- Created on Friday, 03 October 2003 04:02
- Written by Petra Lattmann
In order to prove that LaundryESP's objectives were met, the program conducted four surveys to collect supporting data. Program participants, representing 75 percent of the overall laundry production in the industry, helped create a baseline by digging back in their records to establish usage in 1997 and 1998, and in the same survey, reported their 1999 efforts to attain the four objectives.
"I've done some preliminary analysis on the '97-'99 data that showed we were making good progress towards the goals, said David Dunlap, environmental affairs & information technology director for UTSA. "We had about a five to six percent reduction in the water and energy use in just those three years."
With the 2002 survey collection just completed, Dunlap and his team will first conduct a quality control assurance procedure that will check for anomalies in the data. This scrutiny will ensure that data entry mistakes or obvious miscalculations are rectified before an estimated one month analysis effort of all six concurrent years of data (1997-2002) begins sometime in September.
"The primary goal has been to show how environmentally sensitive and friendly the laundry industry can actually be, and that it benefits everybody, whether they were an actual participant in the LaundryESP program or not," said Dunlap. "We raised the bar by setting ambitious, voluntary environmental conversation goals for our industry."
Dunlap added that while the program's funding came from the operating budget of both UTSA and TRSA, the participating companies spent their own time and resources to collect the yearly data. Overall, 90 percent of the required surveys were submitted, an excellent return rate given the voluntary nature of LaundryESP.
The benefits of this program to the participating companies are threefold. First, it provided an incentive to internally measure energy and water consumption rates per laundry room pound, helping companies benchmark and then explore methods of improving their process. At the same time, these companies were reviewing the types of chemicals they used and discovering better ways to control the amount of pollutant discharge. By volunteering their confidential information to a third party (LaundryESP), the submitted data also gains increased validity.
Second, when the industry-wide results are available, these companies will be able to compare their own gains in operating efficiency and environmental stewardship to an industry average, and use the information to demonstrate their leadership role in environmental concerns to current and prospective customers.
Last, but not least, the companies will be publicly recognized for their efforts in Q1 2004, when UTSA and TRSA hold a general press conference in Washington, D.C., including possible participation by government dignitaries, to announce the comprehensive impact of the LaundryESP program.
"I think that we are going to have some excellent results and the best thing for the laundry industry is to continue the ESP program," said Dunlap.
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