Going green with eco-friendly chemicals
Dated: 19-04-2012

The buzzword is ‘green’ these days; and the concept is here to stay. The importance of going green in every sphere has been realised worldwide and taken seriously by the public as well as private sectors and they have all set guidelines and procedures to reduce their carbon footprint and are striving to contribute to creating a sustainable environment.

The drive towards sustainability picked up steam in Europe as early as 2004 when competent national bodies across countries like France, Italy, The Netherlands, UK, Ireland, Belgium, Austria, Sweden and Denmark worked hard to provide European consumers with qualified knowledge on the eco-label and thereby motivate them to buy eco-labelled products. The EU ecolabel was therefore established as a European, cross-category label for environment-friendly products.

From a consumer perspective, an ecolabel is a tool that makes it easy to choose environment-friendly products. The key elements showing that the ecolabel is a success are that consumers recognise the label, know its qualities and have trust in its claims. The purpose of the drive was to motivate more manufacturers to apply for the ecolabel and more retailers to distribute ecolabelled products and to increase consumer knowledge of the ecolabel as well.

In the cleaning sector, most manufacturers of cleaning chemicals are totally committed to the cause and have created innovative eco-friendly products. They also strictly adhere to the rules and regulations in order to achieve green certifications such as European ‘Flower’ and Scandinavian ‘Nordic Swan’ that focus on green and sustainable initiatives and solutions to protect the environment.

The Nordic Council has been issuing the internationally famous Nordic Swan Ecolabel for over two decades to distinguish products that positively contribute to the environment. Following are some of the products in the Middle East market that have achieved this certification and are positively contributing to a sustainable consumption and society.

Diversey - cleaning efficiency and respect for the environment

As a longtime pioneer in green technologies, Diversey has the ability to deliver sustainable cleaning solutions. Their Healthy High Performance Cleaning (HHPC) approach offers strategic planning, best practices and guidelines to clean for health, safety and the environment. A number of Diversey’s chemical products such as glass cleaners, general-purpose cleaners, restroom cleaners, industrial degreasers, carpet cleaners and so on, are rigorously tested and certified by independent organisations such as EU Flower and Nordic Swan. Diversey also has many environmentally preferable products developed and manufactured according to their own best-in-class criteria that are tested for performance, reduced environmental impact and enhanced safety. These products include toilet bowl cleaners, odor control systems, wood- and stone-care products, environmental surface disinfectants, skin care products and specialty cleaners.

Diversey believes in green building care operations, and to facilitate the same, has created Pur-Eco for those who want to clean ‘responsibly’, without losing on performance and efficacy. The Pur-Eco products meet the strict environmental and safety criteria of the internationally recognised European “Flower” and Scandinavian “Nordic Swan” eco-labels and are certified by both schemes - as a clear proof of their environmental qualities.

Their efficacy is guaranteed by rigorous customer testing, and is based on Diversey’s expertise and many years of experience in developing and selling Swan certified products in the Nordic European countries. They are formulated with raw materials derived from natural vegetable sources and are effective at low dosage. Packed in recyclable packaging, they minimise use and disposal of chemicals and waste.

QuattroSelect Pur-Eco means finding safe, healthy and environmentally sustainable solutions for all customers, based on a sound, scientific product lifecycle approach.

QuattroSelect from Diversey is a new highly efficient dilution system for building care that enables up to four cleaning products to be easily prepared in different dilutions at different speeds. Ideally suited for large sites with centralised management of cleaning operations, QuattroSelect complements Diversey’s existing Exact and J-Flex concentrate platforms.

The QuattroSelect cabinet can accommodate four concentrated products from an extensive range for hard surface, washroom and floor cleaning which makes it an ideal choice for building care operations. Each product can be dispensed in different dilution ratios for filling any combination of trigger spray bottles at low flow rates and buckets and cleaning machines such as scrubber driers at high flow rates. Predetermined amounts of product and water are mixed automatically to deliver 100 per cent accurate dilution into the chosen bottle, bucket or machine. This eliminates product wastage and promotes consistent cleaning performance because there is no under- or overdosing. The result is excellent cleaning results and complete control over cost-in-use.

Spray bottles are filled from a dispenser mounted in a recess in the front of the cabinet while buckets and cleaning machines are filled using “petrol pump” hose-and-gun attachments connected to the main unit. Cleaning productivity is further maximised because spray bottles, buckets and scrubber driers are filled at the optimum rate to reduce waiting times. The unit can be reconfigured for different products and dilution rates on-site without tools.

The newly designed ergonomic pouches used with QuattroSelect promote sustainability. For example, one pouch of floor cleaner can be used to prepare 1250 litres of ready-to-use floor cleaning solution. Like all concentrate systems QuattroSelect also reduces transportation and storage costs and chemical miles because water is added at the point of use rather than transported from the factory through the supply chain like products in ready-to-use and conventional bulk containers.

Diversey maintains that true dilution systems control precisely the amounts of product and water being mixed to ensure 100 per cent accuracy of the cleaning product in line with the manufacturer’s specifications. They provide complete consistency and prevent cleaning staff from altering the dilution of products. Dosing provides accurate control over the amount of product being dispensed, which helps to reduce wastage and costs, but do not offer the same levels of consistency because there is generally less control over the amounts of chemical being used.

Pur-Eco’s Eco-label certification thus guarantees reduced environmental impact and use of less hazardous substances, a safe and healthy work environment. Diversey states that the products are cost-efficient as well.

Kiehl – committed to the environment and sustainability

25 years ago Kiehl committed itself to voluntary obligation to act in favour of the environment and has since then, been continuously taking measures to achieving this target. As a result today, legal requirements are not only met but are also often exceeded.

Respect for the environment begins with raw materials. In selecting its raw materials Kiehl pays major attention to environmental friendliness and sustainability. Numerous criteria like high biodegradability, CO2 footprints, are taken into consideration. Surfactants from renewable resources are preferred if their production in the countries of origin is based on sustainability instead of exploitation. It is therefore assured that there is an environmentally friendly basis for the formulation of the products.

The product formulations as well as the packaging design are equally important. Kiehl produces and preferably offers products in concentrates. Various dosage technologies such as product bottles with dosing cap, portioning or dosage bags, mechanical and electrical dosage assemblies guarantee that over dosage is avoided. Objectives of product formulations include that the cleaning processes at customer facilities can be carried out with the lowest possible use of ecologically relevant resources (example:

maximum water recycling quota through the use of the KIMAX product system in vehicle washing). A system of reusable packaging guarantees a substantial reduction in the amount of waste. Those at Kiehl who are charged with development and production, work permanently to further optimise the facilities to preserve the environment. At Kiehl, the savings of valuable energy and water consumption have the highest priority. Production facilities with energy saving features are in place. The share of regenerative energy sources with lowest possible CO2 emission during production and work process at Kiehl is continuously increasing. Kiehl’s objective for transport vehicles as well as for vehicles of field sales employees is to use extremely low-emission trucks (EURO 5 emission standard) and cars.

A major assurance for environmentally friendly processes in production as well as in the further operational processes is achieved by EN ISO 9001 and EN ISO 14001 certifications, the strict controls of which guarantee continuity. Additionally, Kiehl meets the requirements of the Bavarian Environmental Pact (www.umweltpakt. bayern.de). Kiehl avoids the mountains of waste. The Kiehl return system for plastic containers which has been proved for many years and which functions extremely well in Germany and in some other European countries contributes substantially to the considerable reduction of the packaging waste for the users of Kiehl products. The containers will either be used again partially after thorough cleaning or transferred to a recycling process. Following are Kiehl’s Eco products which have been awarded with European Union Eco-Label (www.eco-label.com):

- Econa concentrate: Is an all propose routine cleaner concentrate ideal for daily cleaning. The product achieves a powerful cleaning performance even at a low application concentration. Econa Concentrate preserves the material, dries quickly and streak-free and accentuates the natural appearance of the cleaned surfaces. - Kiehl SanEco Concentrate: Is a sanitary cleaner with fast-acting cleaning agents and long-lasting fresh fragrance for the quick removal of lime scale and adherent dirt. The water-repellent effect reliably prevents the new formation of lime scale on cleaned surfaces, and the novel combination of acids guarantees excellent cleaning results. Kiehl SanEco was the first sanitary cleaner to receive the European Union Eco-Label!

- Kiehl Optima: Is a ready to use, all purpose surface and glass cleaner, ideal for all daily cleaning of all water-resistant surfaces. The special formulation prevents stress corrosion cracking in synthetic materials. Thus, Optima is perfectly suited for use on synthetic materials and acryl glass surfaces (DIN EN ISO 22088-3). Optima preserves the material, dries quickly and streak-free and accentuates the natural appearance of the cleaned surface. - Kiehl Duocit-Eco: is a sanitary cleaner with long lasting fragrance. For the quick removal of lime scale and cosmetics residues in wet areas. With regular application, Duocit-Eco prevents the formation of new lime scale while preserving the material. - Kiehl Ambital-Eco: Is an innovative maintenance cleaner which combines highquality floor care with environmentally friendly cleaning, while preserving the surface gloss. Ambital-Eco Concentrate dries streak-free and provides a non-slip surface.

- Kiehl-Eco-Refresher: Is a new Kiehl development, unique worldwide, patent filed. Enhances the natural color of the wood. Dries to a matt finish, contains no perfume or pigment, is oxidatively drying, diffusion-open, and can be polished. Easy to handle, film-building, high-filling capacity, tread-proof after 2 hours and wipe-proof after approx. 2 days. Fulfills the German Industrial norm 71-3 (free of heavy metal). Solvent-free.