Office supply giant Cintas Corp. is close to completing a multi-year conversion to LED lighting throughout its 475 facilities in the U.S. and Canada.
Cintas officials say it began the LED transition project in its fiscal year 2019 to decrease energy use in its older and more energy-intensive facilities. By the end of its fiscal year 2022, it had installed LED lights at more than 125 locations, with fewer than 50 remaining in the current phase.
The company notes that it has replaced over 27,000 incandescent and fluorescent lighting fixtures to date, resulting in annual energy savings of almost 23.3 kWh and the avoidance of more than 16,500 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year.
The LED lighting project is part of Cintas’ strategic ambition to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
“We’re not waiting until 2050 to start,” said Mark Bolen, Vice President of Quality & Engineering at Cintas. “We’re looking at all avenues to see where it makes the most sense, where our dollar has the best return, and it’s not just lighting. It’s being better environmental stewards.”
Beyond LED lighting conversions, Cintas is looking at other energy- and water-reduction capabilities for its existing and future facilities. The company is also evaluating solar technology and is installing its first solar-powered system at its rental location in Piscataway, New Jersey.
The project is expected to be fully operational in the late spring of 2023. Additionally, Cintas is investigating the potential benefits of standardizing facility plans that incorporate a consistent set of energy-reducing technologies across all its operations.
Overall, Cintas says it reduced its energy consumption intensity by 7.9% from FY2021 to FY2022, which included the expanding impact of the LED lighting transition project.
“Sustainability and energy efficiency plays a key role for us, primarily because our products are delicate and they require a lot of attention that we provide to our customers,” Bolen said. “Engineering is constantly looking at ways to find equipment that is more reliable – more energy efficient – to ultimately reduce our reliance on energy.”
All new Cintas buildings constructed since 2017 feature LED lighting systems, including external LED lighting configurations that create zero light spillage (also known as photometric pollution).
Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, Cintas provides specialized services to businesses of all types primarily throughout North America. It designs, manufactures and implements corporate identity uniform programs, and provides entrance mats, restroom cleaning and supplies, tile and carpet cleaning, promotional products, first aid, safety, fire protection products and services.