How important is collaboration to your part in ensuring this all-round process?
The whole sustainability process fuels innovation and the need to find new solutions and fresh approaches. Fundamental to this are collaboration and partnerships. To share a familiar name - our customer Unilever awarded Clariant the »Unilever Partner to Win Award« in the category Joint Value Creation for the second consecutive year in 2014. The global packaging platform was standardized and flexible packaging was developed exclusively for Unilever through close cooperation between Unilever and the research and development experts of Clariant Masterbatches. The advantages were improved cost efficiency for the packaging while maintaining the same quality and product characteristics.
Upstream, we are collaborating at the chemical sector level in the Together for Sustainability (TfS) initiative to obtain transparency and improve sustainability within the supply chain. Sustainable business starts with the sourcing of raw materials and services. Balancing cost efficiency and a high level of quality, ecological, and social standards with a sustained security of supply is a major challenge in a more and more globalized value chain. Increasingly closer relationships with suppliers and customers offer opportunities to create sustainable value with secure, high value added value chains. TfS helps to further integrate sustainability into its supply chain. TfS supplier sustainability assessments provide information not only on the consolidated risk, but it also differentiates between the topics of environment, labor law, fair business practicesn and supplier management. The approach developed and implemented by TfS leverages synergies amongst the participants and delivers an independent, standardized, and quantitative evaluation regarding suppliers’ sustainability and risk profiles.
In your opinion, is »sustainable« always »natural« or »green«? Is »green« or »natural« always »sustainable«?
Sustainable means more than simply being a »natural« product. Sustainable embraces the whole process from ensuring performance of an end-product is not compromised to enabling customers to lower dosage or use fewer natural resources in their production. It also means ensuring a manufacturing and logistics process that minimizes potential impact on nature, the environment and people’s health. Every effort is made by Clariant during the development of products to manage their »sustainability potential«. Renewable, certified raw materials play an important role in this sustainability as well as e.g. the energy-saving production, the safer handling, a long lifetime of the derived products and residue-free disposal or reutilization.
What would the ideal sustainable detergent look like?
Clariant Home Care sustainable solutions range from rheology modifiers that allow highly concentrated formulations, thus reducing packaging and transport costs to additives for reducing energy consumption by allowing low temperature washing. We believe that a sustainable detergent is more than just »green« resources. It has to attend to the performance needs of the final consumer. For example, with GlucoPure® we bring together outstanding expertise with a clear understanding of our customer needs. We are proud to offer the best of both worlds – »green« that cleans. GlucoPure is made from 95% of renewable carbon and presents a performance that matches the current non-renewable benchmarks in the market. The combination is unique.
Renewable sources, use of enzymes, optimization of production processes, better logistics, compaction, less packaging, lowering washing temperatures, less washing liquor, no loss of performance and educating the consumer. How to implement these pivotal aspects for the sustainable production and use in detergency? Which is the weakest point of the flow?
With regards to renewable sources, we are currently working in our R&D department to further improve the Renewable Carbon Index even towards 100%. Then, we are partly using palm-based material. But we do offer GlucoPure in RSPO Mass Balance quality. By 2016 Clariant intends to have certified all its relevant production sites. We are striving to achieve RSPO Segregation by 2020.
For most of the other aspects, it is really about a strong focus in R&D and innovation while having sustainability as a key pillar in the company’s strategy. This is how we can best support our customers in producing sustainable detergents in the future that address consumer needs for performance and a good environmental profile, and their own efficiency targets.
What can the detergent segment expect from Clariant in terms of future sustainable innovations?
Sustainability is an integral part of Clariant’s strategy, which means we will continue our commitment to listening to customers in this regard and focus our R&D on areas to best support their product development. GlucoPure is a true innovation for this segment, and we are looking forward to working closely with customers to explore its full market potential.
Source: H&PC Today Vol. 10(3) May/June 2015 P 59 – 60