Towards net zero: TSA sustainability report plans for the future

The new report explains how the laundry industry is developing its sustainability roadmap

The Textile Services Association (TSA) has released its sustainability report that outlines the industry’s journey to a sustainable future where industrial laundering thrives on radical innovation to decarbonise the industry’s primary energy demands. The report also shines light on the importance of actively engaging with its global value chain and the critical role played by people at all levels to make a lasting difference.

The report was developed and overseen by the TSA’s Sustainability Steering Group in collaboration with their consulting partner, Grain. The bold and evolving approach lays out ambitions for the laundries and their value chain to stay ahead of the UK government’s plans for net-zero targets. The goals, targets and KPIs for this year include launching a newly developed carbon footprint measurement tool which will help the industry measure its footprint with consistency and comparability.

Laundry is one of the oldest industries in the world, and the inherent nature of the operation is a circular model. The industry always aims to wash textiles as many times as possible while maintaining the functionality of the linen. The report outlines how the TSA can inspire the industry to raise the standards by adopting a holistic approach to developing sustainable practices in the industry. This means placing equal emphasis on issues like employee well-being and training in addition to working with suppliers and clients to reduce waste throughout the commercial textile supply chain.

The TSA and its members have been focusing on efforts to improve sustainability for many years. Since 2012, the industry has reduced the energy used to process textile products per kg by 31% and water usage by 60%. The TSA developed initiatives like the Infinite Textiles Scheme which provides a platform to aggregate the national textile stock and bring together charities and innovative technology solutions for reuse and to employ fibre-to-fibre recycling options. In addition to this, the TSA has been collaborating with the laundry’s end-user sectors, such as hospitality, manufacturing and the NHS and care sector, to develop resources aimed at educating housekeepers, managers and purchasing teams about the importance of caring for textiles to improve the longevity of these products.

Efforts like this will form a vital part of the industry’s ongoing evolution as laid out in the report, as the initiatives will have a significant impact on the Scope 3 emissions, not just for the laundry industry but also the industries such as hospitality that rely on it.

The release of the report is the first step in the TSA’s sustainability journey for 2024 and beyond, which will include the carbon footprint measurement tool. The latter will provide a toolkit for commercial laundries to help them measure and develop their own plans for further decarbonisation and sustainability.

“The laundry industry has long recognised the importance of building a sustainable future,” says David Stevens, CEO for the TSA.  “The TSA is committed to continuing to help its members to not just meet but exceed their targets in this area. While there will undoubtedly be challenges the report clearly shows the opportunities for businesses willing to invest in sustainability.”

The TSA is also holding a Sustainability showcase day on March 7th 2024 which will provide a chance for the industry to get together to discuss the current state of play and plans for the future.

The complete 2024 sustainability report is available to download from the TSA’s website.

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

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Update from the TSA

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TSA’s Sustainability Showcase day will highlight latest technologies and thinking

Event will cover exceptionally diverse range of subjects for a more sustainable laundry industry

DoubleTree by Hilton St. Anne’s Manor, Wokingham, 7th March 2024

The TSA has organised a special day to showcase the latest solutions, innovations and new developments to help the laundry industry move towards a more sustainable future.   The Sustainability Showcase takes place at the DoubleTree by Hilton, St Anne’s Manor, Wokingham, on Thursday March 7th.  As well as thought-provoking presentations and panel sessions there will be the chance to question expert speakers and take part in networking opportunities.

The event will cover an exceptionally diverse range of subjects, including designing sustainability, PFAS, microplastics, decarbonisation, and future drying technology.  The TSA will also give updates and the latest news on its important initiatives, including the Industry Sustainability Roadmap and the Infinite Textiles Scheme. 

The event will close with a presentation covering grant funding, looking at the various opportunities and sources available to commercial laundries, as well as discussing what makes for a successful funding application.

The day starts at 10am and finishes at 4pm.  There is ample parking on site and lunch and refreshments will be served.  Tickets cost £120 for TSA members, £240 for non-members.  The day is tailored for a wide audience, including directors, owners, senior management, sustainability managers, engineering teams, purchasing teams and production teams within laundries, as well as linen, garments, chemicals and equipment suppliers. 

For more information or to register for the Sustainability Showcase, see the event details at tsa-uk.org/events or email events@tsa-uk.org

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Laundry Cost Index: 2023/2024 FYQ3

TSA adds another vital resource to help laundry industry support employee wellbeing

TSA launches new Wellbeing Hub for its members

As part of its commitment to helping the laundry industry to create a supportive and inclusive working environment for its staff, the Textile Services Association has launched a Wellbeing Hub for its members. The Hub provides resources to help laundry businesses support their employees with any mental health challenges they may face. This includes bitesize video guides aimed at promoting wellbeing in the workplace.

The Wellbeing Hub is the latest addition to the TSA’s portfolio of training and support resources tailored to the needs of the laundry industry. The bitesize videos examine issues surrounding wellbeing in the workplace. The Hub also provides access to materials from the TSA’s mental health support drive, which includes training courses and webinars. These are also suitable for sharing with staff.

The videos were created in partnership with Via Vita Health, which helps organisations to meet occupational health targets. Director Caroline Sidell announced the Hub at the Autumn Conference, giving a presentation on mental health and trends for 2024.

The Hub builds on the work of the mental health support programme the TSA launched in 2022. This includes courses aimed at increasing mental health awareness for line managers, as well as a mental health first aider course. These courses have been very successful, with over 80 people having attended them so far. The courses are designed to give attendees the knowledge they need to feel confident about advocating for mental health issues, as well as how to spot signs of mental ill health and skills to support positive wellbeing.

“The TSA has been working on ways for its members to help make the laundry industry an even more supportive working environment,” says Emma Andersson, director of finance and membership for the TSA. “Increasing support and awareness of mental health issues is crucial to this, and the Wellbeing Hub puts a lot of really useful information together in one place, designed to support the most important part of the industry – the people in it.”

The Wellbeing Hub can be accessed by TSA members by logging in to the member’s area at tsa-uk.org and going to the Support Services section.

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

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How the Textiles Services Industry is cleaning up its environmental impact

In October 2023, the Textiles Services Association (TSA) held its Autumn conference for commercial textile rental and laundry members. The agenda included environmental matters’, and for good reason.

A laundry will typically supply linen through a rental agreement, collect it when dirty, wash, repair, or replace it if needed, and then return it. This method is intrinsically sustainable because it embraces a circular business model.

The laundry operations aim to make these textile products last as long as possible, even after hundreds of uses with highly optimised energy, water, and detergent usage. However, the preciousness of these commodities is often not fully realised in several parts of the value chain, resulting in significant levels of unaccounted stock volumes.

The TSA reports that annual stock losses on rented linen and towelling to the hospitality industry could be over 60%. For its rented linen and uniforms service to the NHS, the losses are nearly 90%. The scale of this waste becomes substantial when you factor in that the TSA’s members process over 50 million items of linen each week for hospitality and healthcare.

The TSA is driving the change by engaging with its end-user sectors to raise awareness, and providing training support for housekeepers and laundry staff through well-designed guidance and bitesize videos such as Pasha the Pillowcase. The training focuses on the environmental impact of these annual losses, which on water alone equates to 900 million baths tubs of water in the UK for the hospitality sector and 300 million for the NHS.

This project forms part of the laundry industry’s larger sustainability programme where the TSA is developing a roadmap for the industry. Over the last year the TSA has been developing an ambitious sustainability strategy together with Grain Sustainability and as part of this process has now engaged Compare Your Footprint carbon calculation software, and TSA’s Infinite Textiles recycling scheme to establish a harmonised approach to help measure, benchmark and reduce the global industry’s environmental impact.

David Stevens, CEO of the TSA comments: 
 
“We are extremely proud of the commercial laundry industry’s circular credentials, and we are well-placed to make a difference as we serve most of the primary and secondary sectors in the UK. By working with Grain and Compare Your Footprint, we are doing our part to enable our members to tackle some of the barriers they face today. Our aim is to take our members together on this journey by providing them with the tools and the awareness they need to make well-informed decisions early on.”

Compare Your Footprint will be the central measurement platform for the TSA’s members in the UK and potentially the global industrial laundry sector to set a baseline carbon footprint, identify their carbon hotspots and set targets for reduction.

David Stevens, TSA CEO

Under the TSA’s Infinite Textiles recycling scheme, the TSA and the UK Hospitality Association are working with national stock aggregators such as Salvation Army, charities such as Multi-Bank, recyclers, logistics, and technology partners to deliver a valuable recycling operation for the UK commercial laundry industry. Infinite Textiles is on a mission to facilitate the largest laundry industry textile recycling project in the world.

The industry has mastered the art of reusing textiles, providing an opportunity to pioneer the circular use of products through re-use and recycling. For example, increasing the portion of surgical textiles used within the NHS to reusable options as it is the more sustainable and responsible choice.

Infinite Textiles estimate that the scheme, which encompasses the entire life cycle of the products, will save tens of thousands of tonnes of carbon per year, save billions of litres of water per year, achieve significant efficiencies, and contribute to overall carbon reductions in the future of textile manufacturing.

Jon Cooper, Operations Director at Johnsons Hotel Linen

Jon Cooper, Operations Director of Johnsons Hotel Linen comments:

“The Infinite Textile Scheme can potentially provide a sustainable solution for our industry’s three-tier solution – Reuse, Repurpose and Recycle – to the hundreds of tonnes of linen that has reached its end of primary use. The TSA scheme enables a single focal point for collaboration and partnership between SMEs and large PLC laundry companies such as Johnsons Hotel Linen to achieve a significant step towards a sustainable textile life cycle and avoid sending end-of-life textiles to landfills. Johnsons Hotel Linen is proud to be involved and leading this innovative approach that spans across the value chain and not just recycling.”

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

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Coming to the congress? Don’t forget to confirm your ticket!

TSA’s 2024 National Congress provides a day of insight and networking

The Textile Services Association (TSA) has announced the lineup for its 2024 National Congress, which takes place on the 1st February 2024 at the Titanic Hotel in Liverpool. Tickets are going fast, so if you’re a laundry owner or executive who has received an invitation and want to attend you should act fast to ensure you don’t miss out.

The event gives attendees a chance to network with representatives of the biggest companies in the UK, discuss important issues in the laundry industry, and gain insight from a number of keynote speakers and the team from the TSA themselves.

The main keynote speaker will be Lord Daniel Finkelstein OBE. With a career that has spanned decades and includes journalism, broadcasting, writing and politics, Lord Finklestein will bring his deep insights and unique perspectives he has learned while working for organisations and institutions like The Times, the House of Lords and Chelsea FC to name but a few.

The congress will also be addressed by noted behavioural economist Roger Martin-Fagg. He has consulted for a wide range of the country’s biggest companies, and is renowned for his ability to explain complex economic concepts in a way that helps businesses to understand how they affect them.

A notable third keynote speaker will be announced in the near future.

Alongside the keynote speakers there will be presentations and panel discussions on topics ranging from the current challenges the industry faces to the movers and shakers of 2024. There will also be a fascinating talk examining the history, culture and sport of the host city Liverpool. In the evening there will be a drinks reception and industry dinner, with entertainment.

The venue is the four star Titanic Hotel based in the heart of Liverpool’s historic Stanley Dock. The event is invite only, so if you have received one and wish to attend please confirm your attendance to the TSA or visit the TSA’s website for more information.

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

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Update from the TSA

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If you are not a member and you would like to find out more about our membership benefits and how to become a member, please click here.

Meet Pasha, the hotel pillowcase who’s passionate about sustainability

TSA launches simple to understand video guides aimed at reducing lost or damaged linen

Each year the hotel industry loses over 12.5 million pieces of linen, which equates to 61% of the total stock of linen and towelling.  It’s not just a massive cost, but also a real blow to the industry’s sustainability targets.  Now the Textile Services Association (TSA), in association with UKHospitality and the UK Housekeeping Association, has created a simple to understand video designed to train staff about the importance of looking after linen – and the environmental impact of wasting it.  The video tells the life story of Pasha the pillowcase, including how hotel linen is made, how to take care of it, and how looking after it enhances sustainability and saves money.

It’s not just the linen itself that is wasted.  Replacing the 12.5 million lost pieces of linen with freshly made fibres generates 39,000 tonnes of carbon.  Growing the cotton consumes vast amounts of water – the equivalent of 937 million bathtubs full!  That’s enough for every person in the UK to have 14 baths. 

“These are huge figures,” says David Stevens, CEO of the TSA.  “If we are to meet net zero targets we need to find ways to lengthen the lifespan of these textiles.”

This is why the TSA decided to tell the tale of Pasha the Pillowcase, which explains the entire life cycle of linen in a fun, easy to understand form and provides simple tips about how to handle linen – and how not to handle it – in order to ensure that it has as long a working life as possible. Two videos are available, one focused on hotel staff and the second for laundry staff.

The story is told using simple yet clear graphics and a voiceover, allowing staff who might be less confident with reading English to easily understand and grasp the concepts it conveys.

Pasha was launched at the TSA Autumn Conference at a session led by Rona Tait from TDS Commercial and Nigel Graham from Bourne Leisure.

“I’m very proud to be part of the work the TSA, the wider laundry industry, UKHospitality and the UK Housekeeping Association have done to produce Pasha and the training information,” says Rona. “I look forward to working with housekeeping, hotel and laundry teams to get the message over that we all need to play our part in making sure linen gets to the end of its life.”

David Stevens says, “We are very excited at how our partnerships are developing, not only with UKHospitality and the UK Housekeepers Association, but also with major hotel and leisure groups.  Together we can make a real impact in terms of sustainability.” says David Stevens. “Pasha is a simple and fun way to share knowledge and raise awareness of staff in both the laundry and hospitality sectors.  The video explains how even small changes in behaviour can have significant effects.  It’s been designed to be easy to incorporate into existing training programmes.”

Pasha is part of a portfolio of resources aimed at educating both the hospitality and the laundry industry about the importance of looking after textiles and making linen last longer.  Anyone interested in getting to know Pasha can watch the videos and find the other materials on the TSA’s website, by clicking on the hospitality section within the document library. 

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

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Infinite possibilities: TSA expands scope of its recycling scheme

TSA’s expanded Infinite Textiles recycling scheme aims to reduce carbon footprint of industry

The TSA has launched the second phase of its Infinite Textiles scheme. This significantly expands the scope of the project, and is an exciting opportunity to help reduce the carbon footprint of the laundry industry and of its customers in sectors such as hospitality, manufacturing and healthcare. The accreditation scheme in its latest form is aimed at enabling the laundry industry and its end-user sectors to improve the overall life cycle of its textile products – beginning at the first step in supply all the way to managing the end of primary use.

Until recently, the only established route of ‘recycling’ was to entrust the textile products at the end of primary use to rags and wipers manufacturing processes, which were then either incinerated or sent to landfill after one or two uses. For example, in the hospitality industry, over 6000 tonnes of textiles are currently sent to waste every year. If this can be reused, it can significantly reduce carbon emissions and further improve the sustainability credentials of what is already an incredibly circular model. These products come to the end of their primary use after over a hundred wash cycles.

The growing and harvesting of natural fibres consumes a lot of water and generates a significant amount of CO2 emissions. It takes approximately 20,000 litres of water to grow one kg of cotton, and each hectare of cotton requires a minimum of 400kg of fertiliser, which can vary according to region and different farming techniques. Producing one tonne of nitrogen fertiliser generates around seven tonnes of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gases, so anything that reduces the requirement for fresh textiles helps to improve the sustainability of any industry that uses them.

Following a successful pilot period, the TSA has evolved the Infinite Textiles project. It now aims to cover the complete life cycle of textile products to ensure that the laundry industry is well informed to make better purchasing decisions and take steps with their supply chains and customers to maximise the longevity of these textile products, and that they are recycled as many times as possible.

As well as helping to reduce carbon footprints, giving textiles as long a working life as possible helps to reduce running costs for industries that use them. Once they have reached the end of their working life, textiles can be processed by TSA members and all suitable materials can be distributed to participating recyclers. This allows the cycle to begin again, with the recovered fabric being used to make new textile products. As recycled textiles use a fraction of the resources required for producing new fabric, this has a significant impact on the environmental effects of industries that use them.

The expanded scheme was launched at an open day event that showed how end-of-life textile products are collected before being sent for recycling. The open day allowed TSA members, suppliers and customers, including representatives of the hospitality industry and healthcare sector, the chance to visit the project’s textile aggregation site in Kettering. They learnt how textiles can be reused for different purposes, or recycled at the end of their standard working lives, and were shown the benefits the project can bring to all industries that rely on textiles and laundry.

“Infinite Textiles is a really exciting project,” says David Stevens, CEO of the TSA. “I am delighted that Johnsons Hotel Linen, Fishers and Clean are working towards this scheme already and expect to get audited before the end of this year. They will be the first of many laundry companies to be operating within the ambitious scope of Infinite Textiles. We’re very happy to be working with our members and other industry bodies such as UKHospitality to make it a reality. It can make a big impact on Net Zero targets throughout all sectors of the economy.”

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

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