ALEXANDRIA, Va. — October 7, 2011 — The textile services industry has reached new heights in
natural resources conservation, according to the latest TRSA Laundry Environmental Stewardship
Program (LaundryESP®) survey. Responses compiled from 500 U.S. TRSA member facilities indicated
that their carbon footprint per pound of laundry is 11 percent smaller than in 2006 driven by a 14
percent per-pound decline in energy use. Water consumption has dropped 6 percent in that time.
These results have emerged on the heels of a study published by a European textile services
coalition that concluded the production technology typically used by TRSA members “is the most
sustainable way of doing laundry, almost without loss of quality and functionality.” Such
large-scale washing, drying and wrinkle removal is up to three times more sustainable than a
domestic laundry process, the European group concluded. They added that TRSA members’ techniques
were also proven up to twice as effective in this respect as “on-premises” laundries (OPLs):
individual washrooms large enough only to serve the businesses in which they are located, usually
hotels or healthcare facilities.
In terms of carbon footprint (carbon dioxide production), the metric most associated with
sustainability, LaundryESP® determined that TRSA member laundries now generate 0.36 pounds of CO2
per pound of laundry washed. That’s a 24 percent decline since 1997, the first year of data
tracking. This prevents emission of 1.49 billion pounds of CO2 per year, the equivalent of:
• Taking 135,000 typical cars off the road.
• Planting roughly 30 million trees to achieve a similar reduction.
“LaundryESP® is a testimonial to TRSA members’ commitment to improving their efficiency,
which enhances the environment and the economy,” observed TRSA President Joseph Ricci.
“Sustainability in commerce is not just about expending fewer resources, it means achieving those
gains year after year because it’s profitable to do so.”
He continued, “Businesses that patronize TRSA members deserve much of the credit for our
industry’s greater efficiencies. They understand that sending their uniforms, linens, floor mats,
towels and other textile products to TRSA members is the most economical way to clean these.
LaundryESP® proves to our members’ customers that their patronage of TRSA companies is ‘greening’
their own businesses more than ever and enabling our members to continue to be vital corporate
citizens in cities and towns across the nation.”
TRSA priorities include promoting member companies’ services to facilities now using OPLs as
well as businesses that could substitute durable, reusable cloth products for the non-launderable
or paper equivalents they now buy. Ricci noted that TRSA companies’ laundry and rental service for
work uniforms has long been recognized as the cost-effective, secure and employee-friendly
alternative for businesses who would otherwise buy uniforms, manage their inventory themselves and
require workers to wash these garments personally. The new research provides up-to-date
confirmation that professional uniform service is a pro-environment choice that’s becoming more
sustainable, Ricci noted.
The most recent LaundryESP® findings indicate how TRSA members’ resource requirements have
2.55 gallons of water per laundered pound, down 33 percent since 1997, a 9.9-billion-gallon
annual differential or:
• Enough to serve the residential purposes of 270,000 people in a year.
• What might be saved if stringent indoor water conservation measures were
implemented for 1.36 million people.
2,260 BTUs of energy, down 27 percent, due to declines of:
• 26% in natural gas
• 9% in electricity
• 81% in propane
• 75% in fuel oils
• 30% in all hydrocarbon (production) fuels
These combined reductions save energy at the rate of 11 trillion BTU per year or:
• Enough to power 116,000 typical U.S. households
Recent data comparing the sustainability of large-scale TRSA member laundering techniques to
domestic and OPL processes were generated by TKT, the research arm of the Dutch national
associations for textile services (FTN) and drycleaning (Netex). Cinet, a council of mostly
European national associations, published these studies.
Posted on October 10, 2011
Source: Textile Rental Services Association of America (TRSA)