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Hawke’s Bay’s Diamond Laundry Group investing in Sustainable Future

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Diamond Laundry Group’s multi-million investment at its Whakatu plant in Hawke’s Bay, will reduce the amount of water needed to wash commercial laundry by two thirds.

Managing director Bruce Davidson says Diamond Laundry Group’s further investment this year, will also its double capacity as the business looks to grow and expand market reach.

The state-of-the-art plant and technology out of Germany will shortly be installed improving environmental impacts and drive efficiencies, he said.

“Advancements like these make a real difference, we’re being smarter for our future and everyone is getting onboard.  It’s good for our staff, our customers, our community and the business – we all benefit”.

Other sustainable features include re-cycling water through continuous batches of water further reducing its usage by two thirds down to 7 litres per kilo of washing, compared to 21 -25 litres.

Re-using the first prewash cycle water for linen to then pre -wash industrial laundry and all wastewater going through a heat exchanger to pre-heat all incoming water for processing, On the energy side, all of industrial dryers have infrared sensors so not over drying linen and towels, using less energy and improving the quality of product.

Davidson gives real appreciation for the effort goes into washing, drying, folding and pressing the laundry that’s helping keep hundreds of other businesses in business.

“The laundry service industry is fast-paced and highly competitive. One, where you must continually deliver high quality results day in and day out,” he says.

He first started on the factory floor as an eight-year-old, working in the school holidays in his father Dave’s ’s Diamond Dry Cleaning business making plastic suit bags and helping in the press room.

At 15 he began working in the business with older brother Ian.  Just over 12 months later, their father passed away, leaving the brothers to run the business

Their passion and drive have seen the family business successfully diversify and grow into four complementary companies that are ever-evolving to meet the changing needs and demands of a diverse and growing customer base, all requiring different laundry services.

Today, the Diamond Laundry Group, which employees over 110 staff, still includes the original business along with ApparelMaster, for work wear laundry and rental, and Central Linen Service for professional linen hire, cleaning and supply.

Brother Ian has since retired and Bruce’s son Stuart, who studied engineering, has now joined the Group, keeping the family tradition alive.

Over the past decade, Central Linen has grown in size to 70 employees based at its Whakatu site, which opened in 2013.  Bruce puts the business’s substantial growth and success down to a great team of people, the growth of the tourism industry and working to high standards- both in product and delivery of service.

“Our team does a fantastic job keeping things going, especially with the many production challenges and logistics we are faced with daily.”

“When we started, no one could have anticipated how fast the international and domestic visitor market would grow and the positive impact it’s had on the economy and jobs. It’s enabled us to expand, diversify and employ more people.”

Central Linen covers Hawke’s Bay and the lower and central North Island including Wellington, Palmerston North, Taupo.  All orders are delivered, and collected, directly to and from accommodation providers, large and small, from Bed and Breakfasts to Five Star Hotels, through its driver fleet from Whakatu with depots also in Taupo, Dannevirke and Wellington.

The busy team sort, wash, dry, press and fold approximately 150 tonnes of laundry a week.

“Being able to provide jobs and support to our community is something I really value.

“Our investment will create another eight full time jobs. Unlike many other businesses where automation is replacing jobs, in the laundry industry we still require significant human resource to operate the production lines.

“We’re also committed to having sustainable environmental policies and practices especially when it comes to water, the products and energy we use. This is critical to our future –  as a business and for our team, our community customers and our suppliers.

“Our new machines will see us reducing and recycling water along with needing less energy, all while we are increasing production.

“The water from washing quality linen going through a process, so it can be re-used for the first wash cycle of dirty industrial laundry that comes from workshops and many factories.

Looking ahead, Davidson says Central Linen will need to gain significantly more market share once it has increased capacity, which is exciting and challenging at the same time.

 

Sustainable Features

  • Diamond Group’s multi-million investment at its Whakatu plant will reduce the amount of water needed to wash Hawke’s Bay’s commercial laundry by two thirds.
  • Water will be re-cycled through continuous batches of water reducing its usage by two thirds down to 7 litres per kilo of washing, compared to 21 -25 litres.
  • The first prewash cycle water for linen will be re-used to then pre -wash industrial laundry.
  • All wastewater goes through a heat exchanger to pre-heat all incoming water for processing.
  • On the energy side, all of industrial dryers have infrared sensors so not over drying linen and towels, using less energy and improving the quality of product.

 




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