There is a big development currently in the works in the laundry service industry. ASTM (International Technical Committee D13 on Textiles) is in the process of developing a new international standard concerning laundry cleaning best management practices. If successful, the standard will in effect identify and define clear practices with which businesses in the field should be aiming to meet regarding their environmental impact. The goal is to increase energy efficiency and reduce consumption in all respects. Thus, the new development can be seen as a comprehensive effort to target wasteful practices worldwide and eliminate them in due time.
The Environmental Impact of the Laundry Industry
The laundry service industry (i.e. medical linen and hospital laundry service organizations) has a major environmental footprint. These companies use billions of gallons of water each year as well as tons of detergent as they process a vast number of linens in their facilities each and every day.
That being said, ASTM is committed to an overhaul of the ways in which businesses are currently operating. They hope that their new eco-friendly standards will lead to a significant reduction in water usage and promote long-term sustainability of the industry at large. As it currently stands, the newly proposed international standards have a good chance of passing. Once this has happened, commercial laundry facilities will be assessed and subsequently evaluated on a performance scale to determine whether they meet the mark.
A List of ASTM’s Best Practice Standards
ASTM is serious about its efforts, and this is demonstrated by the extensive list of areas which are to be included in the proposed international best practice standards. They are all geared toward promoting eco-friendly operations. This includes the implementation of water reuse technology, boiler heat recovery, wastewater heat recovery, using eco-friendly low temperature detergents, as well as installing energy-efficient lighting in facilities and having an energy audit performed to provide a thorough assessment of a company’s current performance. ASTM is also pushing for the promotion of alternative energy forms, namely the use of solar energy systems to reduce consumption.
If successful, the international best practice standards will be a monumental step in the laundry industry. It will likely take some time for the certification process to go into effect, but we will probably start seeing many businesses making the move to using eco-friendly technologies as a means of preparing themselves for review. ASTM encourages owners of these facilities to support WK35985.