Five minutes at Sepawa with …
H&PC: How did business go in 2017?
We noticed a significant improvement in the main macroeconomic indicators of Brazil in 2017, signaling a beginning of resumption of economic growth. At this time, we are experiencing inflation under control, falling interest rates, robust external accounts, declining unemployment and a steady influx of foreign direct investment in Brazil.
The conditions for an economic recovery have been given and we are prepared to respond to this moment. We recorded a 5% increase in sales volume considering the period from January to September in 2017.
In addition, Oxiteno is a multinational company and is present in more other 8 countries (besides Brazil). In these countries we recorded a 3% increase in sales volume during the same period (January to September in 2017).
As part of our goal to become a world reference in surfactants and their applications by 2022, we continued to focus on our international growth strategy, that includes the new alkoxylation plant in Pasadena, Texas. The plant startup is due in 2018 with an installed capacity of 170 thousand tons/year.
Moreover, during 2017 we had some major launches in the Personal Care segment. Oxiteno presented a new conditioning agent, OXISENSE® S 0440, whose main benefit is hair frizz reduction.
One of the great strengths of this conditioning agent is the possibility of reduction or even substitution of other conditioning agents, such as silicone — which tends to leave hair heavier and oily — without affecting its performance. Its innovative, sensory light and non-oily composition provide a protective effect for a natural looking hair. OXISENSE® S0440 can be added to shampoo and conditioner formulas, mask treatment, serum, combing cream, ampoules, clearing spray and finishersthe product, was inspired by the diversity of Brazilian hair types and hair care habits, especially for women with regard to hair care, which shows the company’s attention to the trends of this market.
The product, was inspired by the diversity of Brazilian hair types and hair care habits, especially for women with regard to hair care, which shows the company’s attention to the trends of this market.
Other solutions were:
OXIFLOW® S 6800 is a highly versatile rheology modifier, composed of esters produced from synthetic and natural raw materials for personal care applications. The product was specially developed to promote the best sensory experience to the consumer and shows superior
performance in comparison with other rheology modifiers.
The OXISMOOTH® LINE is composed of three different emollients, produced from 100% renewable sources, developed to offer different sensory profiles highly sought-after by the market with applications in a diverse range of personal care products, such as sunscreens, creams and lotions, deodorants, baby care, men care, color cosmetics, and hair care treatments.
H&PC: What is going to happen next year at Oxiteno?
As part of our international growth strategy, we prioritize the execution of the expansion project in the United States, whose new alkoxylation plant in Pasadena, Texas, will begin operating in early 2018 with an installed capacity of 170 thousand tons/year. The strategy also included expanding the technical-commercial structure and the installation of the Research and Development laboratory on the University of Southern Mississippi campus in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and the opening of a commercial office in Houston Aiming at business sustainability, we will continue the international expansion strategy combined with efficiency actions and cost control, essential for maintaining our growth trajectory even in a delicate external context, with the Brazilian economic crisis and other adverse scenarios in Latin America. For HPC market, we will continue working together with our customers to develop innovative and high performance solutions that meet the market’s trends and needs.
H&PC: Do you see differences in the market between South America and the rest of the world?
There are differences in the markets. Consumers in South America look for multifunctional products and are driven by health/wellness and outdoor activities. Moreover, the socioeconomic scenario and water shortages have impacted the way people establish consumption relationships. This difference can be better explained through specific categories. For example, in the bath & shower category, bar soap dominates sales in Brazil, India and Indonesia, while in the rest of the world there is a greater prevalence of liquid soap. The hot climate in
South America means consumers are more inclined to take frequent showers than bathing. In the Hair Care category, Brazilian women expose their hair to all kinds of aggressions, whether chemical, physical or environmental, and like to have their hair treated. For consumers in SA, hair care products mostly address hair loss concerns and naturallooking hair, whereas in the rest of the world there is a greater appeal for products that provide co-wash and promote deep and thorough cleansing, boosting the usage of conditioners and hair treatments and the frequency of usage. In the Skin Care category, South Americans tend to favor moisturizing, hydration and cleansing using fortified products with vitamins, while for the rest of the world the focus lies on botanical origin, moisturizing, brightening, anti-ageing, cleansing and time/speed. When we look at the home care categories, in SA the main drivers are performance, price, economy, low water consumption, and safety for humans and pets. For the rest of the world, the main drivers are safety for humans and pets, non-aggressiveness to the skin, performance and savings.
H&PC: In South America the regulatory landscape is quite fragmented. Does this pose a challenge?
Although the sector is fragmented in South America, Mercosur countries act in a way to maintain the regulatory requirements for H&PC in accordance with the main international references, including the European. According to technical issues, Mercosur is already fairly harmonized. For Oxiteno, as a supplier of raw material for the H&PC industry, the main requirements are the Mercosur harmonized lists of banned and restricted substances for the cosmetic sector, as well as preservatives, dyes and UV filters.
H&PC: Are you keeping your focus on surfactants or are you expanding beyond?
As part of our goal to become a world reference in surfactants and their applications by 2022, we continued to focus on our international growth strategy, that includes the new alkoxylation plant in Pasadena, Texas. The plant startup is due in 2018 with an installed capacity of 170 thousand tons/year. Besides, our broad expertise in HPC and I&I will keep on transforming the market’s needs into products and solutions, based on an understanding of the customer and with less environmental impact. We have a dedicated team to mapping trends around the world and translating this in new solutions for the market.
H&PC: What do you do for sustainability?
Sustainability is one of Oxiteno’s innovation process drivers in its main markets, and therefore for Oxiteno, innovation is totally tied to sustainability attributes. The focus is to develop and deliver products and services that prioritize the efficient and responsible use of natural resources during our production processes, the lowest impact on the environment and the health and wellbeing of users.
Since 2015, our Brazilian plants have been certified by the Chain of Custody (RSPO) of the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil), a non-profit organization based in Malaysia, which recognizes organizations that use palm and palm kernel oils (PKO) from sustainable production systems. This year, it was our three Mexico plants’ turn to earn certification in the first semester. In 2016, we have evolved the way we manage the supply chain of this input, an important step towards achieving the goal of working, until 2020, only with palm kernel oil of sustainable origin. In 2017, we received recognition from the international Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) for our environmental management and our best water management program practices. Ultra was recognized for its work on managing climate change.
H&PC:: Do you employ green chemistry?
We have our Greenformance platform, which provides for three major workstreams that should guide the company’s R&D work:
• Renewable sources: promotes the adoption of raw materials of vegetal origin in substitution of synthetic materials and petrochemical derivatives;
• Environmental care: it stimulates the efficient use of energy, water and packaging, prioritizing the development of concentrated and biodegradable products;
• Health and well-being: prioritizes formulations with differentiated performance, smooth and safe for users.
To ensure compliance with safety and environmental requirements in the manufacture, use, storage and transportation of products is one of the Oxiteno’s working premises, which continually evaluates its portfolio to verify compliance with all toxicological and ecotoxicological requirements in addition to following the advancement of current legislation and participating in sectoral forums to follow discussions that may help the company to improve risk management related to product safety. All products and raw materials comply with current chemical transport and classification and labeling standards. Also, all of the new products developed in 2016 were evaluated according to the GHS (Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals).
H&PC: What makes Oxiteno unique and puts it on top of the competition?
Oxiteno aims to become a world reference in surfactants and their applications by 2022. In recent years, important moves have been made in this direction. Continuing the international growth strategy, we prioritize the execution of the expansion project in the United States, whose new alkoxylation plant in Pasadena, Texas, will begin operating in early 2018. The strategy included the expansion of our commercial and research and development activities in the USA, with the opening of our commercial office in Houston the installation of our R&D laboratory in the University of Southern Mississippi, in Hattiesburg. As one of the key drivers of the business is the focus on innovation, co-creating with our customers solutions with high performance that meet their challenges. This movement has been gaining strength in Oxiteno and demonstrates our purpose in providing innovative and sustainable solutions to people’s lives and to generate shared value for customers and their consumers.
Moreover, innovation permeates all areas of the company, going beyond the scope of product and service development and reaching other spheres of the company. Oxiteno makes constant and substantial investments in innovation. At its four R&D centers more than 130 researchers work, which is equivalent to almost 10% of the total employees. We have a commitment to the continuous evolution of our team of talents, the
environment and the safety of our processes, certain that all these elements are essential for Oxiteno’s perennially and for us to continue to evolve the world through chemistry.