David Aveyard, operations director at Christeyns has a remit to develop sustainable solutions for his commercial laundry clients. He talks to Kathy Bowry about the company’s commitment to the cause
Christeyns you may well think ‘chemicals’ but according to David Aveyard, the current business model goes much further than this, and has done for some time. “We are expending our efforts on providing laundry expertise rather than just chemicals. Our bespoke solutions help to reduce water, energy and improve wash results through all round laundry efficiency.”
The industry faces challenges not least because in a very competitive market laundries are constantly facing demands from to provide more for less. However there is an incentive for investment to enable this to the advantage of both parties. TSA negotiated the Climate Change Agreement with the government to encourage laundries and textile rental services to use energy more efficiently. Participating businesses committed to reducing their water and energy consumption by 25% before the year 2020. Those who don’t meet the target have to buy back carbon, which is equivalent to a heavy fine.
According to Aveyard the industry has already achieved very close to 20% and on track to get to the target 25% by 2020 and the focus is already looking ahead to the third carbon budget for 2018-2022 which calls for a 35% reduction in UK greenhouse gas emissions across all industries, compared with 1990 levels. The reward for participating companies is a substantial rebate on the Climate Change Levy tax – 90% for electricity, 65% for gas.
Aveyard says Christeyns has been at the forefront of enabling many commercial laundries to achieve the targets and claim the rebates. “Lower water/energy bills and the ethical pluses of conservation are attainable as we have seen. With the right systems in place the typical tunnel wash process has changed from 15-20 years ago when typically water consumption was 10-15L/kg now a modern or modified wash process can be reduced to a best-in-class figure of 2L/kg.
“By capturing water from the pre-wash and washer-extractors, this can be filtered and redirected to be used in pre-wash. At the same time, clean press water is recovered and recycled for rinsing. Before, that water would have normally have gone down the drain. Also recovering heat from this water via heat exchanger technology allows for lower temperature washing and Christeyns’ Cool Chemistry chemicals have been developed for this. The use of neutral pH chemicals and low temperature washing and safe effective bleach minimise damage to textiles. Cool Chemistry has pH of 6.5-7 resulting in longer textile life and more profit for textile rental business. Heat loss from the driers can also be recaptured from the ducting and recycled, typically to pre heat the incoming cold air before it enters the drier. The process is called Heat-X-Air2Air. All these steps together lead to big savings.”
“For example, Johnsons Stalbridge Linen Services, has credited Christeyns with helping to save across its combined plants 3,000,000 litres (3,000 cubic metres) of water a week comparable to the contents of one Olympic sized swimming pool. It also claims utility use has reduced by 37.5% compared with 2008 figures with washing temperature reduced by 27%. Chemicals provided as part of the solutions package by Christeyns are readily biodegradable.”
Aveyard explains also that historically, steam boilers were used in laundries which heated water to extremely high temperatures. “Modern new build laundries are moving away from steam as these high temperatures are no longer needed. Less water being used, and recovered heat is making the industry less reliant on generation of steam.
“Fishers’ flagship Coatbridge ‘super laundry’ which went live just over a year ago is steam-free operation with Jensen machinery throughout with integral Christeyns energy saving solutions, is the current benchmark for high efficiencies in commercial laundries in the UK. Christeyns commissioned specially engineered gas burners that heat water for a segmented tank that offers two different water temperatures which cover the laundry’s needs. The segments are topped up as and when needed from just two comparatively small burners calibrated to deliver the exact temperature water needed to the store tank.
“All this, a product of innovative research and engineering, allows Fishers to achieve a best-in-class result of 0.7kWh per kilo of laundry.” Another recent Christeyns project was the new build laundry at Camplings (see Tony Vince’s feature on energy efficient laundries, page 16).
So what are Christeyns’ plans for the future? Aveyard states emphatically that Christeyns will continue to invest in R&D and innovate via new engineering, new consultation processes and new people. “The next business model is already in place. More laundries can become more efficient and we will continue to use our resources to help customers deliver new initiatives, and that will incliude looking at renewables. We won’t be standing still – there is still a long way to go. The job’s never finished. The industry must keep pace or face being left behind.”