9 Aug 2021

Clean (drinking) water

How do we handle that?

Besides oxygen and food, drinking is our first necessity of life. And especially water. We really cannot live without it. We use it for all sorts of things: washing, cooking, cleaning, you name it. But did you know that filling a bathtub once costs an average of 114 litres of water? If you consider that it is recommended to drink 1.5 litres of water daily, then one hour in the bath is equivalent to 76 days of water for one person. That’s about 2.5 months. There are many more examples, but what can we do to save water or donate it to others?

Water saving options

Did you know that 70% of the world consists of water, but only 1% of that is suitable to use for humans, for consumption? We don’t have to tell you that hotels also use a lot of water: for instance by the chef to prepare a nice dinner or by your guests that take leisurely long showers. You may play into this by offering more vegetarian options on the menu, fitting the trend that an increasing amount of people have adopted a vegetarian of flexitarian diet. For every steak that isn’t being served, about 1,550 litres of water are saved. Or maybe you already use water-saving shower heads (26% less water per minute) and toilets (3 litres of water less per flush). The production of linen is also taxing on the environment, including the use of water. That is why we do business with suppliers that also have sustainability on their agenda and we continuously strive to make our collection more sustainable.

Curious about what matters in sustainable linen management? Read our whitepaper Duurzaam linnenverhuur – meer dan alleen Fairtrade.

And how about laundry?

In our laundries, the washing machines usually put in many hours. That requires a lot of water. Of course, we try to keep the environment in mind when washing textile, but you do want your linen to be spotlessly clean. To ensure the laundry is clean, free of viruses and bacteria and take the amount of water used into account, we make use of a number of techniques. For instance, we were the first in the laundry business to use the EU Ecolabel certified Cool Chemistry washing concept to be demonstrably environmentally-friendly. At the core of the laundry concept is a specially developed laundry detergent that ensures good stain removal. The linen retains its quality, because the product washes PH-neutral. The results in less overwashing, less water consumption and a longer life of the linen. This makes a full circle, as less textile production is required. And textile production requires a lot of water. Besides Cool Chemistry, we use dashboards in the laundry. These offer insight in consumption of water and energy. By using the dashboard’s information, the laundry is optimally cleaned with less stress on the environment.

Curious about the laundry process in a professional laundry? Then read this blog.

Water (quality) and Made Blue

These is also the issue of water quality. In the Netherlands, it is very normal that taps provide drinking water. To us, that is self-evident, but it is actually a luxury. Data of our partner Made Blue shows that every year, about 500,000 African children die from the consequences of severe diarrhoea due to unsafe drinking water. That’s 1,400 child deaths every day. And the water quality is not just poorly in Africa alone, but in large parts of Asia and Latin America too. That is one of the reasons Made Blue devotes itself to providing safe drinking water where it’s needed. They do so not by just providing clean drinking water, but also by teaching communities how to manage their water sources. To support Made Blue’s mission, we and many other hospitality companies have partnered up with Made Blue. The water our laundries consume, we mirror to Made Blue. They use our fictitious litres for clean drinking water projects all over the world. We have already achieved to donate over 100 million litres of water: enough to provide 1,400 people access to clean drinking water for at least a decade or even more.

These litres are used for projects in Tanzania (The Water Vending Machines van Said) and Ethiopia (Schoon drinkwater een zaak voor iedereen). Watch the videos in the link.