Cintas Spotlight: Pursuing Greater Water Reuse
Cintas' water journey has been full of advances and successes, and as a water-intensive business, we must keep innovating solutions that lessen our use of natural resources.
For that reason, we continue to view our water-reuse initiatives as a tremendous opportunity to reduce our total water consumption and expand our water-conservation efforts.
In FY’22, our engineering and operations teams focused on ways to better quantify our existing water-reuse efforts. We installed or improved metering capabilities at many plants, and we will continue this effort in FY’23.
We also completed an assessment of each type of water-treatment and -reuse system currently utilized by Cintas to identify opportunities for improvement and expansion. Further, we continued evaluating advances in wastewater-treatment technology that could also expand the long-term potential of water reuse.
This examination of our water-reuse technologies and capabilities will be especially important as we identify opportunities to reduce our total water consumption in geographic areas experiencing significant water stress.
More than 30 years ago, Cintas started installing Dissolved Air Flotation (DAF) systems in plants. Those systems aid our efforts to reuse water. Over time, we have worked with our vendors to standardize the design of our DAF systems and incorporate the latest technological advancements into our plants.
MAXIMIZING REUSE IN THE GREAT LAKES AREA
Recently, we’ve had significant success in leveraging water-reuse technologies at facilities in our Rental division’s Great Lakes and East Central groups.
These groups include plant locations in Northern Indiana, Michigan, Northern and Eastern Ohio, Western and Central Pennsylvania, Western and Central New York, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Maryland.
Some locations near the Great Lakes have demonstrated reuse capabilities approaching – and in some cases exceeding – 30% of their water needs, and have been ground zero for our reuse-optimization testing.
Optimizing reuse technology at these plants has allowed us to create greater efficiencies at these locations and expand their capacity while continuing to operate within permitting limits. Their success has also helped us identify optimal reuse technology integrations and use cases that will benefit our enterprise footprint. This includes our processing locations in water-stressed regions that face added challenges.
Optimizing our ability to reuse water and lower our overall water consumption is an important priority at Cintas.
Water reuse will continue to be a focus of our engineering, production, and plant management teams. Our Operational Excellence activities will play a central part in this work, and our customers’ expectations and satisfaction will continue to be paramount.