reduction. Billions of gallons of dead cooking oil are disposed of. The existing Halcyon Zeco Oil Filtration System helps reduce the use of cooking oil by extending its life through filtration and, in that way, reduces waste and helps the environment. Our product reduces vegetable-oil consumption by up to 60%, so rolled out on a large scale, these machines would have a significant benefit to the environment.
Creating the eco circle
For Halcyon, this is not still not contributing enough to the sustainability agenda, so we’re developing – with the help of Enterprise Ireland – a new oil-filtration machine that will be made from recycled metal with filters made from recycled paper. Our challenge is ultimately to create a circular economy of recycling, where we make a product, we sell it, then we buy the used product back, make it into a different product and we resell that product again.
Ever since the 2008 crash, rural Ireland has been in something of a freefall. Here’s an opportunity for Halcyon to do our bit in building up our local community. We have plans in place to manufacture these oil-filtration machines in Roscommon Town, thereby investing in the community, creating jobs and contributing to reinvigorating this part of rural Ireland. I hope to have the machines ready to go to market in 2022, although it may take us three to five years to realise the entire vision of the eco circle and it may take a second generation of people coming into Halcyon to make that fully happen, but that is something we are striving to do.
Helping companies reduce carbon footprint
Another of Halcyon’s sustainability offerings is commercial floor renovation of Polyflor, Amtico and Marmoleum surfaces, which are the floors you see in schools, nursing homes, retailers and so on. We have a big division that restores more than 2.8-million square foot per annum of these resilient floors in both Ireland and the UK. Not a lot of people realise that these types of floors will last a lifetime, unless they wear away. The embossed pattern becomes dirty and scuffed; that’s where floor refinishing is ideal. There are ways to renovate that floor and make it look like new, and this is done by taking off the old seal and relaying a new seal. Restoring a floor offers a 90 per cent saving on the cost of replacing the floor. Recent studies have shown that the saving on your carbon footprint – made up of manufacturing the new floor, transportation, glue, polish and chemicals – equates to a 92 per cent saving. These savings are huge compared to replacing the floor, which is a massive task involving lengthy downtime and loss of sales while the area is out of commission. Floor refinishing is a very cost-effective and sustainable choice.
Training center for safety certification
Our company motto is “Always Setting Standards” and compliance and certification are at the core of our business, so, it’s very much within our realm of expertise to build a training school at our headquarters in Roscommon Town. Initially we will be doing all the essential safety-training certification for our own operatives, such as Enclosed Spaces certification, Manual Handling, Working at Height and Safe Pass certification, to ensure our staff are always educated, safe and certified to go onto clients’ sites. We want to extend this to other companies and individuals and create a center for excellence in safety training and certification to ensure they too, regardless of industry, are correctly certified for the jobs that they need to perform. I think that this would bring an additional boost and recognition to Roscommon.
Over the last year we came to realise that Halcyon needed to evolve. Our challenge is to be bigger and better than our competitors, to offer better products, to offer better customer service, to have a stronger brand, to invest in our staff, our environment and our community.