CINTAS Site Tour

CINTAS hosted the GBCSC's fourth quarter and last general member meeting of 2017 on Tuesday, October 24th. GBCSC members got to learn about how CINTAS uses cutting edge technology and automation to save energy, water, and money in their Uniform and Floor Mat rental facility in Ontario, CA.

During a presentation by the CINTAS Sustainability Manager, we learned about the Company’s commitment to environmental stewardship and dedication to improving the lives of their customers, employee-partners and communities by integrating sustainable practices, principles and solutions across all Cintas business lines. Next the CINTAS’ Energy Engineer and Ecova Representative, gave detailed information for energy and utilities management, and spoke about how consolidating utility bills into a central dashboard allows the company to be more efficient and save money.

Finally, GBCSC was given a tour of the facility which included a look at their uniform rental laundering operations from their industrial washers and dryers that are fully automated, to the Boiler systems used for efficiently heating reclaimed water, and finally to their barcoded sorting system, an inventory control innovation that allows each customer employee uniform to be collected, counted, laundered and sent out for accurate delivery. GBCSC had a great day at CINTAS!

Summary of GBCSC Quarterly Meeting and Site Tour of Cintas

October 24, 2017


Utilities Management Services Program- David Singhoff, Energy Engineer, Cintas & Jeremy Handler, Energy & Sustainability Strategic Advisor, Ecova

  • The focus of the presentation was on the rental division of Cintas uses 95% of their energy, which equates to $70M annually

  • Ecova is the bill pay company that Cintas uses for its utilities; it has 1000 clients which comprise 25% of the F500

  • Ecova automatically enters the billing information, a person verifies, then they ID any anomalies and go back to the utility to check the meter reads

  • Ecova also does the fleet carbon calculations- Typically they only do scope 1 and 2 but Cintas does not release it to Carbon Disclosure Project

  • They also track drivers (mileage, fueling rates, etc) and make calibrations based on the incoming information every 3-4mo, which could include new routing

  • Republic Services is the Cintas’ national waste management company

  • Utility management services program is the overall organization/management for Cintas

  • Helps them better manage the data and understand what they are spending $ on

  • Data driven

  • Includes lighting upgrades, carbon tracking, energy efficiency

  • CUPS- Cintas Utility Performance System- an energy and water management program to minimize cost and environmental impacts---targeting individual locations

  • Cintas reliability program is the sister evaluation that happens annually, again along a scorecard system; it IDs weaknesses in equipment so you can proactively change it out

  • Goals:

  • Corporate: 1%/yr redux by 2020 from 2015 baseline (usage per cwt metric (hundred weight))

  • CUPS: 2%/yr redux by 2017 from 2012 baseline

  • Have achieved 6% instead of 10% in reality

  • They do energy audits, walk the plant with infrared cameras, lighting upgrades

  • Cintas started in the Midwest and as they moved west it was through acquisitions of other companies (just recently, G&K)

  • 170 Cintas rental plant locations (about 20 in CA)

  • each plant is run independently, like a franchise

  • the Ecova reports compare the various locations monthly but the priority is on progress not ranking (e.g., how the plant has improved over time)

  • they are taking daily readings (usually manually not with smart meter, but each of the GMK locations have submetering- run by Ascada)

  • water and sewage rates are going up 11-15% annually

A Heritage of Sustainability at Cintas

Krista Jaeger, Manager of Sustainability

  • Cintas has several business lines besides the uniform rental-- fire protection, first aid/safety, uniform for purchase, facility services

  • Cintas has a zero waste to landfill program (defined as 90% diversion) —goal started in 2013. All 8 distribution centers have implemented it (because these are the ones with the largest waste since they have textiles

  • Will next try to certify the manufacturing facilities

  • Signature Series is the major bathroom line—special features that are sustainable like cartridges that reduce paper towel use, biobased soap, recycled content mat (made by Millennium)

  • They have created a suit that incorporates recycled plastic bottles into them (this was done as a request from Marriott); these are washable, no dry cleaning needed since they are polyester

  • Greater Cincinnati Green Business Council (—started in 2010 by Cintas

  • Get together every other month for a half day

  • Sometimes do toolkits

  • Green Umbrella is a regional organization created to maximize environmental sustainability in the Cincinnati area

  • Mentorship program---start with their own suppliers as an education process

  • Food waste is a big initiative for 2018

  • There are 25 members, 7 started as founding members

  • Cintas is active philanthropically in Cincinnati--Bought a disaster response truck that is operated by Matthew 25 Ministries

  • “Clothe the kids” drive annually

  • Goal setting---relatively conservative so you can over deliver; the height of washer efficient technology is already here so measures are already put in place so not much area to grow into

  • There is a Cintas TV network which promotes our sustainability successes within the company

Cintas Facility Tour

Robert Schoonover, Production General Manger & Craig Blouin

  • Location 150 is a little bit larger than an average location (78k sq ft; the avg is 50k sq ft)

  • Energy saving technologies:

  • Waste water heat reclaimer--- this heat exchanger raises the water temp 12F

  • Boiler gas stack economizer—the heat from the exhaust is also used to raise the water temp 10F

  • HE wash formulas

  • Water usage: 1gal/lb laundry at Cintas vs 3gal/1lb at a residential/personal site

  • The facility operates 24hr/day and processes 400,000lbs/day which equates to 32,000 pieces (and rarely is any 1 lost!, thanks to Tru-Count technology)

  • When a rental garment is too worn out, they donate it or do scrap resale

  • They treat the used water onsite so that is nearly to potable; the remove the chemicals and consolidate them with clay into a cake that is then disposed

  • They use 100% recycled water from the city for all their processing

  • There are 42 different chemical formulas for the cleaning---based upon the garment type and its use/what soiled it

  • Barcodes track each individual uniform

  • They use pneumatic not hydraulics for the automation, which is more environmentally friendly


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