The U.S. Textile Rental Services Association (TRSA) has created Standard Practice for Sustainable Laundry Best Management Practices, recognizing key criteria for TRSA’s Clean Green certification (www.cleangreen.org) as universal indicators of maximum sustainability in commercial laundry work.
The Society for Testing and Materials, or ASTM International vetted the proposal for 19 months and then published the TRSA-initiated standards. The new ASTM standard codifies the best management practices in the TRSA Clean Green standard as the structural, nonstructural and managerial techniques most effective and practical for a laundry to achieve green objectives, such as preventing or minimizing pollution, while making optimum use of natural resources.
President & CEO Joseph Ricci said in a September 4, 2013 statement to media that the TRSA proposal reflects “our industry’s commitment to sustainability and dedication to further reducing our carbon footprint and enhancing our environmental stewardship.”
He added that “the ASTM standard, implemented through TRSA’s Clean Green certification, encourages every laundry facility to adopt sustainable, green best management practices.”
Among the best management practices from the TRSA program incorporated in the ASTM standard:
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by capturing heat from wastewater stream
- Conserving with water reuse system
- Using environmentally friendly detergents
- Filtering wastewater before discharge to sewer
- Solar energy and energy-efficient lighting
- Recycling programs
- Re-routing trucks to save vehicle fuel
A total of 37 companies in the U.S. and Canada operating a combined 78 laundry processing plants are currently certified Clean Green, with five more applications (combining for 19 plants) pending for the designation. Attaining the certification requires a textile services company to be evaluated under TRSA thresholds for water and energy consumption as well as the ASTM standard.
The textile services industry provides all types of businesses with pickup/delivery service of laundered reusable products such as garments, napkins, tablecloths, towels, floor mats and other hygiene and reusable textile products. Clean Green certification differentiates launderers by validating their sustainability through the TRSA criteria and ASTM standard.
Decades of co-operation between TRSA and the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) inspired Clean Green. The agency has long acknowledged TRSA members as sustainability leaders, based on 15 years of voluntary reporting to the agency on energy and water conservation performance and repeated cooperation on wastewater treatment, wash chemistry and air quality issues. In 2008, TRSA was named a Champion in EPA’s Safer Detergents Stewardship Initiative.
TRSA also plans to submit its Hygienically Clean certification for adoption as an ASTM standard.