Take Your Facility Green
At Prestige, we pride ourselves on being laundry experts, but we're also a leader in sustainability practices. Environmental best practices are an integral part of our valet and hotel laundry service. We utilize heat and water reclamation processes that result in tremendous cost savings, upwards of 50%, while actually improving the wash cycle quality. We don’t just talk about being green; we exemplify it every day in actions that range from turning off idle machines and lights, to complicated measures like manipulating boiler gas usage. These measures are taken in our own facilities and as part of all hotel laundry management services and linen rental services. Read the article below for tips on taking your facility green!
Source: Laundry Today
NEW YORK, N.Y. — Many people would like to take their facility ‘green’ but aren’t sure where to start. The process can also be overwhelming. But if you’re ready to reduce your business’ carbon footprint, there are several steps you can take.
First, you must understand the basics. Everyone uses the term ‘Reduce – Reuse – Recycle.’ But do you really know what it means? To reduce is to use less of something, i.e. less water per pounds of linen, less btu’s per pounds of linen and less kwh per pounds of linen. When you reuse, you use a product several times before discarding. Water, energy and textiles are reused in a laundering operation. Recycling is when you take a product at the end of its useful life and re-manufacture it into another useful product. We’re all familiar with the everyday procedure of recycling of aluminum cans, newspapers, glass and plastic at home. The challenge is extending that state-of-mind to the workplace.
Create A Green Culture
If you’re looking to take your facility green it’s smart to first create a Green Team. How do you do that? Create employee based work groups that meet regularly to identify Green opportunities within the company. This will empower the employees to take green responsibility in the day-to-day operations of the facility. You may also consider a gesture, i.e. lunch, for the department that meets their green goal monthly.
Once you’ve created your Green Team make sure everyone has a clear understand of what your green goals are. Remember, you can not manage what you don’t measure. Begin by measuring your utility usage per pound of linen.
- Calculate fuel btu’s per pound of linen
- Calculate kwh per pound of linen
- Calculate gallons of water used per pound of linen
- Create a report to track and monitor your progress
The next step would be to measure your waste streams. Waste streams include the pounds of linens ragged out; pounds of plastic bags discarded; pounds of cardboard boxes discarded; number of pallets discarded and number of dumpster loads of trash picked up. After you’ve identified and measured your waste streams, sell any waste stream that carries residual value to recyclers. These waste streams would include ragged out linen, plastic, cardboard, pallets and scrap metal.
Turning Your Operations GREEN
Now you’re ready to take a look at the actual operation of your facility. Make sure you have properly sized boilers and a heat reclaimer. Fix all air, water and steam leaks. Make sure there is proper insulation on all hot water and steam lines. Use a stack economizer and a vent condenser for the water boiler make-up tank. Savings in many different areas add up to large savings, monthly.
If you don’t already have a water reuse system – now is a good time to install one. Make sure you have inverter driven pumps and motors. Check that the steam traps on ironers are working properly and make sure all your equipment is maintained and in its best working order. There are many opportunities within your facility to go green too. Install energy efficient light bulbs and fixtures with automatic on/off lighting instead of light switches. Use sunlight reflecting materials on the building’s roof and consider installing skylights. Remember, white paint on the walls and ceiling will increase the efficiency of the facility’s lighting. Also consider a rainwater cistern. One inch of rain on one acre is 27,154 gallons!
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