Clean Green & Future Focused
CITY is always making an effort to make corporate sustainability a high priority because it’s about doing the right thing. CITY President Colin Wetlaufer is committed to environmental stewardship and ensuring CITY follows best practices in all of our business efforts.
“Being sustainable is part of our strategic plan,” Colin said. “We always look at new ways to be sustainable and make sure every part of what we do is productive for the environment and the future of our community.”
Since 2019, CITY is TRSA Clean Green Certified, officially recognizing companies that demonstrate responsible leadership in sustainability and conservation to protect the environment. The certificate acknowledges a textile service company’s continuing commitment to improving efficiencies in water and energy conservation and adoption of best management practices for reusing, reclaiming and recycling resources.
“I am a millennial and I think our generation is super involved,” Brenna Ballo, CITY’s Executive Assistant said. “Being sustainable makes or breaks our future, I want my nieces and nephew and my future kids to live in a great world and that’s up to us.”
The Clean Green Certification is based on a tier system and requires certain points to be made to qualify. Early on in the process last year, Brenna worked with Colin and the maintenance staff to determine what they can do to achieve their goals. Some of the improvements TRSA is looking for are related to water reuse technology, alternative energy sources and energy-efficient lighting. The features are assigned points depending on their importance. The total number of points then determines if the business qualifies or not.
“I worked a lot with Bob from our maintenance staff and Colin on making sure we got everything done to qualify,” Brenna said. “It’s an exciting process and it’s great to be involved with something that can help our company and the community.”
In the process of improving sustainability around the plant, CITY installed the largest roof mount of solar panels for any privately-held Iowa Company. With 850 solar panels CITY will replace 1/3 of the annual electric usage. Over the course of a 25-year lifecycle, the system is estimated to offset over 14 million pounds of CO2. This is equivalent to removing 1,395 cars off the road. The NORCHEM UltraPure water filtration system allows the recycling of over 70 percent of water in the plant and to reuse 25 percent of laundry detergent. In total, the system saves 665,000 gallons of water each month. TRSA recognized CITY’s continuous efforts to contribute to sustainability by awarding the 2019 Clean green Innovation Award.
“It’s an important job and I am very proud to be in charge of it. I know more about our wastewater treatment now,” Brenna said. “Our solar panel project was huge and especially now with the air conditioning and the new lighting system, it’s so great to see Colin’s involvement with sustainability and making sure that what we are implementing everything in our plant.”
In June of 2020, CITY installed a new spot air conditioning system completely powered by the solar panels on the roof. The spot cooling system helps production employees stay cool during hot summer days. CITY also completed and LED light conversion saving over 45,000 kilowatt-hours and reducing 57,991 pounds of CO2 annually. Clean Green Certification is done every three years and follows a rigorous process of paper audits and walkthroughs by TRSA employees to make sure the laundry industry does its part in helping communities and the planet is healthy for the future.
“You show society and the community that you care about the environment,” Luis Portillo, CITY’s Director of Operations said. “It’s a big deal for everyone in the company to say that we’re trying to do as much as we can to have a better world when it comes to sustainability.”