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Customers will choose sustainable, green chemicals

Amrutraj Kulkarni

The housekeeping community will join a nationwide movement towards sustainability by opting for milder, green, longer lasting cleaning chemicals, writes Amrutraj Kulkarni, Vice-President, Buzil Rossari Pvt Ltd.

In a given facility, which areas will become the focus areas for housekeeping?

Facility owners and service providers will not prioritise areas like washrooms or kitchens over others. They will want hygiene across the board, so I will not give more weightage to any one application area.

What types of cleaning chemicals will see more demand in the coming year, and why?

In 2015, India signed the Paris Agreement, an internationally binding treaty to combat climate change, in which it committed to reducing its carbon footprint within a specified time period. Keeping pace with this, in the next ten years, housekeeping in India will also move from harsh chemicals to milder chemicals that will have less impact on the environment. This change will begin this year itself.

It has become mandatory for all listed companies in India to follow Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) norms, which are accompanied by ESG audits. These organisations will start working towards reducing their carbon footprint, and green chemicals will be part of their overall strategy to meet their sustainability goals. Even large public-facing organisations like the Railways will embrace these chemicals in a big way.

How will the chemistry of cleaning chemicals change?

Today, we package and sell cleaning chemicals as chemical + water. Keeping sustainability in mind, customers would also like to transport less water and less plastic (packaging). This was the case a decade ago as well, but now there are incentives to make such choices. Concentrated chemicals will certainly trend, as will milder, non-acidic chemicals that do not add load to the effluent treatment plant.

People will also use other methods to reduce high soil levels, rather than harsh chemicals.

What new solutions do you see on the horizon?

New molecules will emerge. Foam-based solutions and enzyme-based solutions will become more popular.

How can long-lasting solutions with residual effect help meet sustainability goals?

These reduce the requirement of manpower for application of chemicals, as well as the amount and frequency of usage. Since they don’t use water, they are also more sustainable.

How will the spend on cleaning chemicals change?

Overall spend may not go up, and the cost of cleaning per square foot may remain the same. However, within these parameters, the spend on green chemicals and milder chemicals will go up. Some sectors like the healthcare sector may spend more on long lasting solutions.

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