Doing laundry uses as much as 50 litres per cycle. Despite severe water shortages in Cape Town, most household and commercial laundry taps into the limited drinkable water supply. Green Planet Laundry is a unique commercial laundry operation. It’s the first in Africa not using municipal water.
What the laundry does to save water
The brainchild of business partners, Tony Soares and Pierre Cillie, the laundry uses purified borehole water combined with the pioneering Ozone technology that optimizes efficiency. This process results in a drastically lower water consumption than traditional laundry methods. The laundry also has a water reclamation system which allows about 50% of grey water to be re-used.
Using renewable energy to do power the laundry
This entire process is powered by an on-site solar energy system that generates double the amount of power required. Soares and Cillie also have future plans to harness wind power and generate enough power to fuel the entire facility.
Spreading the benefits to employees
An important component of Soares’ and Cillie’s vision and business model involves how the business can benefit the wider community. The laundry has a recruitment scheme that looks to create jobs, and also offer 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.”
Customer satisfaction vital
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 reduced from 599 million to 500 million litres. The Green Planet Laundry offers ease and convenience along with a determination to merge successful business strategy with sustainability and social responsibility. The laundry plays an important part in water-saving efforts in the Western Cape.