September 29, 2021

Evergreen Signs New Five-Year Contract with the Cleveland Clinic

Evergreen Cooperative Laundry (ECL) has extended its wide-ranging relationship with the Cleveland Clinic by signing a new five-year agreement to provide laundry and linen services for approximately 200 Clinic locations in Northeast Ohio.

The new contract extends the original three-year service agreement ECL had with the Clinic, an Evergreen anchor partner since its inception in 2008.

Other Healthcare Systems Are Watching

Evergreen CEO John McMicken noted there has been considerable interest around the country among large healthcare systems in the Clinic’s experience with Evergreen.

“There have been a lot of eyes on this from across the country among large health care organizations making a significant buying decision with a smaller, locally owned, minority-owned, in this case employee-owned company. I think there are many out there who have been standing on the sidelines to see if that will work. Can a smaller company like Evergreen compete with large national and international corporate players? Well, the experiment is over. Our team passed the test. It worked and continues to work quite well.”

ECL currently processes about 16 million pounds of bed sheets, towels and pillowcases for the Clinic system (about 52,000 pounds a day), servicing about 90 locations a day. Evergreen also provides all pick-up and delivery with a fleet of nine vehicles and ten dedicated drivers servicing the Clinic.

The original contract with the Clinic allowed ECL to triple its staff, which now stands at about 150 fulltime employees at both its Collinwood and Glenville locations. While the volume of business fluctuated during the Covid pandemic, the laundry avoided any layoffs during that period of temporarily reduced business.

This partnership is expected to add about eight million additional pounds during the life of the new contract. Each additional one million pounds of laundry supports approximately five more production/delivery employee-owners.

Increased Sustainability

By retrofitting the laundry with the most modern equipment, the Clinic and ECL have become considerably more sustainable. The following efficiencies have contributed to ECL’s cost savings and more sustainable business practices.

The previous equipment required 1.6 gallons per 100 pounds of laundry. That number has since been reduced to 0.6 gallons. New dryer equipment also requires 20% less gas to operate. Conversion to LED lighting in the plant and soft-start motors added an additional estimated savings. The sum of these investments and operational procedures results in annual energy savings in excess of $100,000. The building is a completely air-conditioned plant, one of the few such commercial laundry facilities in the country, provides comfort for our employee-owners.

Despite the high volume of Cleveland Clinic business, the laundry facility still has available capacity, and the leadership continues to pursue discussions with other healthcare systems about possible new business. “We have room to grow our business, possibly even doubling what we are currently doing, and thus to grow and sustain more jobs,” says John McMicken.

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