How Can Eco-Friendly Dry Cleaning Services Help My Business?
Want to take steps to make your hospitality business more environmentally-friendly? Keep reading to find out how dry cleaning services can help.
Prioritising sustainability in your business strategy can feel challenging, but it’s certainly not impossible. Keep reading to find out why dry cleaning services can be one of the most effective ways to take a greener approach to hospitality, as well the steps that we’re taking to stay at the forefront of sustainable linen hire and laundry practices.
Why Sustainability Should Matter to Business Owners
As a business owner in the hospitality industry, you’ll know the feeling all too well of having lots of spinning plates on the go all at once. With so many pressing matters to think about, it’s natural that sustainability might not exactly be at the forefront of your mind, and you might be wondering why we’re asking you to make it a top priority.
To answer this question, we’ve compiled a list of compelling reasons why sustainability should matter to you and your business:
The preferences of consumers are ever-evolving, and their take on sustainability is no exception. Even a decade ago, sustainability in the hospitality sector was simply a nice bonus for many; today, it is a business deal-breaker as an increasing number of customers centre sustainability in their decision of which businesses to support.
With this in mind, aligning your business with eco-friendly practices is a surefire way to meet changing customer expectations and gain a competitive advantage in the market. Not only will you attract new customers to your business, you’ll also be more likely to foster some brand loyalty amongst your client-base.
Compliance with Regulations
Customers are certainly not the only ones who are working towards a more environmentally-friendly future. As part of the UK's ambitious Net Zero strategy, which aims to decarbonise all sectors of the nation’s economy by 2050, the Government has outlined the ways in which they will work with the hospitality sector to help meet their goals. These includes:
- meet, create, and share best practice on environmental guidance to help businesses decarbonise supply chains and achieve Net Zero, seizing the opportunity of COP26.
- reduce waste and single-use plastic consumption.
- help ensure any recyclable waste produced is collected for recycling.
With plans in place that will inevitably alter how your business operates in the future, why not get a head start and establish some green practices that comply with the Government’s initiatives? Taking a proactive approach will save you from any potential regulatory challenges down the road.
You might be surprised to learn that sustainable practices can actually lead to your business saving a lot of money over time. Whether it’s through making use of energy-efficient appliances and technologies, reducing your water consumption or being smart about waste management, taking eco-friendly measures can have a big impact on your bottom line.
Let’s use food waste as an example to emphasise this point: in the UK, hospitality and food service businesses waste 920,000 tonnes of food a year, 75% of which could have been avoided. This wastage costs the average venue a whopping £20,000 per year. While this figure alone goes to show that making greener choices, like reducing waste, is a key way to lower your expenses, imagine how much you could save with a complete sustainability strategy in place!
The Environmental Perks of Using Dry Cleaning Services
Now that we’ve talked about the why of sustainability in business, we can get into the how. You’ve probably already thought of some general ways that you can make your establishment more eco-friendly - we even briefly mentioned some above - there’s one key area of your operations that you might not have considered yet, and that’s your laundry process.
From tablecloths and chef whites at a restaurant to bed linens and towels at a hotel, practically every hospitality business has to deal with huge amounts of laundry. And because keeping your linens clean and pristine for guests to enjoy is so crucial, you’re probably not thinking too much about the environmental impact of all of this laundry processing.
However, the unfortunate reality is that the countless tonnes of laundry produced by hospitality businesses around the world adds up to staggering amounts of water and energy waste. On top of this, textile production and waste is another vast problem in this sector, with as many as 30 million textile items (that’s 2000 tonnes) being thrown away each year.
While the hospitality industry is a big contributor to global textile waste, this does also mean that there is immense potential for waste reduction. Fortunately, there is a simple solution that goes a long way to help your business protect the environment: dry cleaning services.
As the statistics above suggest, throwing away a stained or worn piece of linen is never as harmless as it seems. When you use a professional linen service, your linen is taken care of by professionals using careful laundering and handling procedures that will extend the lifespan of these garments, thus preventing them from being sent to landfill prematurely. What’s more, when linens do reach the end of their usable life, your linen provider will ensure that items are recycled or disposed of in the most environmentally-responsible manner.
One of the biggest reasons why the textiles industry is so detrimental to the environment is down to the huge amounts of water it requires to produce linens - from growing the flax plant from which linen is made, all the way to the manufacturing process and subsequent laundering. By opting for a bulk laundry service, you’re contributing to a substantial reduction in water usage, as the demand for new linens is lessened and items can be washed more efficiently.
Lower Carbon Emissions
While many hotels will opt for luxury cottons as their linen material of choice for their quality, every year, the process of cotton cultivation is responsible for 220 million tons of CO2 emissions, making it extremely harmful to the environment. By opting to hire your linens over purchasing them outright, you’re actively reducing the demand for new products and, subsequently, the carbon emissions released during production. While this is beneficial in itself, linen hire services can also wash and deliver items in bulk, which means fewer journeys and reduced emissions from transportation.
Linen hire services utilise the latest innovations in laundry technology, meaning that the industrial washing machines they have to hand are far more energy-efficient that domestic models. As they’re designed to wash large quantities of laundry at once, this means that much less energy is used per item. This helps you to lower your company’s overall energy consumption.
The Johnson’s Way: Dispatches from the JSG Second Sustainability Report
If you’re starting to think that outsourcing your linen and laundry to a dry cleaning service is the right move, but also want to ensure that you’re partnering with a company that takes sustainability seriously London Linen can help. In early 2022, we proudly launched our second sustainability strategy, ‘The Johnson’s Way’, which outlines the framework that underpins our approach to sustainability and sets out our vision for a better future.
Of the four pillars on which this strategy stands, in this section we’ll be taking a closer look at the findings from the ‘Our World’ pillar, which focuses on our efforts to reduce the environmental impact of our business practices. While the below is but a brief summary of our study, we encourage you to read the full report to gauge the full scope of our sustainability efforts.
Energy Consumption & Carbon Emissions
Johnson Service Group’s greenhouse gas emissions, reportable under SECR for the reporting year 2022, were 94,458 tonnes CO2e. In light of this, we have set ourselves what we consider to be a challenging carbon reduction target – to achieve a 40% reduction in our CO2e intensity by 2030.
We are conscious that this is not a net zero commitment however, we are in the early stages of our low carbon transition and management journey and believe it is realistic and achievable. We are also aware that our current emissions data, and this target, do not yet address our wider Scope 3 emissions including those of our supply chain and of our product inventory; we have committed this year to furthering our understanding of this area.
Textiles Circulatory Transition Plan
We are currently working with several parties to identify sustainable options for managing our end of life textiles. Currently, only a negligible proportion of the global production of clothing and textiles is recycled, the vast majority is either incinerated or sent to landfill. Our baseline data has indicated our recycling percentage is fairly high at around 68% however much of this is a single recycle into wipers that are then disposed of via traditional methods.
We are currently undertaking a number of feasibility projects that may enable us to return recycled cotton fibres into the textile manufacturing process. At the same time we are also exploring methods for recycling our polyester based products into content that could be used by industry, for example as insulation by the motor industry.
Whilst in the early stages all our pilot projects are providing promising results. We are aiming to be in a position to formally develop our management approach and strategy
for end of life textiles across the Group during the coming year.
Across the Group a significant volume of waste is generated including plastics and other packaging, general waste, end of life textiles and other industrial wastes. We have robust processes in place to ensure each site manages their waste in accordance with applicable regulations.
During 2022 we adopted a standardised and consistent methodology for calculating total volumes of all wastes generated by volume and by disposal route. This baseline has provided a more granular understanding of our waste and how we currently manage and dispose of it. Key highlights from the baseline include:
- Total of 3,916 tonnes of waste generated across the Group
- 1,011 tonnes sent to landfill (26% of the total)
- 2,905 tonnes diverted from landfill (74% of all waste)
- 1,100 tonnes of textile waste was generated with over 750 tonnes being recycled
- 304 tonnes of plastics generated with 73% going to landfill
Count On Us for Your Restaurant Laundry Needs
Here at London Linen, our bulk laundry services are second to none. Whether you’re a small cafe, busy restaurant or large-scale hotel, we can supply you with a range of luxury linen products to suit you. From crisp bed linen all the way to smart and hygienic chefs wear, every item we provide has undergone rigorous quality control checks to ensure you get the best product, every single time.
Our team is fully trained to handle your products carefully to maintain standards and help you navigate every step of our process with ease. If you ever have a question or concern about our work, our team of dedicated Area Service Managers are on hand to ensure you’re never left in the dark.
If you’d like to learn more about our products, services or our sustainability strategy, please get in touch with us today to speak with a member of our team.