Clean Green Goes Overseas to HR Björkman
Swedish mat launderer HR Björkman Entrémattor AB has been certified TRSA Clean Green, establishing two milestones for the two-year-old certification program: a company outside North America now has received the distinction and this operation is the first dust control company to earn the designation.
Founded in 1993, HR Björkman has expanded from its initial market (Skåne) to Gothenburg and Stockholm and also now serves Poland. The company opened its first plant in 1997 and became the first ISO 14001 certified laundry in Sweden two years later. Its new facility opened in 2005 near Malmo has become a hub of implementation of novel green laundry technologies, including:
- Wash water stream consisting of 98% recycled volume with essentially no sewer discharge (only evaporation). The other 2% is rainwater collected from roof areas.
- Biogas- and natural gas-fueled small delivery vehicles (“ordinary cars”).
- “Biotechnological detergent” that cleans with the help of nature's own microorganisms, said to produce better results than traditional chemical-based detergents.
From the plant and two depots, HR Björkman:
- Places 9,000 mats
- Serves 3,500 accounts
- Makes 67,000 stops per year
- Processes 1.76 million pounds of mats per year
The addition of HR Björkman brings Clean Green’s total ranks to 39 companies and 84 plants. The certification provides these operations with verified, quantified proof of their effectiveness in reducing their customers’ carbon footprint, validating their sustainability through TRSA authentication of their exemplary water and energy conservation and best management practices for reusing, reclaiming and recycling resources.
Clean Green standards comprise the only certification based on contemporary industrywide data compiled through TRSA’s Laundry Environmental Stewardship Program (LaundryESP®), which has tracked launderers’ significant water and energy conservation gains over the past three decades. Certification requires documentation of individual plants’ such achievements and inspection of proven best management and processing practices.
The program emphasizes continuity as the only certification requiring laundries to maintain and report water and energy conservation consumption and best management practices based on best available
technologies and practices. These are consistent with standards established by the International Textile Services Alliance (ITSA) and the global movement to reduce laundries’ impact on the environment by sharing research and best practices.
Clean Green is the basis for the ASTM International laundry sustainability standard, initiated by TRSA. Formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials, ASTM involved top technical experts, scientists and environmental professionals worldwide in the development and delivery of the laundry standard, reflecting Clean Green’s unparalleled value in building consumer confidence in laundry operations’ product and service quality.
In addition, the Green Restaurant Association has incorporated the TRSA designation into its Green Restaurant certification, enabling a restaurant to earn such certification points for outsourced laundry only if it uses a Clean Green facility.