Diversey is very honoured to announce that Systematic Holdings, Singapore has joined the Linens For Life™ programme, making it not only the first commercial laundry company to join the programme in Singapore, but also the first laundry establishment to participate in Linens For Life globally Currently, all Linens For Life partners are hotels.
Linens For Life grew out of the fact that a typical 400-room hotel generates two to three metric tonnes of end-of-life linens every year, everything from bedsheets to employee uniforms. Instead of sending those linens to landfills or disposing of them in some other environmentally harmful way, participating hotels work with Diversey to distribute their end-of-life linens to people who live in slums, trash mountains or even senior centers where residents transform them into a wide range of attractive products, from clothing and stuffed animals, to reusable shopping bags and pouches.
The linens donated by Systematic were end-of-life hotel linens such as bedsheets, duvet covers and pillow cases. These linens were leased to the hotels, instead of being owned by the hotels themselves. Systematic donated an initial batch of 500 kg linens to Linens For Life. The linens have been washed, sanitised, pressed and folded to the standard of deployment in hotel rooms, prior to the donation.
The linens were distributed to two partners. One batch of 100 kg was provided to Nanyang Polytechnic’s Diploma in Hospitality and Tourism Management (DHTM) students. The students will convert the linens into face masks, which will then be distributed for free to the villagers in the Indonesian island of Batam. This is the second year that the DHTM students will be making Linens For Life Face Masks as part of their course curriculum, which covers Sustainable Hospitality. Linens For Life Face Masks programme was launched by Diversey in Apr 2020 during the height of the pandemic, and to date, 1.5 million face masks had been distributed to communities in 31 cities across 12 countries.
The second batch of 400 kg was sent to FOLO Gives, an NGO based in Johor Bahru, Malaysia which is dedicated to providing sustainable livelihood to struggling mothers in the Johor Bahru area, especially during the pandemic where jobs were hard to come by and many families fell under the poverty line. The mothers under the care of FOLO Gives will be making drawstring bags which will then be sold to a social enterprise farm, A Little Wild. A Little Wild will sell its organic produce such as sweet potatoes, ginger, turmeric, chili and others, packaged in these Linens For Life bags.
Mr Ong Chew Meng, General Manager, Systematic Holdings said, “We were already in the process of joining Linens For Life in March 2020, but the pandemic and lockdowns started, and the project was put on hold. We are happy that we are able to restart the project now. As a leader in the industry, we recognise the role that we can perform to help minimize the impact of the industry on the environment. We constantly look to integrate new and improved innovative service solutions, to reduce negative environmental effects. Linens For Life not only helps us in reducing the amount of waste we send to landfill, it also helps many people in alleviating poverty and ensuring safety, as in the case of the face masks.”
On top of the social benefits, Linens For Life also has several environmental benefits. The most obvious in this instance is the diversion of 500 kg of end-of-life linens from the landfill, but repurposing these linens into new items will also result in water footprint reduction of 2.38 million liters of water (4,750 liters of water is needed to make 1 kg of new linen) and CO2 footprint reduction of 6,000 kg (1 kg of new linen has a 12 kg CO2 footprint).
“Linens For Life is a Diversey flagship programme. It meets several Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) such as SDG #1 No Poverty and SDG #8 Decent Work - by providing jobs for people in need, SDG #12 Responsible Consumption and Production - by repurposing end-of-life linens instead of being discarded, and SDG #17 Partnership for the Goals – by enabling each key stakeholder in this partnership to achieve their organizational goals as well. Needless to say, we are very happy to have Systematic Holdings as our first commercial laundry Linens For Life partner, globally,” added Mr Sherif Fahmy, Regional Director, South-East Asia, Diversey.