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Sustainability in the Industrial and Institutional Cleaning (I&I) world of today

Director Marketing Home Care and l&l Cleaning
BASF SE, E-EMD/HD – J550, 67056 Ludwingshafen, Germany


Not too long ago, sustainability was predominantly a topic to be expected and discussed in the Personal and Home Care industry. Today, we know that sustainability is neither limited to one industry nor to one region. It is not a trend; a trade-off on performance is not accepted and the willingness to pay premium prices is very limited at best.
The I&I industry is offering solutions based on the three elements of services, equipment and cleaning materials. All three elements have a potential to enable sustainable solutions. Examples are save handling for the service crew, energy optimized equipment or well selected cleaning materials based on sustainable raw materials.
In the field of cleaning materials, innovation is driven by legal requirements, by sustainable requirements and by cost-performance optimization even if services are and will remain the main cost driver.
Sustainability is a global market standard. Innovation to meet the resulting market needs is key to success. Business partners supplying to the market leaders in the I&I industry have to offer a dedicated product portfolio in addition to broad expert know-how. Substantial resources have to be allocated to meet the demands on sustainability in this industry.

BASF Care Chemicals has been and continues to be dedicated to the I&I industry. Well-prepared to support our customers on their path toward a sustainable future.

Today, more sustainable alternatives are available for numerous products meeting the cost driven high performance needs. Nevertheless it will require a change of key performance indicators and buying decisions to go from cost/performance to sustainability/performance. Changes are expected when the initiative originates from the value chain—mainly consumer-oriented companies such as e.g. Wal-Mart, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, global hotel chains, etc.but also from public and legal authorities who mandatorily demand sustainable alternatives.

Positioning oneself as a supplier of sustainable I&I products still allows a differentiation from the competition in this market. Meanwhile, many of the larger I&I detergent-producing companies offer a line of sustainable products as part of their portfolio. For these companies, the buying decision very often depends on self-defined sustainability indices (or those of their customers), which they can only fulfill with the support of their suppliers. In most c ...