WILMINGTON, Mass., July 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- UniFirst Corporation recently received a congratulatory nod of approval from Massachusetts' top environmental official for the many measures it has in place to being a "greener," more environmentally-friendly company at its facilities in the Bay State, as well its 200-plus locations throughout North America.
UniFirst is a leading provider of uniforms and workwear to businesses throughout the U.S. and Canada, outfitting more than 1.5 million workers every business day of the year.
In a recent visit to the company's corporate office in Wilmington, MA to familiarize himself and other state government officials with UniFirst and its operations, Richard Sullivan, Jr., Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs, took particular note of the company's use of domestic natural gas versus imported oil for heating its facilities—and then reclaiming a percentage of that energy for further use. Secretary Sullivan and his team were also impressed that UniFirst business customers are able to reduce their related carbon footprint by a factor of 18 by renting reusable work clothing from UniFirst versus continually purchasing apparel throughout the year that must be ultimately thrown away.Looking ahead, the state secretary also learned that UniFirst is researching methods that will allow it to recycle greater amounts of water for laundering use, testing electric-powered trucks for customer deliveries, and studying the feasibility of installing solar roof panels on its industrial laundry facilities. Reviewing the UniFirst " Sustainability Report," Secretary Sullivan said he was pleased to see that the company's products and services contributed to customers being able to earn sustainability points that could support certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC). Employee Team Partners from UniFirst's UniTech subsidiary in Springfield, MA explained to the collective the environmentally sensitive methods they maintain to launder and process the specialized work apparel and equipment used by workers in the nuclear power industry, such as the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Plymouth, MA and the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant in Vernon, VT. Upon learning about the subsidiary's extensive radiological expertise, Secretary Sullivan and Company representatives agreed that "a formal relationship" should be established between UniTech and the state so UniFirst staff could be called upon for advice should any radiological emergencies ever occur in Massachusetts. Secretary Sullivan also said he would lend his avid support to any new state sponsored green initiative programs UniFirst would like to take advantage of in order to become an even "greener" company.