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Sustainable Cleaning Products Summit to discuss impact of cleaning

Published 5th October, 2016 by Neil Nixon

Sustainable Cleaning Products Summit to discuss impact of cleaning

The Sustainable Cleaning Products Summit will discuss practical approaches to address the impacts of cleaning products. Hosted in Paris on 26-27 October, the second edition of this executive summit will feature sustainability metrics, green ingredients, sustainable packaging, and consumer impacts.

Professor Dr. Michael Braungart, co-founder of the Cradle-to-Cradle (C2C) design approach, will kick off the conference programme with a keynote titled 'Re-thinking sustainability'. With the sustainability efforts of most cleaning product firms focusing on reducing environmental footprints, Braungart will make the case for positive impacts. How can the detergents industry go beyond lowering impacts and create positive value? How can the C2C design approach be deployed by cleaning product firms? What are the key lessons from related industries?

Subsequent speakers will discuss the role of sustainability metrics. A leading cleaning products firm will share its experiences in using metrics in its sustainability plan. Ecover will then give a critique of metrics. The practical use of metrics will be further discussed by panellists: although metrics are an important tool in measuring footprints, do they make companies lose sight of the bigger picture? Is it better to take a holistic approach, rather than focusing on incremental improvements?

With growing concerns about sustainable sources of raw materials, the 'green ingredients' session covers important developments. Karen Frederix from Wilmar will give an update on sustainable palm oil and its use as surfactant feedstock. Jessica Custer from Fairtrade USA will make the case for ethically sourced coconut oil. Another speaker will highlight the difficulties when monitoring sustainable supply chains for agricultural materials. Jürgen Hack, managing director of the eco-detergents brand Sodasan, will share the brand's experiences in using green ingredients. Insights will also be given on the growing number of ethical labels - such as Ecocert, Ecogarantie and Prima Klima - on green cleaning products.

The 'customer impacts' session will look at ways of encouraging responsible use of cleaning products. How can companies and retailers encourage sustainable purchases and responsible consumption of such products? Kirsi Maria Laitala from Consumption Research Norway will give some findings into sustainable cleaning and laundry behaviour. Coop Denmark will share its experiences in developing and marketing green cleaning products, whilst Deloitte will give success stories on consumer engagement.

The concept of 'sustainable detergents' will be featured in a dedicated workshop. Peter Malaise of Meta.Consort Partnership and Fabrizio Zago of Assust have 70 years combined experience in developing cleaning products for sustainability. The workshop leaders will give an assessment of sustainable detergents, covering raw materials, green chemistry and processing, standards and labels, as well as marketing issues. Expert insights will be given on the future direction of sustainable detergents.

A second workshop will discuss the packaging impacts of cleaning products. Michel Fontaine, president of the French Packaging Council, will give practical solutions to brands looking to make their packaging more sustainable.

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