TSA organises benchmarking care home laundry trip

Currently, 90% of Europe’s care homes outsource their laundry. In the UK most care homes process their laundry in-house. The pandemic highlighted the importance of maintaining the strictest hygienic standards in care homes. Outsourcing is more efficient, more sustainable and it ensures that laundering complies with appropriate standards, BS EN 14065 and HTM-01-04. So why don’t more UK care homes make use of commercial laundry services?

The TSA (Textile Services Association) is investigating the conundrum. It commissioned the large care home survey, in partnership with De Montfort University (DMU), which clearly demonstrates that care homes need support to ensure a hygienic laundry solution. The TSA is working with DMU to ensure that training, support and knowledge sharing are developed in partnership for both in-house and outsourced solutions. The objective is for the care home sector to be able to make informed decisions when it comes to laundry operations.

Following the research, the TSA has organised a trip for its members to Belgium. There they will visit a world-leading care home processing laundry, CLOVA, and have presentations from laundries specialising in the sector from Germany, Holland and Belgium. In addition the results of the survey will be presented and there are sessions planned on the UK care home sector and the supply chain challenges.

“Using commercial laundries provides a simple solution for care homes, ensuring standards are met,” says David Stevens, CEO of the TSA. “Outsourcing can also help alleviate the problems of staff shortages in the sector – and it means care home staff have more time for residents.”

Coupled with their ability to maintain the highest hygiene standards, commercial laundries are also highly efficient and use less resources than the alternative. On average, a typical in-house care home laundry machine will use 20 to 30 litres of water and consume 3 to 3.5kwh for each kg of washing. A typical commercial laundry uses 3 litres of water and 1.1kwh of power.

“Commercial laundries already look after a significant proportion of the NHS’s needs,” says Stevens. “The care home sector is five times the size of the NHS, so it represents a huge potential market for our members.”

The trip to Brussels takes place on Tuesday 3rd and Wednesday 4th October. Places are limited and TSA members who are interested should contact the Association as soon as possible

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us either via email or phone: 

E tsa@tsa-uk.org

T +44 (0) 20 3151 5600

August market report

11 August 2023

After a few weeks of welcome mild stability, with prices achieving their optimum prices of the year, on the 9th of August UK gas prices surged 28% in a day amid Australian supply concerns – European gas prices witnessed a much more significant leap of nearly 40% as fears of a possible shortage of LNG arriving into the block. UK gas prices rocketed to over twice their traditional seasonal value as concerns grow about potential disruptions to liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports as workers at crucial LNG plants in Australia consider strike action. This surge may be nowhere near the rapid increases seen in wholesale prices in mid-2022, but it does give clear indications as to how volatile the market remains, with disputes on the other side of the planet having dramatic effects much closer to home!

The markets are expected to maintain a negative position from extensive planned works to Norwegian gas facilities which are scheduled to ramp up over the course of August, taking a significant volume of gas ‘offline’ from the European markets for several weeks. Continued uncertainty, recently seen on the oil market is also providing additional bullishness, which will almost certainly mean we have now passed the optimum time to renew for this year and prices will likely continue increasing as we enter the Autumn/Winter and demand increases.

With analysts forecasts for 2024 currently circa 40% higher than the current market prices, serious consideration should be given to looking to renew any electric or gas contracts due in the next 12 months now, to fix costs and provide some cost certainty as further turbulent periods are likely.

In other Energy News:

“Some energy suppliers are mistreating UK hospitality sector” – UKHospitality is making an appeal to the hospitality industry, urging Ofgem to swiftly implement important changes following its energy market review. The sector is being asked to unite and show support for Ofgem‘s recommendations by participating in the ongoing consultation. UKHospitality said one crucial focus is to encourage suppliers to address issues faced by businesses with their energy contracts. Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive Officer of UKHospitality, has underscored the critical nature of this campaign. Ms Nicholls said: “Sky-high energy costs have decimated so many hospitality businesses, including those suffering from contracts fixed at prices far above current market rates. “The Ofgem review last week was crystal clear that many of the issues facing businesses lie at the door of the energy suppliers. Whether it is refusing to renegotiate contracts, demanding enormous deposits, or simply refusing to supply the sector, it’s clear that some energy suppliers are mistreating the sector.”

Gas prices soar: UK faces 35% surge in 2025 to keep lights on – The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero has released updated cost estimates for various energy generation methods, marking the first update in three years. By 2025, gas costs for generating electricity in the UK will surge by 35% compared to previous estimates. That’s according to a report by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, with revised estimates indicating that renewable energy sources will become even more cost-effective than previously anticipated. The revised levelised cost estimates indicate that solar power’s affordability surpasses other energy generation methods, the trade association has said. With projected costs of only £41 per megawatt-hour in 2025, solar energy emerges as a strong contender in the nation’s quest for cleaner and more economical power sources. Chris Hewett, Chief Executive of Solar Energy UK, said: “In Britain, power generated by the sun is now a third of the cost of power made from burning gas and it will only get cheaper. The fastest way to permanently drive down energy bills is to build more renewables.”

For help and advice and to find out how Fox Energy can support and assist your business in these turbulent times, get in touch by calling 01233 884510 or email info@foxenergy.co.uk.

Tan carefully at hotels, say TSA

How keeping linen working longer helps the environment.

Changing how hotel guests apply sunless tanning treatments to avoid staining linen during visits can have significant positive environmental impacts, says the Textile Services Association (TSA). This is following on from media stories highlighting the financial impact on the hospitality industry caused by badly stained linen.

A recent survey carried out by the TSA showed that over half the linen purchased by laundries servicing the hospitality industry is lost, stolen or damaged every year. Indeed, 50% of rented linen products last less than four months, well below the two year working life they could achieve if looked after correctly. Tanning lotion can cause serious staining that cannot be removed.

Helping to reduce the amount of linen that is destroyed not only saves money but reduces the environmental impact of having to replace it. It requires 15,000 litres of water and 8kg of carbon to produce one large bath towel, and a king size duvet cover takes 29,000 litres – enough to fill 365 bathtubs! Increasing the lifespan of linen products is hugely helpful to improving the sustainability of the planet.

“The laundry process is already circular, and we are committed to continuing to improve the environmental impact of the laundry industry further” says David Stevens, CEO of the TSA. “A key part of that needs to be collaborating with the hospitality industry to improve how linen is used and how we can all help to reduce the amount badly stained items.”

Kimberley Nkosi is a renowned skin health specialist, entrepreneur and mentor who has provided her expertise for some of the biggest stars in the world and recently provided sunless tanning for the hit film Barbie. She explains, “There are so many benefits to using sunless tanning products, with society being more mindful and more aware of the damaged and prolonged exposure to UV rays. For some people having a sunless tan is a huge confidence boost. Who doesn’t feel better when they look tanned?”

The TSA is keen for hotel guests to still be able to use sunless tanning products guilt-free during their stays. This is why the Association feels it’s important to find ways to inform hotel guests about how to tan themselves without also tanning bedsheets and towels, as well as ensuring hotel staff are aware of best practice around handling serious stains.

Kimberley and the TSA have put together some advice for hotel guests looking to use sunless tans:

  • With “guide colour” treatments, it is essential that you are aware of how long the tanning treatment takes to develop, as this can be anything between 3 and 8 hours. During this time the risk of staining is high and therefore avoid any contact with linen where possible.
  • Ensure to shower off the residue guide colour after the development time.
  • Recommend using modern alternatives that lack guide colours, or even body butters where possible as they can provide the same look as traditional tanning treatments without the risk of leaving residue.
  • It is recommended that application tanning is done prior to arriving at the hotel. If applying during your stay, please be mindful of the effect tanning treatments can have on linen.
  • Onesies or similar clothing are a great way of stopping transfer to other materials after the tanning is applied.  Therefore we recommend guests planning on tanning during their stay should bring something protective like this.

“Sunless tanning treatments have increased in popularity in recent years, and there are many hotel guests who might apply them for a special night out during their stay,” says David. “Staining from tanning lotion is just one of the ways that hotel linen can become damaged. We’ve been building initiatives both for our members and in collaboration with our partner sectors in order to minimise this as much as possible. Finding ways to inform hotel guests is a challenge and we are looking for the support from the hotel sector to help make these simple behaviour changes as they can have huge positive effects on the quality of laundry and the environment.”

“Many people have no idea of the environmental impact of things like linen production,” says Kimberley. “It’s important to be mindful of our use of makeup and tanning products, and the small ways we can change our behaviour to improve things.”

The TSA is currently engaged with UKHospitality and UK Housekeeping Association by creating supporting material including training videos to help improve the understanding on how we can all make difference by looking after the millions of pieces of hospitality linen in circulation.

UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls says, “Alongside our members, we’ve been working with the TSA for more than a year on a number of issues, particularly extending the life of linen in hotels. We’re pleased to see the hard work on this issue coming together and will continue to work with the TSA to share these important messages.”

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us either via email or phone: 

E tsa@tsa-uk.org

T +44 (0) 20 3151 5600

Laundry industry gains ‘conduit’ to government’

TSA welcomes cross-party and EETF support.

On 20th June the TSA held a cross party meeting at the Palace of Westminster with six MPs, five members of the Energy Efficiency Task Force (EETF) and representatives from the commercial laundry sector.  David Stevens, CEO of the TSA, hailed the meeting as a significant success, with MPs and the EETF responding to the needs of the industry and committing to move forward on key agenda items.  “We were delighted by how many MPs and members of the EETF attended our meeting. We explained the importance of laundries to hospitality, healthcare and UK Plc in supporting the UK economy,” he said.  “We also showed them the huge challenges our industry faces.  As a result, the MPs are real advocates for us.  We already have the next meeting booked in Westminster this month.” 

As well as discussing how we are a resilient industry and can be there to support the government, the next meeting will also look at how laundries can play an integral role in enhancing sustainability in health and social care through reusable PPE and workwear. 

Further meetings have also been set up with the EETF, with a view to seeing how government funding can help laundries reduce energy demand.  In fact, the task force has indicated it wants to use the industry as a case study for its net zero carbon and energy saving objectives of reducing UK energy demand from 2021 levels by 15% by 2030, and the next meeting will be at a laundry site.  

“The meeting on June 20th has given us conduits direct to government,” says Stevens.  “I’d like to thank the TSA’s lobbying group – which was only formed in March – for their hard work and to congratulate them on the success they have already achieved.” 

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us either via email or phone: 

E tsa@tsa-uk.org

T +44 (0) 20 3151 5600

Laundry Cost Index: 2023/2024 FYQ1

ABS Laundry Business Solutions appoints new CEO and CCO

3 July 2023

ABS Laundry Business Solutions, a worldwide leading provider of Laundry ERP Software Services & Solutions, recently announced changes to its senior leadership team.

Gerard van de Donk, the current CCO for ABS, has been appointed as the new CEO. Gerard will succeed Anne de Boer, founder of ABS, who announced his intention to retire from ABS Laundry Business Solutions by the end of 2023.

Gerard has worked for 32 years at ABS Laundry Business Solutions in a variety of roles including strategy, leadership, marketing, and sales. Gerard was instrumental in enhancing profitability while placing a consistent focus on improving the customer experience by emphasizing best-in-class quality software and service. His laundry industry background and experience working throughout the ABS organization will help him lead the company into the future.

Gerard van de Donk: “My ambition lies in the continuation of expanding ABS Laundry Business Solutions to maximize our potential for our customers and organization worldwide. ABS Laundry Business Solutions consists of 175 team members that are all experts in their domain, with whom we focus on continuous investments in new technology and functionality, to support expanding the partnership with our customers and continued growth. Embracing the opportunities related to our Secure Cloud Hosting Services, advancing our SaaS offering and recognizing the strength of our dedicated team, this will be a solid basis for the organic growth of our company. We see great potential here and I am very excited and honored to give direction to realize these goals.”

Marien van Bezooijen has been appointed as the new Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) of ABS Laundry Business Solutions.

Marien brings over 20 years of experience in IT services with executive roles at Managed Services & ERP Solution providers, including the Managing Director position at Gotli Labs during the last 5 years. Marien’s profound expertise in the IT sector combined with commercial talent and leadership will be essential for further developing the proposition and building a versatile worldwide sales organization at ABS Laundry Business Solutions.

Marien van Bezooijen: “This is a great time to be joining ABS Laundry Business Solutions. Our market is changing rapidly, and customers’ expectations are increasing. This presents huge potential and opportunities for innovative companies like ABS. Through several Sales and Management positions I have experienced the key drivers for a successful commercial strategy and execution. The stated ambition and high level of enthusiasm at ABS provide a strong foundation for realizing the growth ambition. I am convinced that ABS offers a winning team & proposition and I look forward to expanding and leading the commercial team to continue to grow ABS Laundry Business Solutions worldwide.”

We have full confidence that these organizational changes will contribute to the long-term stability and growth of ABS Laundry Business Solutions. As a member of the stock listed Vitec Software Group AB (www.vitecsoftware.com) and the expertise of our teams, we look forward to a healthy continuation of our developments and services.

About ABS Laundry Business Solutions

ABS was founded in 1987 and is the global market leader in ERP software for the laundry industry. ABS focuses on industrial laundry and textile rental services. ABS serves over 650 laundry facilities across 5 continents, with more than 15,000 active system users, and more than 12,000 mobile app users. ABS has service and support locations in the Netherlands, United States, Romania, Spain, France, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, and Japan.

For more information, visit www.abslbs.com

Update from the TSA

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TSA hails lobbying success as Government extends CCA scheme

Commercial laundries encouraged to sign up as industry receives massive rebates.

The TSA has welcomed the Government’s decision to extend the CCA (Climate Change Agreement) scheme for another two years. The decision follows timely consultation responses to the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) by the TSA and its CCA sector partners. The Association argued that funding the investment in technology to help reduce energy consumption was increasingly difficult for commercial laundries, who had already been economically hard hit by Brexit and Covid, and that Government incentives were essential to help the industry meet net-zero commitments.

“As an industry, we have benefitted from millions of pounds worth of rebates of gas and electricity taxes thanks to the CCA,” says David Stevens, CEO of the TSA. “Over 140 sites have taken part. However, we are aware of several sites that have missed out on the last application deadline. With the current cost pressures on energy, this extension is welcome news and we encourage all TSA members – and indeed, all commercial laundries – to make use of the scheme.”

The new CCA entrant application window opened on 1 May 2023. This is a short window and laundries have until September 2023 to register and prepare for the scheme.

The TSA entered into an umbrella agreement under the CCA on behalf of the laundry industry in 2012. “This scheme has been a great incentive and motivation for industrial laundries to measure and optimise their energy usage,” says Stevens.

The laundry industry set itself an ambitious target of 25% energy savings in the CCA’s first four target periods, which ended in 2021. The industry’s overall performance was well on its way to meeting that target. Sadly, the inefficiencies caused by the Covid years, along with associated higher temperature requirements, put a dent in the figures.

Having said that, as a result of being part of the CCA, each participating site has several years’ worth of primary energy data available to them. With all the new carbon emissions commitments, this data gives the laundry industry a vital resource and an advantage to help build on the energy efficiency measures it has undertaken already.

However, as the TSA points out, at the start of the process improving energy efficiency was relatively easy, as industry operators picked the ‘low hanging fruit.’ Now laundries will need to aim for tougher, ‘higher branches’ of efficiencies to meet the current 4.5% targets – which is a key reason why the TSA urged the Government for the extension. Indeed, the TSA has been actively contributing to the Government strategy, to ensure the scheme is relevant to the laundry industry, and has succeeded in opening new entrant application windows and negotiating industry targets. Next, the Association will further engage with Government to negotiate targets and the terms of the umbrella agreement.

“Not everything in the CCA garden is rosy,” says Stevens. “We have raised several issues with DESNZ, such as the scheme only tracks comparative performance targets and does not factor in improvements in actual carbon emissions which is a key measurement when it comes to energy efficiency measures. Additional to addressing these concerns in the mid-long term, we are looking to the Government for guidance on future energy options. We are also asking for serious capital funding opportunities to plan future energy optimisation demands.”

For more information on the CCA scheme visit cclevy.com. For help and advice on the scheme, contact the TSA.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us either via email or phone: 

E tsa@tsa-uk.org

T +44 (0) 20 3151 5600

TSA continues to develop strategy for recruiting new laundry employees

International Laundry Day is part of pan-European co-operation to raise profile of the industry

How does the laundry industry tackle staff shortages? It’s not just a UK problem, our European colleagues are dealing with the same issue. Not surprisingly, it was one of the key discussion points when the TSA attended the European Textile Services Association’s annual National Associations meeting on 26th-28th April in Bern, Switzerland.

The aim of the discussion around recruitment was to discover commonalities between the campaigns different national associations had been running to promote the laundry sector as an attractive employment prospect for potential recruits.

The TSA shared its recruitment strategy from working with its People Steering Group, including a recruitment information flyer for members to use at careers fairs. The flyer demonstrates the opportunities within the industry, and the vital role the industry plays in the UK economy. It was designed to answer the questions of young people moving into employment, showing that the laundry industry is committed to sustainability and environmental friendliness as well as providing a financially and professionally rewarding career with fantastic opportunities for progression.

The German Association (DTV) had also put together a portfolio of support material to help laundries recruit younger people and the Belgian Association (FBT) has started an education programme within schools. The meeting also heard about the successes of open days organised by the French Association (GEIST). Consequently, the Associations agreed to hold “International Laundry Day 2024” and will encourage members to host an open day to help educate potential employees about the industry.

“Our industry is a real hidden gem, and it can be a great career for many people,” says David Stevens, CEO of the TSA. “This meeting has really shown the work all the National Associations do to increase awareness of the industry and help their members showcase the opportunities it offers.”

As part of this campaign to raise awareness, recently the TSA met with Derek Thomas MP to discuss the concerns of the industry regarding labour shortages. They talked about the problems caused by Brexit and the pandemic, emphasising the need to attract local labour and school leavers in particular in order to mitigate these issues.

The TSA will continue to work with its People Steering Group to further develop this outreach scheme, as well as continuing with its apprenticeship scheme and the “Giving People a Second Chance” initiative which can also play a key role in attracting new staff.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us either via email or phone: 

E tsa@tsa-uk.org

T +44 (0) 20 3151 5600

Government responding to needs of commercial laundries – at last

TSA Gains the Support for Cross-Party Meeting in Westminster

TSA met with Derek Thomas, the MP for West Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (St Ives), in Westminster this week, to discuss the ongoing issues facing the commercial laundry industry. Association member Luke Edwards from Mounts Bay Laundry in Penzance helped to set up and also attended the meeting, as Mr Thomas is his local MP. Having pitched the case for the industry, the TSA is delighted that Derek Thomas has agreed to sponsor and to help organise a cross-party meeting in Westminster with an invitation to be sent to TSA’s members’ local MPs.

“We are hugely grateful to Derek for his help and for being such a strong advocate for our industry,” says David Stevens, CEO of the TSA. Derek had previously visited Mounts Bay Laundry and so had a good understanding of the scale of the industry and its challenges. The Westminster meeting covered a lot of ground, including energy support, labour shortages and, more generally, what the industry can do to ensure that it is visible to the Government going forward. Also, demonstrating the industry’s role it plays in supporting the UK economy and how it can help the Government achieve its sustainability targets.

Stevens emphasises the work of the TSA’s members and the new Lobbying Steering Group in helping raise the industry’s profile. “The work has resulted in many MPs visiting laundries and recognising the importance of our industry.”

Left To Right: Emma Andersson (TSA), Luke Edwards (Mounts Bay Linen Hire), Derek Thomas MP, David Stevens (TSA CEO)

The rise in the industry’s profile is evident in the questions being raised in Parliament – just last month SNP member Martyn Day and Conservative Anne Marie Morris raised the issue of the need to support commercial laundries under the Energy and Trade Intensive Industries scheme. Even Grant Shapps the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, mentioned the issue in his recent letter, saying, “I recognise the ongoing challenges for the commercial laundry sector due to significant increases in global energy prices and other cost of living pressures.”

The aim of the upcoming cross-party meeting will be to provide an overview of the commercial laundry industry. It will underline the value it brings to the UK Economy and the reliance of both hospitality and healthcare on the industry. In addition, it will look to develop a strategy to allow the industry to engage fully in the newly formed Energy Efficiency Taskforce.

“At last, after all the lobbying by TSA and its members, the Government is starting to listen to commercial laundries,” says Stevens. “The support from Derek and other MPs is critical if we are to drive the messages home. But this is just the beginning, we can’t let up. There is much work to do.”

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us either via email or phone: 

E tsa@tsa-uk.org

T +44 (0) 20 3151 5600