New regional manager for Christeyns as laundry professional retires after 20 years in the business

17 August 2021

Christeyns’ Regional Manager, Keith Stone, is retiring from the business and moving to British Overseas Territory St Helena after 20 years’ service. Russ Pannell has been appointed to take over the role.

Keith Stone has taken the decision to retire from Christeyns and move with his wife to the island of St Helena. Keith joined Bradford based Christeyns in September 2001 and was a key member of the Southern team, working initially as an account manager, then Deputy Manager and latterly Area Manager for the South East.

Stepping into the role is Russ Pannell, who joined Christeyns in 2016 and has a long career in the laundry and hygiene sector. Russ started out as a washer extractor maintenance engineer before moving to the hygiene chemical side where he has held several senior operational management roles. 

“I am looking forward to the new challenges this role will offer,” states Russ. “I worked closely with Keith for several years and he will be a hard act to follow but I hope to achieve continued sales growth, developing my team and providing a first class service.”

Russ continues: “The market has been through a lot of challenges in the past 18 months but fortunately we can see the light at the end of the tunnel and customers are getting busier by the day.”

Operations Director Justin Kerslake comments on the appointment, “Popular with his peers, Russ shows immense enthusiasm and is dedicated to customer service.  He will be a strong addition to the CUK management structure.”

In his spare time, Russ is a keen amateur yachtsman often out sailing on the River Medway and the English Channel. He also cycles and plays badminton.

Christeyns UK is part of the global Christeyns group producing innovative solutions both chemical and technical for the laundry and commercial hygiene sectors across the UK and Ireland.

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Christeyns UK ups green credentials with new Project Terra

6 August 2021

Already known for its green credentials, hygiene chemical and engineering specialist Christeyns UK is driving the company’s environmental agenda from Board level down.

“The impact our industry has on the environment is significant,” states Justin Kerslake, Operations Director. “As a company, Christeyns is focused on doing all it can to reduce these environmental impacts and sees the challenges facing the industry as an opportunity to provide cost effective solutions to help customers stay ahead.”

Christeyns has invested significantly into developing efficient laundry systems, incorporating both equipment and chemicals, and is guided by the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

At its own facilities, the newly introduced Terra Project (meaning earth) looks into every aspect of Christeyns business across all its UK sites, in relation to sustainability and the environment.

Around £500,000 has been invested in equipment and training to ensure facilities are as modern and efficient as possible.  This included installing low energy LED lighting replacement and plans are under way to install a solar panel system.

Raw materials are purchased from carefully selected suppliers, sustainability being a key requirement when choosing ingredients.  Recent developments have also led to the introduction of concentrated formulations that reduce the number of deliveries and hence carbon footprint.  A review of the company’s waste stream is underway to strive for Zerowaste to landfill across all sites and this has recently been achieved at the Warrington plant.

Most recently the firm switched energy supply for the main Bradford plant to achieve net Carbon Zero and changed vehicle supplier to facilitate electric or hybrid vehicle choices for the high mileage drivers.

Wash-out water from both customer sites and the firm’s manufacturing facilities, is recovered and reused and in 2019 this saved 396,000 litres of mains water. This practice also reduces the amount of effluent being deposited into the environment.

“The drive to sustainability isn’t as simple as just moving to greener sources of energy, we must learn to consume less in general,” adds Justin. “Remote working in a flexible environment is encouraged, telematics for delivery vehicles and super concentrated products are all in development to reduce CO2 emissions.”

Increased focus at Board level will add impetus to Christeyns’ strategic goals on tackling environmental issues within the sectors in which it operates and in the wider community.

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Update from the TSA

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Laundries warn hospitality industry: price rises are inevitable

‘Massive inflationary pressures’ as costs and shortages hit commercial laundries

The commercial laundries serving the hospitality and leisure industries have been looking forward to the bounce back, following lockdowns that saw them suffer more than many sectors due to government indifference.  But now they are warning that cost increases and labour shortages are crippling the recovery, and that they are being forced into increasing their prices. 

“There are massive inflationary pressures bearing down on our industry,” says David Stevens, CEO of the Textile Services Association (TSA), which represents commercial laundries in the UK.  “Commercial laundries are already on their knees, having had virtually no government help through lockdowns, despite seeing volumes drop by up to 80%. 

“Now they’re being hit by price increases they can’t absorb – they simply don’t have the resources.” 

The cost increases faced by laundries cover just about every area of operation and amount to double digit inflation.  Labour shortages have led to wages going up by between 10% and 25%.  Chemical costs are up 15%.  Many laundries also supply textiles services such as linen hire to the hospitality industry.  Here the prices are skyrocketing, with sheeting and bedding up by 55% and container freight costs by 300%. 

In response to the acute labour shortage the TSA is lobbying government to allow greater access to overseas workers and has requested further classifications of workers to be added to the shortage occupations list.  Despite support from the CBI and UKHospitality, Stevens is not hopeful.  “Don’t hold your breath,” he says.  “The government’s Brexit agenda means that, at least in the short term, it’s highly unlikely that we will get access to the European labour market.”    

As if labour shortages weren’t enough, the pingdemic has decimated the laundry workforce, putting even more pressure on the sector. 

UKHospitality is aware of the situation, saying that 94% of hospitality businesses are already experiencing difficulties with the supply chain, through shortages, delays and inflation.   For the hotels, restaurants and health clubs that rely on commercial laundries, price increases seem inevitable.   The TSA has published an information bulletin to inform end users of the likely impact.  It’s available to download for free from

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