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Northern’s Dedication
to Sustainability

At Northern Uniform, sustainability isn’t just a box we check; it’s at the core of everything we do. Our operations are managed responsibly to minimize or eliminate environmental impact, ensuring that both our customers and employees can trust our commitment to sustainability. We are proud of our state-of-the-art facilities that prioritize energy efficiency, and our water filtration and disposal systems which are designed with sustainability in mind.

“We’re constantly exploring new technologies, partnerships, and initiatives to further reduce our environmental footprint and contribute positively to the communities we serve. Sustainability isn’t just a goal – it’s a journey we’re proud to be on.” – Chad Laframboise, General Manager

How We Keep Our Processes Green

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Waste & Water System

We take our environmental responsibilities seriously, working closely with local regulators to ensure compliance with environmental standards set by the City of Sudbury and the Ministry of Environment. Our wash processes are calculated and precise, using eco-friendly soaps and chemicals. Before our wastewater reaches the city sewer system, it goes through a series of thorough filtration, separation, and equalization processes. 

Additionally, we choose our partners carefully, building a network of companies that share our commitment to high environmental standards. This collaborative approach ensures everyone understands their role in maintaining these standards and supports each other for the best outcomes. We develop wash formulas that clean effectively while extending the life of products and reducing waste.

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Waste Management: A Comprehensive Approach

At Northern Uniform, we are directly aligned with the principles of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” in our comprehensive waste management strategy. Our approach centers on extending the lifespan of textile products through specialized laundering techniques, thereby minimizing the demand for new uniforms.

Leveraging technology, we streamline inventory management processes, reducing the necessity for surplus products. Furthermore, we proactively provide reusable alternatives to traditional disposable items, including linen products such as wipers, towels, and aprons.

Additionally, we offer inspection and repairs every time garments circulate through our system. They will be inspected, and if repairs are required, the items will be promptly sent to our dedicated repair station. Wearers can also conveniently request repairs by submitting them through our Red Alert Tag system or through NU-trak.

As part of our comprehensive waste management initiatives, we actively recycle broken hangers and lockers, ensuring that every component is repurposed or properly disposed of. We are continuously exploring innovative recycling and reuse options, optimizing our processes for both our business and our valued partners.

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Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is a big part of our sustainability efforts. Our boiler heat recovery systems capture excess heat and repurpose it for other facility needs. Similarly, our direct-fired hot water heaters are over 99% efficient, designed to minimize energy waste. 

A few years ago, we invested in energy-efficient LED lights for the entire plant and office lighting at all locations. These lights use less energy, last longer, and reduce maintenance and waste. They also feature a sensor system that turns off automatically when rooms are not in use, cutting down on unnecessary energy use.

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Paperless Practices

We’re on a mission to reduce paper waste by going digital. Using digital platforms, we’ve transitioned almost all paper documents to digital formats. Even our sales representatives now use iPads loaded with electronic documents, significantly cutting down on paper use.

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Efficient Delivery Routes

Sustainability is important in every aspect of our operations, including how we deliver our products. Using advanced route optimization technology, our trucks take the most direct and fuel-efficient paths, reducing emissions and environmental impact. Our modern fleet of vehicles boots efficiency, contributing to cleaner, healthier communities. Additionally, we continuously monitor and refine our transportation practices using GPS units and tracking software to keep pushing toward a greener future.

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Empowering Our People

At Northern, our commitment to sustainability goes beyond environmental initiatives – it encompasses empowering and safeguarding our valued employees. Their health, safety, and continuous development are pivotal in driving innovation and upholding our commitment to environmental responsibility.

Health and Safety

We prioritize maintaining low incident rates through comprehensive safety training programs, conducting thorough vehicle, facility and procedural audits as well as providing appropriate protective equipment to all employees. Our workspaces are designed with ergonomics in mind to prevent injuries and promote well-being.

Whether we’re talking about food, industrial or worker visibility, safety is integral to the services we provide. Therefore, we ensure that our products meet the highest industry safety standards, guaranteeing they are free from harmful substances, meet regulatory requirements and are monitored for ongoing compliance. Our customers can rest easy knowing their risks are minimized by partnering with us.

Training and Development

Our employees receive comprehensive ongoing training covering crucial aspects such as health, safety, and security awareness. We offer specialized skill development courses, beyond standard forklift operation and hazardous material handling, equipping our workforce to be successful and safe no matter their area of expertise.

Annual performance evaluations and personalized training plans are integral to cultivating a culture of continuous learning and growth. Furthermore, community service and volunteering efforts related to environmental causes are wholeheartedly supported, fostering a sense of social responsibility and commitment to preserving our planet.

Our Ongoing Commitment

The journey towards sustainability is always evolving. We’re constantly looking for new technologies, partnerships, and initiatives to further reduce our environmental impact and positively contribute to the communities we serve.