San Diego Union Tribune Feature: Conservation helps preserve “driving force of all nature”

Local Healthcare Linen Services Company makes a big difference in water use

According to Leonardo Da Vinci, “water is the driving force of all nature.” This quote probably rings true with many Californians who are worried about current drought conditions and understand the importance of saving water. Water is a precious natural resource that is critical to all aspects of life including personal and business use.

One company that recognizes the magnitude of water conservation is Emerald Textiles. As a leading healthcare linen services provider, Emerald was founded by two multi-generational San Diego families who are keenly aware of the critical importance of saving water in San Diego and the entire state.

Located in Otay Mesa, Emerald processes about 800,000 pounds of healthcare laundry each week. Recognizing the large impact this could have on water conservation, the company built its Otay Mesa facility with water-saving equipment in every area of the operation. From the laundering equipment to the employee bathrooms, everything going into the processing plant was the subject of scrutiny and viewed as an opportunity to save.

“Emerald Textiles serves over 80 percent of the hospital beds in San Diego County,” said Marketing Director Lisa Kendall. “We are the first facility in 30 years to employ advanced technology that exceeds industry standards for cleanliness and cost control. From textiles to the laundry processing itself, CEO Tom Gildred remains committed to implementing responsible corporate processes that save water and reduce energy.”

Beginning with the installation of two highly-efficient continuous batch washers (CBW) to the low or no flow toilets in employee bathrooms, every mechanism and process to enable preserving natural resources was considered. The latest equipment was purchased and best practices put into place for the facility to reduce water use in the laundry process from the traditional 1.5 gallons per pound of laundry to less than half a gallon per pound.
Ongoing investments in the plant continue to save water as well as other natural resources. Emerald is committed to ongoing investment in its facility. Recently, the company invested $1.2 million in a military-grade water filtration and re-use system to increase savings again by approximately 50 percent. The most recent investment was the purchase and installation of an extremely water-efficient, 15-pocket wash system and corresponding dryers.

“When we built Emerald, we were very intentionally working to create a paradigm shift that would change and professionalize an industry. We created a team that included both seasoned professionals in the laundry business as well as those from other industries, and we set out to do it differently…and better,” said Tom Gildred, Emerald’s CEO. “The team continually works together to change the status quo and implement innovative ways to approach our business, and that is what makes the difference. Our customers rely on us to provide the cleanest laundry and the highest level of service.”

READ THE FEATURE IN THE UNION TRIBUNE HERE.