LaundryESP® Quantifies Green Gains; Documenting the industry’s efforts to self-regulate and our commitment to continuous improvement provides the foundation for promoting our green attributes to the public, customers and regulators.
The Laundry Environmental Stewardship Program (LaundryESP®) tells the story of the textile services industry’s positive impact on environmental protection. This voluntary pollution prevention and resource conservation program enables TRSA to facilitate the industry’s continued commitment to increasingly efficient use of natural resources. It is a cost-effective and flexible methodology for tracking improvement and creating more sustainable business practices.
Results compiled since 1997 demonstrate to the industry’s customers and regulators and environmental groups that textile service operations have made great strides in instituting company-specific initiatives that advance LaundryESP®’s mission. A wealth of data quantifies these improvements and proves that voluntary participation fosters individual corporate responsibility. LaundryESP® has helped members achieve significant reductions per pound of textile laundered since 1997 including:
- 24% reduction in CO2 emissions
- 27% reduction in total energy consumption, including
- 26% reduction in natural gas
- 9% reduction in electricity
- 75% reduction in fuel oil
- 81% decline in propane
- 30% in all hydrocarbon (production) fuels
- 10.9 trillion BTU reduced
- 33% reduction in gallons of water
Our business is naturally “green” with its reusable products and best practices such as the recycling of water, recapturing of heat and overall reductions in energy usage. The LaundryESP® program, developed with the EPA, demonstrates our industry’s commitment to sustainable operations.
The LaundryESP® Facility Data Survey of TRSA member companies produced the above results. The most recent such questionnaire covered members’ environmental performance from 2007 through 2009, crowning the accumulation of 13 years of year-by-year data on these parameters plus each facility’s production (volume of textiles cleaned, hours of operation), wastewater treatment and discharge, sludge generation and management, and other variables.
Working with EPA
TRSA presents LaundryESP®results to EPA to demonstrate the industry’s progress in resource conservation and pollution reduction. Previous audiences within the agency have included officials from the Engineering Analysis Division, Office of Water; and Design for the Environment Program, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics. Collaborating with the agency on LaundryESP®also provides an opportunity to discuss issues with EPA
EPA’s Office of Policy, Economics and Innovation praises TRSA member companies who join LaundryESP® as demonstrating their corporate commitment to protecting the environment. Improving public health is everyone’s business, the agency says, and LaundryESP® is an excellent way for a textile services operation to demonstrate concern for this mission by factoring pollution prevention and resource conservation into business decisions. EPA sees LaundryESP® as one of its many efforts to prompt industries to devise innovative solutions to environmental challenges.
The agency’s enthusiasm for working with TRSA on LaundryESP® is reflected in its commendation of our voluntary industry-wide commitments to use less water and energy and more environmentally friendly wash formulas and significantly reduce pollutants discharged to sewers.
LaundryESP® has succeeded in part because TRSA communicates with EPA about the industry’s stewardship and educates the agency and its contractors about the industry. EPA officials receive significant quantities of laundry operations data, industry information and comments. They have participated in plant site visits, reviewed industry questionnaires and participated in public meetings other than their own agency’s that affect our industry, such as the small-business panel process.
The 1999 inception of LaundryESP accelerated collaboration between EPA and TRSA to a new level although a cooperative relationship had long been established. We can take pride in more than three decades of productive dialogue with the agency that has demonstrated the industry’s best practices for protecting the environment through conservation and discharge control.