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Environmental Management

Cintas works hard to protect the environment and conserve natural resources at our facilities across North America. Through our commitment to strict compliance and innovative technologies, we seek to ensure that Cintas meets or exceeds regulatory standards set for the laundry facilities.

To read more about how Cintas works to protect the environment and conserve natural resources, visit the Cintas Green website.


Cintas conducts 14,000 wastewater tests every year as part of our requirements under various local discharge permits. This is calculated by totaling the number of facilities that discharge wastewater, times the number of parameters for which we test, times the frequency with which tests are conducted throughout the year.

We currently recycle up to 50 percent of the wash water at many of our laundry operations, helping preserve natural resources and diminishing our need for intake water.

We have invested more than $4 million in research in the pursuit of a “zero-discharge” water-recycling technology.

We spent $2 million on capital expenditures in 2009 on wastewater treatment technologies that further remove soil and other materials from our customers’ uniforms before water is discharged to municipal treatment facilities, according to permits. We are also a leader in the development of new environmentally friendly wash formulas to further improve wastewater quality for local municipalities.

We have been a leader in working with federal, state and local agencies in wastewater issues, and we continue to work closely with local municipal public works systems on water-quality standards that are individually set to reflect local conditions and needs.

Energy Conservation

Through innovations like heated-air recycling, we have cut in half the electricity once required to complete the laundry process.

Reuse and Recycling

We incorporate extensive recycling programs throughout our facilities and utilize the latest technologies in product movement and shipment to reduce the need for packaging and waste.

We donate clean used clothing to charities that help people in developing countries and also donate used equipment for training and jobs-skills programs.

Environmental Compliance

Cintas is a Charter Member of the Laundry Environmental Stewardship Program, a voluntary program initiated to improve the environmental performance in the laundry industry.

Corrective Action

In and around our facilities, particularly older facilities acquired in recent transactions, Cintas continues to take a leadership position with government agencies and municipalities to develop remediation and redevelopment plans that improve local conditions and protect local communities and our partners. We continue to work closely with regulatory agencies on these projects.

Because of the nature of our business, our wastewater quality is directly related to the constituents that soil our customers’ clothing – like greases, oils, dirt, etc. – and wastewater standards vary greatly among individual communities. We have a stringent compliance and investigation process to address problems as they are detected and to correct mishaps as they occur. We work closely with our customers and local municipalities to develop solutions for compliance with local standards.

As our culture of accountability and responsibility dictates: Whenever we learn of a problem, we fix it.