What goes into producing 100% sustainable cleaning chemicals? A commitment to procuring plant-based raw materials, manufacturing human- and environment-safe products that can actually have a positive impact on the environment after discharge and more, says Dr Ganesh Kamath, MD, Organica Biotech.
We understand your company focuses on sustainability. Can you describe how you are achieving this goal?
We started our journey in the year 2000, with a vision of developing sustainable products that are beneficial not only to the end consumers but also to the environment at large, to facilitate the rehabilitation of our planet. Innovation is an essential part of our culture; our team has created performance-driven and sustainable bioremediation solutions for agriculture, aquaculture, wastewater management, sanitation, domestic/professional hygiene solutions and solid waste management.
We have also achieved zero environmental impact, in the entire value chain, right from raw material sourcing upto the manufacturing process.
How important is it for professional cleaning solutions to meet sustainability standards?
I believe that we need to stop taking the availability of our finite natural resources for granted. Toxic, cleaning chemicals may be convenient today, but the irreversible damage they are doing to our environment is catastrophic.
Most cleaning products have not been tested for human and environmental safety. Every day, billions of litres of toxic untreated wastewater from cleaning operations are being pumped in our natural water systems. Some may take a very long time to break down while others may persist in the environment indefinitely. These may enter the food chain, and affect us. When consumed, they could cause liver damage, cancer or cause birth defects with long term exposure. Further, cleaning chemicals are also known to cause health issues for janitorial staff and increase indoor pollution due to high VOC levels. These can be prevented when you adopt sustainable hygiene solutions.
Unfortunately, sustainable approaches in cleaning are often associated with increased costs and poor results. This is where we’ve changed the game, by marrying high performance with safety and sustainability at a very reasonable cost.
How do you incorporate sustainability into your range of hygiene solutions?
The biggest misconception that exists is that you need strong chemicals for effective cleaning. At Organica Biotech, we have broken this misconception with the use of innovative science using natural ingredients to deliver high performance cleaning solutions.
Our cleaning solutions viz. washroom odour control, waterless urinal program, kitchen drain & grease trap maintenance and general hygiene, have all been stupendously successful.
We have managed to look beyond the conventional route and solved these problems with clean and minimalistic biochemistry that uses ingredients derived entirely from nature. Although the problems that we solve are complex and originate at multiple levels, we have identified all these sources and innovatively tackled them with our 100% nature-based solutions.
Please elaborate on how Organica Biotech’s range of solutions is a sustainable alternative to existing practices?
The OB Care Odour Control Solutions programme is an answer to the age-old problem of strong washroom odours. Strong deodorants, diffusers etc. only temporarily mask the odour and contribute to heavy indoor pollution. Our solution, equipped with Molecular Sponge technology, adsorbs odour molecules and our proprietary enzyme system destroys them.
The OB Care Flushfree Urinal Programme equips any facility to turn their existing urinals into waterless urinals overnight. The current flush-free urinals that are designed to operate without water are unable to control the odour caused due to lack of water use. Our solution does not require any changes to your existing hardware, and our simple regimen can help you save 30,000 litres of water per urinal, per year!
The OB Care Kitchen Drain & Grease Trap Maintenance Programme helps maintain professional kitchen drains/grease traps with ease. The heavy accumulation of fats, oils and grease in these traps otherwise gives rise to heavy malodours and blockages, and need to be physically cleaned or cleaned using highly alkaline chemicals that are harmful. Our solution helps completely break down the FOGs in the trap and reduce the requirement of getting them cleaned frequently.
The OB Care General Hygiene Solutions are a highly effective and safe alternative to the concentrated, toxic and corrosive cleaning chemicals being used today. Not only will they cause no harm upon accidental spillage, they safeguard your property/assets and do not require copious amounts of water for rinse-off.
How does it meet sustainability standards when it comes to concentration levels, package size etc.?
We often equate highly concentrated products with good usage economics. But do we consider what happens when there is an accidental spill on the staff and/or the property?
As our solutions are not chemical-based, even having them highly concentrated has no negative implications on the user, the property or the environment, making them 100% sustainable. Our in-depth research has helped us arrive at the perfect concentrations to ensure great performance, good economics and worker safety. We have ensured that our packaging sizes are just right to suit the requirements of facility managers and have ensured that all our packaging materials are 100% recyclable.
Can your cleaning products be safely discharged into the sewage system without treatment? If so, what makes this possible?
Yes, our solutions can safely be discharged into the sewage system without treatment. We can proudly say that our solutions have over 90% biodegradability and therefore do not linger in the environment. We have also extensively tested our products for environmental toxicity and have come back with fantastic results. This is because we have consciously chosen every single component in our solutions keeping biodegradability in mind. Moreover, some of our solutions also spur environmental bioremediation, once they are let out into the environment.
How should a facility manager assess a cleaning chemical for sustainability?
I would advise facility managers to look beyond certifications. Look for products that are-plant based (making them sustainable), and not chemical- or solvent-based. One of the best gauges to assess how sustainable a product is to check its biodegradability and environmental toxicity.