With Clariant’s 25th anniversary in full (if pandemically subdued) swing, many of its staff, as well as many customers, would probably be surprised to hear it is only the 5th anniversary of EcoTain®. In the relatively short time of its existence, Clariant’s sustainability label has become such an intrinsic part of the company’s culture that one can easily think it’s always been there. More than just a practical way to show which of Clariant’s products deliver outstanding sustainability performance, it has become a powerful source of change and forward-looking value creation.
Clariant has always seen itself as a chemical enabler, pioneer and differentiator, and a first version of the label was actually already introduced in 2012 by one of its business units to support sustainable customer choice. At the same time, Clariant worked with the Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production, a German thinktank, to set up a system for evaluating its products. Using 36 criteria from all three sustainability dimensions, i.e. social, environmental and economic, the co-designed Portfolio Value Program became the basis for selecting EcoTain® products across all business areas.
Launched company-wide in spring 2015, the EcoTain® label soon established itself as trusted proof that beyond world-class expertise in formulation, Clariant offered smart solutions for the strong trends transforming the industry.
Be it in the field of health and safety, resource efficiency or simple consumer convenience: From its founding in 1995, Clariant had always shown it was quick to respond to changes, and believed in ethical business practices just as much as in the well-being and development of its workforce. Yet with customers facing growing regulations, globalized standards and a global community of critical consumers, it was clear that what they needed was a first-choice partner for going beyond compliance and staying on top of the times. EcoTain® offers them reassurance that, in Clariant, they have that partner.
Take safer chemistry, for instance, where the need to phase out harmful substances can create great challenges, or even risks because vital products are at stake. Though halogenated flame retardants are highly effective in reducing the flammability of products and materials, their use is increasingly restricted due to health and environmental concerns, leaving manufacturers in need of a good substitute. Clariant’s halogen-free Exolit® OP series offers them just that: Replacing flame retardants containing bromine or other halogens with a safer phosphorus-based alternative, it is one of the first and most successful holders of the EcoTain® label.
Replacing existing solutions with better ones – or, in one word, innovation – has been key to Clariant’s success from the start, and EcoTain® has proven to be a North Star for pushing this capability to new heights. In the foundry industry, where the high heat involved in metal casting can create harmful BTEX emissions, our unique EcosilTM LE+ molding sand additives provide a volatiles-reducing alternative for producing perfect surfaces. In the food sector, Opazil® FFR, one of our many EcoTain® products based on the natural mineral bentonite, prevents contamination with mineral oil residues from recycled paper and board packaging. And in the hugely important field of mobility, our award-winning sunliquid® solution for converting straw and other agricultural residues to biofuel offers a low-emission, carbon-neutral technology for confronting climate change.
Other sustainable solutions include catalysts greatly improving the efficiency and energy footprint of chemical conversions, high-foaming household surfactants made from sugar, and process enhancers enabling lighter cars. So far, the label that started as a small initiative in one of Clariant’s business units less than ten years ago adorns 200 products and solutions*, and it is sure to adorn many, many more. Browse this gallery to see 25 of our favorite EcoTain® products, and let yourself be amazed by how much innovation has been achieved in so short a time.
* including those from discontinued operations. As of 31 December 2019, discontinued operations comprised the pigments and masterbatches businesses.