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Pirkanmaan Voimia performs small, sustainable miracles every day

Pirkanmaan Voimia provides 14 million meals per year in daycare centres, schools, hospitals and housing services in the Pirkanmaa county region in Finland. Voimia employees care for the cleanliness and comfort of the facilities in more than 500 buildings. Voimia’s nearly one thousand employees use Lindström’s workwear every day.

The clothing collection is meant to convey youthfulness and casualness. The models are well suited for all age groups, and the outfits are suitable for catering and cleaning service work tasks. The collection is also designed to fit both women and men.

Pirkanmaan Voimia is a company owned by the cities of Tampere, Nokia, Virrat, and Ylöjärvi, the municipality of Vesilahti, and the Wellbeing Services County of Pirkanmaa. The City of Tampere aims to grow sustainably and become carbon neutral by 2030. Reducing the environmental load is key to achieving these goals, so sustainability is also reflected in all procurement.

Sustainability permeates all areas at Pirkanmaan Voimia

Pirkanmaan Voimia is committed to the goals of its largest owner and is actively involved in the Hiilineutraali Tampere 2030 project.

“We have our own environmental roadmap, according to which we are proceeding. The map includes concrete measures based on the carbon footprint calculated by the Natural Resources Institute Finland,” says Communications Manager Matliisa Lehtinen.

Sustainability is the will of both owners and customers and is also highlighted in public discussion and feedback.

“Different customer groups emphasise sustainability issues in different ways. Young people, for example, consider animal welfare issues important. On the other hand, the domestic origin of raw materials is a significant value for adults,” Lehtinen sums up.

Voimia’s own cleaning service has been awarded the Nordic Swan Ecolabel, and the company has several other ecolabels. “Well-known brands such as the Nordic Swan Ecolabel, the Heart Symbol and the Key Flag Symbol are nice because they communicate easily. Customers perceive and trust them as important brands,” says Communications Manager Matliisa Lehtinen.

Sustainability is a very broad concept. Many people think that sustainability concerns only environmental matters. Finishing your plate of food is important but sustainability is also a question of economic and social sustainability. For example, we also employ people who find it difficult to find employment.

Matliisa Lehtinen
Communications Manager, Pirkanmaan Voimia

Competitive tendering and supplier requirements

When we organise competitive tendering for procurement, we have mandatory requirements for our suppliers. Various requirements can be connected to a product or service very concretely. We always assess our procurement needs on a competition-specific basis.

Tuija Silvan
Production Director, Pirkanmaan Voimia

Both product quality and environmental friendliness are emphasised in competitive tendering. The mandatory requirements in Pirkanmaan Voimia’s workwear tendering process included the ISO14001 environmental certificate and the Oeko-Tex certificate related to materials.

Workwear services and daycare centres’ sleeping pouches and bed linens were introduced as new services. Mat and washroom services with cotton towel roll dispensers for hands were already used. The daycare centres have replacement mats and sleeping pouches designed by the children themselves.

Sleeping pouch

The sleeping pouch is comfortable; children calm down more easily and feel safe in the bag during naps. A sleeping bag also prevents children’s sheets from constantly forming a bundle or knot and having to spend time each day straightening them.

Workwear must feel comfortable in everyday tasks

The customer wanted the workwear collection to be flexible so that the clothes feel comfortable in physical work.

The clothes must also be suitable for professional kitchen and cleaning service work, and in the tendering process, we emphasised the flexibility of the clothes so that they are comfortable in physical work. The garment must feel good when you bend down or squat.

Heli Puistola
Process Specialist, Pirkanmaan Voimia

In the food industry collection, the number of pockets is limited so that nothing unwanted falls into the food.

Puistola explains, “The materials must withstand heavy washing and stain removal because we are in an industry where such stains occur.”

The workwear collection was required to burden the environment as little as possible and comply with the EU’s REACH Regulation. The regulation aims to improve the protection of human health and the environment from potential risks caused by chemicals.

“We were also looking for workwear suitable for both male and female employees. The size scale must be wide so that as few custom-made clothes as possible need to be made,” Puistola sums up. In Lindström’s collection, sizes start at XXXS and end with XXXL. If the clothes still don’t fit, they are custom-made.

Cooperation determines the smoothness of the service

Voimia started preparing for the creation of the wellbeing services county of Pirkanmaa long before it was implemented in January 2023. Several small and large units were transferred from the regions to Pirkanmaan Voimia. In the beginning, there was a lot to develop and manage. In December 2021, Lindström and Pirkanmaan Voimia signed a joint agreement.

Products had been manufactured for the tendering process, and they were available to test and score after a trial use. The requirements were defined very carefully. Based on trial use, the collection was modified slightly, and small leather Voimia labels were added to the clothes.

Contracts also always cover garment fittings. The account representatives arranged extensive fittings for all Voimia employees, during which the staff could try the clothes and indicate their size.

“At the turn of the year, when the wellbeing services county was launched, some thirty locations in the regions were transferred to us. We didn’t keep in touch with Lindström’s Tero Asikainen every day, but we sent many emails. We got new workwear for all new Voimia employees,” says designer Heli Puistola.

In the beginning, a lot of cooperation and planning was needed, and the planning of services required fine-tuning, but as the situation stabilised, meetings took place approximately every three months.

“In meetings, we go through how things have progressed. Last spring, we already started planning the services of the wellbeing services county so that we could finish all the workwear fittings.”

Puistola’s duties include procuring workwear and acting as the operational contact person for the contract. “I always know what we have in stock and what quantities we have. eLindström is open at all times.”

In the meetings between Puistola and Asikainen, needs are optimised and possible complaints are reviewed. According to Puistola, the cooperation has gone well.

At Pirkanmaan Voimia, sustainability permeates all functions

Voimia introduced the Hävikkimestari system as a new sustainability act, which kitchens use to measure food waste.

We can then tell schoolchildren, for example, how much food has been left on their plates this week. The amount of waste is of interest to our customers. If food is left over, it’s sold to school and daycare centre staff immediately after meals or handed over to food aid.

Tuija Silvan
Production Director, Pirkanmaan Voimia

Sustainability is a shared effort, starting from daycare centres.

Pirkanmaan voimia has special workwear for humid environments.

A separate workwear collection has been designed for the humid and warm conditions of swimming pools, which also includes short capers as an option.

Pirkanmaan Voimia are comfortable, recognisable and stylish in their workwear.

Recognisable outfits were wanted for all sectors. Multi-service workers can switch from cleaning to catering during the day. For hygiene reasons, it’s a good idea to change clothes every now and then or at least change one’s apron. The right size and clean clothes are always readily available thanks to Lindström’s textile rental services.

Interested in renting textiles?
Lindström Group