Another of the entrepreneurs and innovators at the forefront of the sustainability drive is Deyan Dimitrov, founder of Laundryheap. He says: “We’re constantly looking for ways we can operate more sustainably as a business, whilst still providing the quality service and convenience our customers love. “As an on-demand delivery service, fleet vehicle optimisation has always been a core element of our sustainability strategy. Early on we calculated that by replacing one of our delivery vans with two cargo bikes we could reduce our CO2 emissions by 34 tonnes per annum. That’s the equivalent of a small petrol car running 5,500 miles.
“So in April 2021, we acquired our first set of Electric Assisted Vehicles (EAVs) and in that year alone reduced our carbon emissions by 2.39 CO2 tonnes. Ever since, we have been on a mission to find other ways to optimise our fleet and make it even more environmentally friendly.” Most recently, they announced a partnership with Delivery Mates, an eco-friendly logistics provider.
Now, Delivery Mates takes care of Laundryheap’s EAV fleet maintenance, servicing and repairs, fleet management, telematics storage and insurance.Their team’s extensive experience in managing electric cargo bikes is already proving invaluable. “We know they care about the planet just as much as we do and we have already learned so much from their approach to sustainable delivery,” says Dimitrov. With the support of Delivery Mates, repair times for the cargo bikes have shrunk from two weeks to just 24 hours.
Looking ahead, this partnership will also help us grow our market share and reduce our costs overall – proof that going greener can have financial benefits. Dimitrov advises: “When it comes to developing your sustainability strategy, it can be difficult to know where to start. That’s why it can be useful to bring trusted partners on board, to leverage their expertise and optimise specific areas of your business for sustainability. “Strong partnerships have enabled us to make our business greener, without sacrificing the quality of our core service.
We’ve built a strong foundation for future sustainable innovation in the months and years to come.” Matt Connelly, CEO and founder of ihateironing, acknowledges the significant environmental challenges faced by the laundry and drycleaning industry as they seek more sustainable practices. “Recognising the detrimental impact of single-use plastic packaging, especially in the on-demand sector, we were committed to mitigating our environmental footprint with the support of our network of over 70 drycleaning partners,” he says. “At the same time, we’re aware of the fact that many small businesses can’t afford to shoulder the costs of sustainable packaging. We saw the chance for a two-fold solution that is economical on the drycleaner, as well as friendlier for the environment.” In 2020 they launched a reusable covers initiative to address the issue of plastic packaging in a cost-efficient manner for both cleaners and customers.
Now customers can place a deposit for each cover used, fostering a circular economy as the deposit is refunded upon return. With each cover capable of holding up to five items on hangers, reliance on single-use plastic has been eliminated. Connelly says: “The driving reason behind a hesitation to take on more sustainable packaging usually lies in it not being financially viable for more small-scale drycleaners, who would be losing out on production costs. Implementing a reusable cover ‘renting strategy’ offers several cost advantages for drycleaners.” “By charging customers a nominal fee for each reusable cover and refunding this amount upon the return of the cover, drycleaners can create a sustainable and cost-effective system.
Reusable covers, designed to withstand multiple uses, eliminate the need for constant replacement, unlike single-use plastic alternatives, making them more financially viable in the long-run.” Since the start of 2023, they’ve reduced 165,000 single-use plastic bags and continue to come up with new strategies to incentivise customers to opt for the scheme, such as shouldering the initial cost of renting the covers out for certain operational areas. Connelly concludes: “The positive reception and tangible results from this initiative have strengthened our resolve to invest in additional sustainable solutions. Our future plans include introducing more electric vans to our delivery fleet and trialling e-bikes in select areas, aiming to further reduce our carbon footprint.”
As a leading provider of commercial laundry solutions, MAG Laundry Equipment is dedicated to achieving carbon neutrality by the year 2040, surpassing the UK government’s target by 10 years. In an era where businesses worldwide are addressing climate change and sustainability, the Halifax-based supplier of commercial laundry machines, has undergone a complete transformation of its operations to embrace sustainability and the environment. With a steadfast focus on responsible energy and water consumption, MAG has revolutionised their business model, dedicating an impressive £5m to research and development across their product lines.
They now procure 100 per cent of electricity from renewable energy sources, effectively eradicating their dependence on fossil fuels. Operations manager Daniel Holland says: “By spearheading eco-friendly transportation, we are catalysing positive change within the industry. MAG’s nationwide fleet of service vehicles across the UK comprises of both electric and hybrid models, with a plan to complete the transition to electric vehicles by the end of the year.”