Clean Green: Ready, Set, Go
Industry leaders’ efforts to develop widely accepted measures of textile services plants’ environmental friendliness culminated Jan. 30 when TRSA launched Clean Green, unveiling this new certification program’s requirements on www.trsa.org.
To be certified, companies must demonstrate responsible leadership in sustainability and conservation by achieving efficiencies in water and energy conservation and adopting best management practices (BMPs) for reusing, reclaiming and recycling resources. They can then use the Clean Green symbol, expected to adorn numerous companies’ websites, trucks and other promotional materials.
Clean Green contrasts sharply with TRSA’s Laundry Environmental Stewardship Program, in which member companies need only report efficiency data to participate. The new certification requires a paper audit followed by a plant inspection to verify the paperwork. Recertification takes place every three years with an inspection during this three-year period.
Audits will verify water and energy use and BMP deployment from productionreports that members submit to auditors during the inspections. Sources will likely include data from chemical injection, laundry equipment controls, utility bills and overhead rail systems.
This is a companywide certification program: organizations with more than one plant must apply to enroll all of them in Clean Green. For a company with 10 or more plants, 90% of the submitting company’s plants must qualify for certification. Companies with less than 10 plants must have a qualification level of 75% or more. After initial certification based on a paper audit, 10% of a company’s plants will undergo a physical audit over a three-year period (or atleastoneplantforeachcompanywith10or less plants). Thoseplantswillbechosen either at randomor throughTRSAoversight toensurefair selection.
A facility can be certified as Clean Green by following one of two paths:
- Perform listed BMPs and achieve water and energy use standards gauged to their production in millions of laundry lbs. produced
- Perform only a combination of BMPs considered more indicative of environmental stewardship; water and energy standards don’t apply
“Clean Green is a quantum leap forward in creating our capabilities as individual operators to promote our own positive environmental impacts,” said Mark Lewis, chairman of the TRSA task force that built the certification program. “It gives us a means to begin to take credit for all the work we do, which few people know anything about.” The task force includes members of the Marketing/PR and Environmental committees who deliberated for months over certification criteria. Lewis, of Dempsey Uniform and Linen Supply, Jessup, PA, previously chaired the Marketing Committee.
“The task force cannot be commended enough,” said Joseph Ricci, TRSA president and CEO. “Their work and the contributions of other TRSA leaders over the years have established quality standards for our members to measure their effectiveness in conserving natural resources, controlling their sewer discharges and otherwise protecting the environment. Clean Green certification has emerged as the most credible measure of textile services environmental stewardship ever conceived and TRSA is committed to maintaining that distinction going forward.”
The new Certification section of www.trsa.org details the Clean Green BMPs and certification requirements and contains key program documents for downloading, such as enrollment applications, full text of the standards and a table explaining how points are earned to achieve certification. A page in this section is aimed at laundry customers and prospects to familiarize them with the benefits of using a TRSA certified textile services operation.