The rising cost of water, effluent and energy is forcing hotels to explore sustainability improvements for their on-premises laundry operations. However, these improvements should not sacrifice wash quality or hygiene standards. With around 80 percent of energy consumed in a laundry used to heat water for the wash phase, it makes sense that low temperature wash programmes and reducing overall water consumption will lead to lower energy costs, according to Diversey’s Deniz Alpaslan who offers more insight on the topic of sustainability in the hospitality sector.
Water conservation requires little or no investment,and provides great returns. First focus on eliminating the overuse and misuse of water,and repair any mechanical defects of equipment and infrastructure. This can be as simple as repairing leaking pipework and valves and ensuring the washing machine is working correctly and its settings match equipment and chemical manufacturers’ specifications. Have qualified technicians regularly check machines, and train staff to use equipment properly and check for leaks.
Further conserve water by adopting laundry best practices to prevent waste and rewash. For instance, sort linen by classification and soil level, load machines correctly and make sure cycles are completed once started.
Altering laundry processes can often reduce water and energy consumption. For example, washing at lower temperatures saves costs because less energy is needed to heat the water. In addition, less water is needed to cool down the wash load, reducing the number of rinses. Standard wash programmes also tend to heat water inside the machine rather than using external supplies, which is time consuming. Combined with a reduction in the number of rinses, this means that wash cycles are completed more quickly at lower temperatures. All else being equal, any machine can wash more loads in the same period, leading to improved productivity and reduced costs. Lower temperatures and shorter cycle times normally result in less scale deposited on a machine’s heating elements, which increases equipment efficiency and lifetimes. Finally, fabrics last longer and need replacing less often when exposed to lower temperatures.
Diversey research shows that reducing the wash temperature by 30°F, in combination with the right detergents and programme, can save up to 20 percent in water and cut operational costs by up to 20 percent.
The detergents in Diversey’s programme contain a wider range of ingredients than competitive products and incorporate innovative actives to perform specific functions with greater care. This makes laundry operations quicker, simpler and safer. The time and cost-saving benefits of lower temperature laundry are clear for any hotel. In most cases, the changes required amount to little more than product selection, simple reprogramming of existing equipment and some staff re-training.