by Spotless Communications

November 2017

Spotless’ laundry business operates 14 plants across Australia and New Zealand; we are the only national operator of health care linen services Australia-wide.

With water being a critical component of our laundries operations, water conservation is one of the biggest environmental challenges we face. As industry leaders, we need to be strategic — and successful — in reducing our environmental impact. That’s why we have installed Blue Ocean filtration units – a refined filtration process to reduce water and energy use – at our five largest laundries, with plans to implement it in our other plants.

The Challenge
200 million textile items are processed by Spotless every year, which equates to over 120,000 tonnes of linen. With the overexploitation of our precious water commodity, businesses like ours need to be smarter in establishing water-sustainable operations to minimise water use and reduce our environmental impact.

The Solution
We have implemented the water efficiency technology, Blue Ocean, in our major laundry facilities, amounting to significant water and energy savings, and transforming our laundries business.

The Blue Ocean filtration unit is an efficient filtration system which recycles water and optimises energy usage. The system harvests water from specific parts of the wash cycle, before filtering it, and extracting heat and recycling it into other stages of the wash process. The technology builds on and further enhances the “Aquamiser” technology – a system that has been used in Spotless laundries for a number of years to reduce water usage.

In 2017, Spotless installed the Blue Ocean filtration units at our five biggest laundries: Abbotsford (Victoria), Dudley Park (South Australia), Rosebery (New South Wales), North Rocks (New South Wales) and Murdoch (Western Australia) – with great success.

A number of water-saving and management initiatives -- such as rainwater harvesting and new water-efficient washers -- introduced across several of our laundries have additionally contributed to our water-saving results.

Results speak for themselves
More than 290 million litres of water – equivalent to 116 Olympic swimming pools – is saved every year because of the improved water efficiency at Spotless’ five laundries through the Blue Ocean technology.

The marked outcomes in water-savings have been achieved within the first year of implementing Blue Ocean, at each of our sites with plans on improving these results:

Site
Water savings

Murdoch

83 M litres/year

Abbotsford

72 M litres/year

Dudley Park

56 M litres/year

Rosebery

40 M litres/year

North Rocks

41 M litres/year

Total water savings

292 M litres/year

 

Spotless’ water conservation journey
Spotless believes strongly in reducing the environmental impact of our operations at all our facilities. Routine water management plants are implemented within all of Spotless’ laundries contracts, as part of the business planning process.

Additional water efficiency initiatives that Spotless has carried out over recent years, have also contributed to significant water savings, accounting for a total reduction in overall water use across our laundries business of more than 80 per cent. The Spotless Darra laundry facility in Queensland is a good example of this, where:

  • Over 150 million litres of used laundry water has been recycled in the last three years, through the laundry facility’s reverse osmosis plant.
  • 86 per cent reduction in water use per kilo of wash compared to existing laundries in QLD has been achieved
  • 5 million litres of rainwater has been captured, filtered and stored through rainwater harvesting for use in the wash process
  • Water going into the waste stream has been reduced by 73 per cent through advanced water purification processes
  • 50 per cent of potable water has been saved.

In recent years, Spotless has received Community Recognition Awards for the water conservation achieved at our laundry facilities from:

  • WA Water
  • Yarra Valley Water
  • SA & Federal Government for the Dudley Park Aquamiser installation
  • Finalists in the NSW Premiers Environmental Awards