Laundry in Germany saves resources by using rainwater

©luckybusiness, image #120352346, 2017, source:


Accommodation and food service activities
Investment cost:
Medium cost
Medium cost
Size of company:
Small (less than 50)
Advancement in applying resource efficiency measures:

Every drop counts

  • Industrial laundry cuts a major resource cost simply by catching and using rainwater
  • National environment fund (DBU) backed the project
  • Company cuts fresh water use by 22 %  

Coburger Handtuch & Matten-Service, located in Rödental, Germany is a laundry specialising in washing towels, doormats and mops. Laundry companies typically consume vast amounts of fresh water; about 5 % of total costs, according to some estimates. Coburger Handtuch & Matten-Service wanted to do something to tackle this cost and environmental burden.

A project financed by the German Federal Foundation for the Environment (DBU) helped to quantify the impact of using rainwater as an alternative to help the company reduce its overall water costs. 

Key results

The project showed that rainwater collected from the roof (an area of 4 700 m2) could be filtered, chlorinated and effectively used to replace fresh water in the laundry process. In this case, about 3 160 m3 of rainwater per year can be collected and used for laundering, thus reducing fresh water consumption by some 22 %.

DBU: Abschlussbericht – Ganzheitliche energetische Betrachtung einer Wäscherei als Lösungsansatz für prozessintegrierte Energieeinsparung zur nachhaltigen Steigerung der Energieeffizienz von Wäschereien – Phase I, Aktenzeichen: 28612, [Stand: 12.03.2014], S. 11, S. 31

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