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Evolving towards Sustainability Greening of Commercial Washing

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• Implementing water-saving technologies in commercial laundry facilities

•     Using biodegradable or eco-friendly detergents and cleaning agents

•     Investing in energy-efficient washing machines and dryers

•     Adopting practices that reduce chemical usage and minimize pollution

•     Incorporating renewable energy sources for powering washing equipment

With growing concerns over environment safety, commercial laundries are looking to adopt practices that ensure optimal water consumption, use of renewable energy sources, eco-friendly detergents & packaging, and technology to comply with sustainability norms on a mass scale. Leading by example, Premanth Kundurthi, CEO-PKC Laundry Solutions Pvt. Ltd and Zahid Nomani, Founder-ZyronOut share their green plans with Clean India Journal.

Premnath Kundurthi, with branches across 11 locations in Hyderabad, feels that contrary to popular belief, the shift towards sustainability does not entail compromising efficiency or profitability. Recent advancements within the sector have proved that it can complement operational efficacy, steering businesses towards a brighter and more sustainable future. While historically the commercial laundry sector has been notorious for its excessive consumption of water, energy, and harsh chemical detergents, the transformative wave sweeping through the industry has brought to light innovative and eco-friendly alternatives that have the potential to revolutionize the way commercial laundry operations are run.

The impact of eco-friendly innovations on the commercial laundry segment is significant, according to Premnath. The use of biodegradable detergents and eco-friendly packing helps reduce chemical footprints, adopting ETP methodology addresses water conservation challenges by recycling wastewater and embracing solar energy promotes renewable energy integration. These innovations align with global sustainability trends, appealing to eco-conscious consumers and marking a step towards a more responsible future for the industry.

During a pilot run, we discovered that customers were not satisfied with paper bags due to visibility issues and transportation concerns. While plastic wraps are cost-efficient, we are committed to transitioning to paper bags with lower GSM to reduce operational costs and become a fully green packaging company by 2026.

Premanth Kundurthi

PKC’s laundry facility is committed to utilizing biodegradable detergents in every washing machine. The detergents undergo rigorous testing to guarantee performance in stain removal, gentle fabric care, and effective odour control. Bio laundry detergents, also known as biological detergents, contain enzymes that are designed to break down stubborn stains and dirt. These enzymes serve as catalysts, speeding up the process of breaking down stains during the washing cycle. Non-bio detergents, on the other hand, do not contain enzymes. Instead, they utilize other ingredients and surfactants to effectively clean dirt and stains from fabrics. Non-bio detergents are typically recommended for individuals with sensitive skin.

Traditional laundry packaging is often plastic, which has slow decomposition in landfills and oceans. The switch to eco-friendly options benefits not just the environment but also attracts consumers who like to live consciously, creating a positive brand image. PKC currently uses cost-efficient and biodegradable non-woven bags which can be re-used and emit no toxins when burnt. The laundry has set a timeline for transitioning to eco-friendly packaging in the near future.

The existing laundry facilities have installed solar power systems at one of their stores in Kondapur, Hyderabad and their new plant will have one with 40 kw capacity. The plant is also setting up an ETP system as part of its water conservation initiative. Using IoT-enabled washing machines in the new factory will improve operational efficiency and reduce resource consumption as it will allow real-time monitoring and data collection of parameters like temperature, water flow, loading weight, cycle periods, and operation status. The company has also implemented workforce training and development programs, promoted tree plantations, identified the most efficient routes to lower fuel usage and prioritised use of battery-operated vehicles to further decrease carbon footprint.

Zahid Nomani agrees the commercial laundry industry is undergoing transformation, fuelled by technological advancements, heightened hygiene standards, and a growing emphasis on sustainability. India’s laundry services industry is witnessing robust growth, fuelled by urbanization, rising disposable incomes, and increased awareness of hygiene. Laundromats have emerged as lucrative investments, offering potential returns of up to 35% on initial investments.

Laundry machines are becoming increasingly sophisticated and interconnected with smart features and automation to allow for real-time monitoring and user updates. These systems eliminate the need for manual detergent measurement, ensuring the correct amount of detergent or solvent is used for each load, reducing wastage and improving cleaning performance. Energy-efficient washers and dryers minimize electricity consumption. Heat recovery systems capture and reuse heat, making the drying process more efficient.

The future of commercial laundry in India lies in striking a balance between efficiency, hygiene, and environmental responsibility. By embracing eco-friendly innovations, businesses can meet customer expectations while contributing to a cleaner and greener world of laundry.

Zahid Nomani

Innovations like waterless washing machines reduce water consumption significantly. Ozone-based laundry systems disinfect fabrics effectively without the need for hot water or harsh chemicals. Ozone kills bacteria, viruses, and odours, ensuring hygienic laundry. Nomani feels manufacturers must invest in specialized products like high-efficiency detergents, cold-water detergents, and eco-friendly solutions. Cold-water detergents allow effective cleaning even at lower temperatures. This reduces energy usage and extends the life of textiles.

With innovations aligning with global sustainability trends and appealing to eco-conscious consumers, the laundry industry is taking steps towards a more responsible future.

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