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Our Commitment to Environmental Responsibility: Past and Present

Stewart Gray MacDonald, Jr.

A Message from:

Stewart Gray MacDonald, Jr.
Chairman and CEO
Mac-Gray Corporation

With environmental concerns lately seeming to take on greater urgency, many companies have begun taking steps to reduce their impact on the planet. But at Mac-Gray, I’m proud to say we’ve been a leader on this issue for decades. Over the years, we’ve developed a range of programs to decrease consumption of water, electricity, gas, detergent – even the fuel in our service vans – while continually improving the quality of our products and services.

As America's premier laundry facilities contractor, we make it a priority to foster environmentally responsible behavior among our customers, partners and employees. You might say it’s in our DNA. For example, back in the 1960s, we introduced the first cashless laundry systems, the precursor to today’s Smart Cards. We did this not just to improve convenience for our customers, but to cut the number of trips needed to collect money and service equipment – the first of many Mac-Gray programs that were both planet friendly and business smart.

Bringing a high-efficiency revolution to America

These initiatives accelerated in the late 1980s, when rising utility costs led us to search the world for the most efficient laundry technologies. We found them in Europe, where companies were experienced at making front-loading machines that used far less water and energy. We started importing them in the early nineties, with a model we helped design. The eventual development of the Maytag Neptune product made our search for energy-efficient equipment much easier.

Ever since, Mac-Gray has been a strong advocate of high-efficiency equipment, which can cut water and energy usage up to 50% compared to top-loading machines. We’ve installed tens of thousands of them, and in 2006 Maytag Corporation recognized our commitment by naming us the first winner of their new Maytag Energy Advantage Award.

Extending our green commitment to every corner of our business

Our commitment to energy efficiency goes well beyond the machines we offer. A glance at some other laundry initiatives shows the scope of our green program.

  • Our proprietary VentSnake™ vent-cleaning system uses high-pressure air jets to keep dryer vents cleaner, so clothes need less time to dry, and consequently use less energy. It also contains the lint from the dryers, rather than letting it disperse into the air.
  • Our PrecisionWash™ detergent-on-demand system injects the proper amount of high-efficiency detergent into each load. This eliminates the need for users to purchase and dispose of bulky plastic detergent containers. It also “preserves the fabric” of users’ clothing, by ensuring that too much detergent is NOT put into the wash cycle and consequently doesn’t get expelled into our environment.
  • Our Certified Equipment program gives thousands of old machines new life every year, reducing waste and saving landfill space.  Metal parts that can’t be repaired are recycled.
  • We’ve begun a multi-year conversion of our 400+ service vans to more efficient engines, resulting in 7.2% fuel savings across the fleet. We’ve also designed routing software and equipped vans with wireless GPS devices to optimize driving routes. In the Boston market alone, this has cut fuel consumption 12%.

While laundry services form the bulk of our business, our environmental commitment does not end there. Our MicroFridge® combination appliance uses patented and proprietary Safe Plug® technology that uses far less electricity than standard units. Plus, we lobbied hard for the 2005 Energy Act, which seeks to fight growing energy problems with tax incentives, loan guarantees, and more.

A long track record of innovative thinking and effective action

Simply stated, managing our impact on the environment has long been a part of doing business at Mac-Gray; it is yet another dimension of what we call “Intelligent Laundry”. We will continue to make this a serious priority for our company in the future and work to involve our customers and partners in our efforts. Please join us in helping to preserve the fabric of our planet.

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