Today, more than ever, corporations are acknowledging corporate social responsibility and sustainability as core strategic priorities to help create long-term value for themselves and society by balancing environmental, social, economic, and human impacts. According to the World Economic Forum, “sustainability for organizations plays out across three areas, in the now well-known acronym for Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG).
These days instituting a sustainability strategy is essential for the vitality of a business, but it’s those taking transformative action to optimize their operations by tackling climate change, addressing the impact of environmental degradation, and embedding ethics, labor, and human rights policies across their value and supply chains who stand to gain the most.
That’s exactly what Manchester Mills (a leading global textiles producer for the healthcare and hospitality sectors) has accomplished with their integrated sustainability strategy.
The Importance of a Comprehensive Sustainability Strategy
Adopting actionable sustainability strategies, practices, policies, principles, and standards can result in significant benefits, and businesses are progressively embracing the advantages of more sustainable operations.
As corporations continue implementing sustainable practices into their operations, the benefits and positive impacts are apparent for most and have the potential to drive:
- Improved operational efficiency and reduced business costs
- Improved brand image and loyal customer base
- Competitive advantage
- Increased profitability
- New investors
- Increased employee retention, productivity, and recruitment
Yet, it’s not enough to simply have a sustainability strategy in place. A poorly developed and executed strategy can harm your brand in several ways, including negative publicity, lost customers, difficulty in attracting and retaining staff, and increased regulatory scrutiny.
Sustainability strategies help organizations reduce their environmental impacts, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, waste, and pollution. This can contribute to protecting ecosystems and reducing the negative effects of climate change. They can help organizations promote social responsibility and address downstream social issues such as poverty, inequality, and social exclusion.
Moreover, sustainability policies help organizations optimize their resource use, reduce waste, and increase the resilience of their supply chains.
The Manchester Mills sustainability strategy can serve as a model for accomplishing these goals and avoiding the pitfalls associated with a poorly designed sustainability plan.
The Manchester Mills Approach – Environmental, Sustainability & Governance
There’s no question that Manchester Mills has earned their accolades when it comes to sustainability strategies.
Awarded the Silver Medal by EcoVadis, (an independent agency recognized as the world’s largest and most trusted provider of business sustainability ratings), Manchester Mills placed amongst the top 25 per cent of companies assessed in 2022. With remarkably high scores in the core areas of Ethics and Sustainable Procurement, Manchester Mills ranked in the 85th percentile in their industry.
Manchester Mills has ensured that every step of its textile creation and fulfillment services has been evaluated for their impact across four sustainability pillars – environmental, social, economic, and human.
Starting with the raw materials found in their linen and terry products, each is made using primarily renewable and sustainable cotton. They also offer both Certified organic and Global Organic Textile Standard cotton upon special request.
Additionally, all products offered by Manchester Mills have been tested for substances harmful to human health. And, as you would expect from an environmentally conscious strategy, all products are packaged using both recycled and recyclable materials.
Not to rely on the standard practices associated with environmental sustainability, Manchester Mills has gone a step further through their innovative Guest Ready® Continuous Wash Process Systems program.
This unique approach to cleaning linens eliminates the need to clean linens prior to first use. The Continuous Wash Process saves water, energy, and time, providing guests with soft and fresh linens while doing their part to help reduce hotelier’s operational costs and overall carbon footprint.
The Manchester Mills Approach – Strategizing for a Sustainable Future
By examining the details of the Manchester Mills sustainability strategy, one can see the strategy is systemic, reaching every aspect of their process from development to fulfillment.
Here’s a look at some of the elements that make their strategy so powerful and unique:
Renewable and Sustainable Raw Materials
As previously mentioned, cotton is the principal ingredient in Manchester Mills linen and terry products. Cotton, because it is a renewable and sustainable material. Depending on your level of needs and passion for sustainability, certified organic cotton and other environmentally friendlier versions of cotton are available by special request.
Manchester Mills uses OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified products, “one of the world’s best-known labels for textiles tested for harmful substances.” Additionally, the AZO-Free Processing Assurance guarantees that their products have been tested and deemed safe and harmless to human health.
Manchester Mills utilizes recycled and recyclable packaging options, making up the bulk of the company’s approach to recycling. These strategies earned the Global Recycled Standard (GRS) certification. The GRS is “an international, voluntary, full product standard that sets requirements for third-party certification of recycled content, chain of custody, social and environmental practices and chemical restrictions.”
Water and Energy Savings
In addition to their innovative Guest Ready® Continuous Wash Process System program, Manchester Mills brings innovative product solutions to their customers, helping staff complete their tasks more efficiently while supporting sustainability.
Manchester Mills requires each of their suppliers, subcontractors, and supply chain providers to supply goods and services that align with their values of ethics, environmental sustainability, and labor practices that comply with Sysco’s Supplier Code of Conduct.
Diversity and Inclusiveness
Manchester Mills ensures employees are provided with a safe and humane workplace environment through a wide range of certifications and audits. Their culture encourages community giving; diversity, equity and inclusion; supplier diversity; employee engagement; learning and development; and health and wellness.
Manchester Mills is a model example of a company that is dedicated to environmental sustainability and social responsibility. Through their commitment to reducing waste, conserving resources, and minimizing their carbon footprint, they have demonstrated that businesses can operate in a profitable and environmentally responsible way.
Their efforts to reduce waste through recycling and repurposing of materials, and their investment in energy-efficient innovations, have helped to protect the environment. By prioritizing sustainability, we can all do our part in protecting the planet for future generations.
Manchester Mills is part of Guest Worldwide, a Sysco company. Learn more by visiting www.manchestermills.com.