Lindström Group Partners with Nalco Water to Reduce Fresh Water Usage in India

Nalco Water launched an advanced filtration technologies project at Lindström Group’s laundry plant in Chennai, India, in 2022. In just over a year, Lindström recovered 74% of water at the plant and reduced its total freshwater usage in Chennai by 56%.

March 14, 2024
Lindstrom Logo Stack of white towels in a commercial laundry facility

India is the largest user of groundwater and among the most water-stressed countries in the world.

Across Lindström Group’s 13 laundries in India, they wash thousands of kilograms of uniforms and workwear daily for various industries, according to required safety qualities and standards like chemical resistance and hygiene. In Asia, 45% of Lindström Group’s water consumption is used by their workwear and cleanroom services.

For decades, Lindström Group has optimised water usage in their laundries in several ways to ensure they take care of wastewater in a responsible way. With water resources in India declining at an alarming rate, the Group continuously aims to expand its efforts to achieve the lowest possible water usage per washed kilogram.

Setting a Target to Use 55% Recycled Water

Saving water is essential to preserve the environment, ensure sustainability, mitigate water scarcity, and contribute to global water equity for the benefit of current and future generations. The goal of Nalco Water’s advanced filtration technologies project was twofold: to address water scarcity locally and contribute to global water sustainability efforts.

To kick off the project, Nalco Water set specific targets and key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure success:

  • Lindström Group aimed to recover 75% of water from the reverse osmosis process, and successfully reached 74% within 13 months.
  • During the laundry process, Lindström Group aimed to use at least 55% of recycled water, and successfully reached 56% — from 9.2 litres per kilogram to 4.1 litres per kilogram.
  • Lindström Group limited freshwater consumption by 44% in the washing process.

To reach these goals, Lindström Group invested in a semi-automated wastewater treatment and reverse osmosis (RO) plant in Chennai.

Reduce Water Consumption Without Compromising Washing Quality

Through their collaboration with Nalco Water, Lindström Group worked to ensure sustainable water management. Murli Iyer, Head of Light Business at Nalco Water, India, highlights the companies’ shared values: “Lindström's commitment to sustainability, innovation, and the circular economy, along with their We Care culture, aligns harmoniously with Ecolab’s purpose of ‘Protecting what’s vital’ and our sustainability strategy: Advancing people, planet, and business health around the world, thereby helping our customers succeed.”

The water recycling plant, fully operated by Nalco Water, uses specialized chemicals for laundry detergent to reduce water consumption without compromising the washing quality. Since both companies adhere to strict health and safety regulations, there have been no accidents or incidents throughout the entire project.

“The wastewater treatment plant, managed by Nalco, has effectively recycled the designated percentage of water, thereby significantly decreasing the reliance on freshwater resources. Moreover, the treated water discharged into the environment meets the legal compliance standards of the region, reflecting the commitment to environmental responsibility,” says Nikhil Shirsat, Process Specialist at Lindström, Asia.

Lindström receives regular reports on a daily and monthly basis, and we meet monthly to review progress and identify areas for improvement. After the first six months of the project, we also discussed what to focus on in the second stage.

“Lindström’s commitment to sustainability, innovation, and the circular economy, along with their We Care culture, aligns harmoniously with Ecolab’s purpose of ‘Protecting what’s Vital’.”

– Murli Iyer

Head of Light Business at Nalco Water, India

Enhanced Wash Quality with Substantial Water Savings

Lindström saw impressive results from Nalco Water’s advanced filtration technologies project that translate to total water savings equivalent to 330 million litres – or 132 Olympic swimming pools. In terms of daily water consumption, the initiative could offset the needs of 2.5 million people per day.

By ensuring better water quality, Lindström also enhanced wash quality, reduced washing costs, and extended the life cycle of garments. The advanced filtration technologies project showcases their commitment to innovation and sustainability, setting a benchmark for other companies to follow suit in proactive water conservation efforts.

“Lindström is setting the stage for other companies to do the same and be ahead of the times. The regulations for freshwater consumption in India and around the world are becoming increasingly strict, and companies might find themselves in a position where they suddenly need to lower the amount of water they use,” says Gowtham Raj, Area Manager – South at Nalco Water India.Raghu Harihar, Training Manager, Institutional Business at Ecolab India, continues: “It’s great that Lindström is working with us to take these steps ahead of time – we aim to be thought leaders in the market to anticipate challenges before they occur.”

In the future, Lindström plans to implement fully automated systems at the plant to further improve efficiency and consistency while minimising human error. They also aim to expand this RO system to other laundries in India and across Asia to decrease the stress on freshwater sources and provide more sustainable, cost-effective services. 

Lindström plans to leverage Nalco Water’s artificial intelligence (AI)-driven analytics platform, ECOLAB3D™,  as the next step to advance the use of analytics and algorithms and further improve performance to accomplish even better results in water recycling. 

Learn more about Ecolab’s Sustainability work, including our efforts to conserve water and optimise the use of natural resources.


“We already have a system for reusing water at our laundries, but we wanted to take it further to recycle the water so that we could reduce the amount of fresh water we use.”

– Venkataraj Anantharaman Laguduva

Head of Continuous Service, Asia, Lindström Group

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