- by Ulf Silfverström -

The systematic improvement work is a key to success. Berendsen has worked for many years with environmental and quality issues and nowadays it is a natural part of daily operations.

“The work environment issues require a lot of commitment. It is becoming increasingly important to take care of their staff properly ”

The focus today is to further develop the relatively new management system for the working environment, and to prepare for the new ISO standards 9001 and 14001.

- The work environment issues require a lot of commitment. It is becoming increasingly important to take care of their staff properly, emphasizes Marie Rasmusson, occupational health and safety coordinator at Berendsen.

MORE EFFICIENT WITH A SYSTEM

To achieve efficiency, Berendsen has chosen to have a jointly integrated business system for environmental, quality and work environment work. The company has over a thousand employees in Sweden, 22 production units from Luleå to Malmö and in addition some service units. Berendsen has built up a network of local environmental and quality developers located at each plant.

- We started working with environmental and quality management systems in the 1990s, and in 2014 we also became certified in the working environment, explains Lars Löf, environmental and quality coordinator. It is important for us for several reasons. In addition, we see that more and more demand from the industry's customers is very positive.

"Heavy metals in the wastewater can have a major environmental impact."

RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

The purpose of the business system is that everyone should work in a similar way, and systematically achieve continuous improvements. A clear example of improvements is water consumption. Since 1992, Berendsen has reduced its consumption of water to one third, from 26,5 liters / kg of goods to 7,59 liters / kg (2014). With lower water consumption, the energy demand also decreases. Electricity and energy use has more than halved.

- More efficient machines, water recycling and increased awareness among our employees through training in choosing the right washing program and having a high degree of filling in our washing machines have contributed to lower water consumption.

I HAVE POLLUTIONS

According to Berendsen, the greatest environmental impact arises from transport, energy use, textiles, washing chemicals, waste management and discharges to water. This is probably true for most laundries.

- Heavy metals in the wastewater can cause a significant environmental impact. We have two biological and six chemical / mechanical treatment plants. We believe that in the future the industry will work more actively with upstream work to see where the pollution comes from, which needs to be done in collaboration with the customers, says Linda-Mari Fridström, environmental and quality coordinator.

TRANSPARENT WORK

Berendsen publishes an environmental brochure every year to be transparent with its environmental work (www.berendsen.se). In addition to the trend of increased focus on work environment issues and the hunt for pollution, Lars Löf, Marie Rasmusson and Linda-Mari Fridström see that CSR issues are being raised more and more (Corporate Social Responsibility).

- Our CSR policy communicates the social, environmental and ethical considerations that we expect our suppliers to live up to.

In the name of logic, the laundry industry must live up to the CSR requirements that the industry's customers impose on their suppliers. Thus, certifications and companies' different policies are hard currency, a development that has a strong foundation in the authorization requirements the Laundry Association early saw the value of.

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