Unfortunately I was unable to attend but was interested in learning more about this environmentally friendly initiative.
Green Planet Laundry: Sustainability is imperative for success
The entrepreneurs taking the Cape Town laundry business by storm
Business partners, Tony Soares and Pierre Cillie, recently introduced Green Planet Laundry, an innovative eco-friendly laundry service, to South Africa. Known for an intrepid entrepreneurial spirit; Tony Soares, co-owner of the popular eatery phatFOODS in Worcester, first met Pierre Cillie whilst both were based in Qatar and working in the high-pressure industry of air traffic management. Bonding over their South African heritage and shared ideals founded on sustainability, community upliftment and social outreach, the dynamic duo decided to pursue their dream together and have now set their sights on running a successful commercial Green Laundry operation in the Western Cape.
Having identified the need for a more environmentally-friendly approach to conventional laundry methods, Soares and Cillie see sustainability as an imperative for success in the modern business climate. With water scarcity in the Western Cape fast reaching emergency status, limited water supply is an issue that has hit home locally and sits at the forefront of the global ecological agenda.
Inspired by a lifelong commitment to environmental awareness, Soares and Cillie conceptualized a laundry operation that makes use of purified borehole water, combined with pioneering Ozone technology to optimize efficiency and drastically reduce the vast water consumption of traditional laundry methods. Increasingly becoming the industry standard internationally, it made perfect sense for the partners to position their new business venture within the Cape Town market.
Although water restrictions are currently in place, household water consumption in the Western Cape taps into the limited potable water supply, with laundry using as much as 50 litres per cycle.
The shift towards green practices in the laundry industry has advanced rapidly in the last decade. The necessity for adaption and innovation to address urgent environmental concerns is crucial; however implementing sustainable practices is also an effective measure for increasing profitability and ensuring economic viability in the long term. Reducing water and energy consumption through the creation of streamlined operations is key to this and one that Soares and Cillie have sought to fully realize at the environmentally neutral Green Planet Laundry facility.
In addition to using a water source that does not draw from the valuable municipal water supply, a water reclamation system is in use whereby grey water is recycled through a filtration process and approximately 50% reused. This entire process is powered by an on-site solar energy system that generates double the amount of power required – with future plans to expand this to include wind power in order to generate enough power to fuel the entire facility.
Importantly, however, it is not just the optimization and efficiency of industrial processes that is a driving force for the socially-minded two, an integral component of their vision and business model involves fostering skills development amongst their workforce. Their commitment to empowering local communities is evidenced by a recruitment scheme that actively seeks to provide jobs to the unemployed, along with setting up a training program for employees that focuses on both skills development and environmental consciousness.
The significance of environmental awareness has broader implications for Soares and Cillie and ties in with a corporate philosophy that aims to foster a culture of education in the workplace. They say, “We believe that the only way of challenging the status quo and tackling systemic inequality in South Africa is through education and raising awareness surrounding social responsibility. In providing a supportive environment for our employees we hope to positively impact local communities as well as contribute to a growing cycle of upliftment and conservation.”
With phase 1 of the City of Cape Town’s critical water shortages disaster plan currently being implemented across the province, it has become more vital than ever that the city’s collective daily water consumption is lowered from 599 million to 500 million litres. Offering ease and convenience along with an ethos that echoes a determination on the part of founders, Soares and Cillie, to merge successful business strategy with sustainability and social responsibility, Green Planet Laundry is a unique commercial laundry operation with an opportunity to play an important part in water-saving efforts in the Western Cape.
Introducing: Green Planet Laundry
Saving our planet one load at a time
With drought becoming a harsh reality in South Africa, and particularly in the Western Cape region, water is an extremely valuable and scarce resource. South Africans have implemented various water-saving techniques, from using grey water to flush toilets, to taking two-minute showers and installing rain water harvesting tanks. One area of water usage that is particularly difficult to cut back on, is laundry. Regular washing machines can use up to 50 litres of valuable municipal drinking water per cycle. That said, refraining from washing our clothes is not an option! Green Planet Laundry has developed an innovative solution to the problem.
Unlike other Commercial Laundries, the Cape Town based Green Planet Laundry does not tap into the city’s precious municipal water supply. Instead, they make use of purified borehole water. That means that absolutely no tap water is used!
How does it work?
The Water used at Green Planet Laundry is 100% ground water (borehole). Additionally, 50% of the (grey) water used in our machines is recycled therefore further reducing required ground water.
Water is extracted from a borehole then purified using a custom built water purification system to remove any contaminants. The water is then ozonated for sanitation and effectiveness in the laundry system. The process is simple, yet highly effective: Ambient air is compressed and then dried. This dry air is then fed through oxygen concentrators to 95% pure O₂. This O₂ is fed into ‘Corona Discharge’ ozone cells, from which ozone gas (O₃) is produced. The treated borehole water in the storage tank is circulated and via a venturi system, the ozone is injected. The level of ozone in the tank is constantly monitored and controlled by a sophisticated PLC system with touch screen control. This ozone-infused water is then pressurized and pumped into Green Planet Laundry’s efficient and technologically advanced washing machines. The recycled water is recovered and cleaned then also treated with the same circulating and controlled ozone process killing any bacteria and also preparing the water to be used again as prewash or wash water in the next cycles.
This ozone-infused water is then stored in a supply tank, from where it is pumped into Green Planet Laundry’s efficient and technologically advanced washing machines. Ozone is dissolved into the wash basin throughout the entire wash cycle. Municipal water is saved, and our ecological footprint is much reduced.
How your clothing benefits from this process:
• O₃ oxidises soils and eliminates microbes in the linen, leaving your clothing clean, sanitised and soft.
• It acts as a biocide, controlling odours and killing viruses and bacteria. It has disinfectant capabilities up to 150% more powerful than chlorine.
How the environment benefits from this process:
• Green Planet Laundry uses absolutely no municipal drinking water in the washing process. Only undrinkable borehole water is used, alleviating pressure on our water supply.
• The grey water used by Green Planet Laundry’s washing machines is recycled through the filtration plant, approximately 50% is reused.
• Due to the Ozone infusion process, less detergent is required to clean and disinfect clothing and less water is required for the wash and rinse cycles.
• The entire water purification system including the borehole will be powered by solar energy making their complete water purification system environmentally neutral.
Cape Town residents can now experience the convenience of sending their laundry to be cleaned without the guilt of wasting natural resources. Water restrictions in the Western Cape are becoming a permanent fixture, and this is a perfect opportunity through which residents can decrease the number of litres consumed by their household.
Green Planet Laundry services are convenient and time-saving, making it the perfect solution for Hotels, Restaurants, Salons etc. as well as working mothers, students or anyone who wishes there were more hours in a day. Green Planet Laundry offer a same-day door-to-door collection and delivery service (conditions apply), meaning you’ll receive your clean laundry on the same day it was sent in, without even having to leave your home or office.
Green Planet Laundry services all the greater Cape Town areas from Strand to Paarl to Duynefontein to Cape Point and will commence operations on 1 October 2017.
For more information, please mail Anien at firstname.lastname@example.org.