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Laundry Services

Overview

Federal laundry services consist of the washing, drying, pressing, and/or dry cleaning of government-owned clothing, linens, and other items (military sleeping bags, ruck sacks, etc.).  In addition, laundry contracts often include the transport of these items to and from a federal facility.  Laundry services can have a significant impact on the environment, as they require significant amounts of energy and water and may involve the use of harmful chemicals.  Federal buyers have the opportunity and responsibility to green laundry service contracts by requiring the use of green products and the implementing other sustainable practices.  This type of service typically falls under NAICS code 812320 and Product Service Code (PSC) S209.

Downloadable Resources
Selected Past Solicitations If you have past Laundry Services green solicitations that would be informative to the green procurement community, please submit them to sftool@gsa.gov.
Required Green Products

In accordance with FAR Subpart 23.1, federal contracts for laundry services must require contractors to use or supply products covered by the following environmental programs:

Includes laundry detergent, pre-treaters, fabric softeners, and more.
Includes laundry detergent, bleach, fabric softeners, and more.
Includes clothes washers.

Download a suggested list of related products covered by these federal environmental programs.

FAR clause 52.223-2, Affirmative Procurement of Biobased Products Under Service and Construction Contracts, requires service and construction contractors to report their purchases of biobased products to the new reporting portal within the System for Award Management (SAM)You should also consider requiring contractors to submit regular reports identifying the quantity and type of all green products used or delivered during contract performance. For performance-based contracts, checking for contractor use of sustainable products should be part of the Quality Assurance Plan.

Optional Green Practices

There are many other commercial practices that will result in a more sustainable and environmentally preferable service.  Consider these when defining performance requirements and developing evaluation criteria.  

  • Require cold water washing as much as possible.
  • Seek contractors that employ practices that conserve water and energy, such as heat and water reclamation processes.
  • Require dry cleaning practices that use non-toxic cleaning agents, rather than toxic solvents, such as Perchloroethylene (Perc). 
  • Maintain equipment in accordance with manufacturer specifications.
  • Use a fleet of fuel-efficient or alternative fuel vehicles for pickup and delivery of laundry.
  • Seek contractors with recycling/reuse programs for hangers, cuff clips, collar supports, poly bags, etc.
  • Buy items, such as laundry detergent and fabric softener, with minimal packaging and in bulk or concentrated form.
  • Use certified green products when possible, such as fabric care products and anti-wrinkle products.
Evaluation Factors

There are many opportunities to consider environmental criteria in your evaluation of offers.  A Pass/Fail approach may be appropriate for establishing basic green product requirements or when market research shows that other sustainable practices are common in the commercial marketplace.  For example, you might require contractors to implement a recycling or reuse program for hangers, bags, and other products – an offeror can either meet this requirement (pass) or it cannot (fail).  

In some cases, it may be appropriate to consider environmental aspects through a Best Value Tradeoff approach in lieu of, or in addition to, pass/fail criteria.  By incorporating environmental criteria into your evaluation factors, you can weigh a vendor’s ability to offer desirable sustainable practices above and beyond minimum contract requirements in relation to other factors, such as price. Several potential opportunities for incorporating environmental considerations into your evaluation factors are listed below.

Technical Approach – Require contractors to address sustainable practices in their technical approach, including the use of green products, sustainable washing/drying practices, and green delivery options.

Past Performance – Evaluate how well the contractor performed previous projects where they have successfully performed green laundry services, including the use of green products and practices.

Previous Experience – Require contractors to demonstrate their experience and capability to provide green laundry services similar in size, scope, and complexity to the required work.

Your evaluation should also consider all costs over the life of the project, not just the initial cost.  This may include cost savings achieved through the use of energy-efficient and water-efficient products. 

Where to Buy

Federal agencies may purchase laundry services under GSA Multiple Award Schedule 03FAC Special Item Number (SIN) 811 002.  While these contracts include basic terms and conditions, the ordering agency is responsible for inserting the appropriate green requirements and language into the solicitation.  More information on ordering through GSA Multiple Award Schedules can be found here.