A few years ago, Novozymes had a DREAM to enhance sustainability and performance of detergent while at the same time stabilizing costs for industry and expanding the market for detergent enzymes. Now, the company is ready with a customized multi-enzyme solution.


“It's a paradigm shift for the industry when we’re saying 'Take out your surfactants and builders, add more enzymes to stabilize costs, make your detergent more green, and most importantly, do all this without compromising performance',” says Anders Lund, Marketing Director at Novozymes.


Cost stability

Many of the traditional detergent ingredients are based on nonrenewable resources such as phosphate and oil. Both have seen dramatic shifts in price the past year. All nonrenewable ingredients are, sooner rather than later, going to become scarce and thus experience price increases. In this atmosphere of volatile pricing, enzymes remain stable. Thus, by replacing detergent ingredients with enzymes, manufacturers can achieve cost stability.


Potential to replace 25 or even 50% of surfactants and builders

For several years now, Novozymes has been garnering knowledge; this along with tests performed by our customers clearly show that this new solution can replace up to 25% of surfactants and builders, while further advancements can raise that number to 50% – without loss in washing performance.


Surfactants and builders make up around 2/3 of the ingredient costs in detergents. The total amount of costs of all ingredients in detergents worldwide is estimated at around DKK 50 billion. However, substantial substitution of these ingredients with enzymes requires a paradigm shift in the industry and this will not happen overnight.


In the case of one customer, Novozymes has already replaced all phosphate-based builders with enzymes while increasing overall cleaning performance at reduced dosage of detergent. Phosphate harms the environment and is banned in several countries.

Large companies have already been introduced to DREAM and are working on reformulating their detergents with enzymes.


An important project at the right time and place

“DREAM is one of the really important projects for Novozymes. When I look at the portfolio of opportunities presented to us as a company right now, DREAM is one of the really big ones,” says Steen Riisgaard, CEO at Novozymes.


“One of the fascinating things about Novozymes is that we’re at the right time at the right place. We have foreseen the need for alternative solutions to oil-based products that both benefit the climate while stabilizing manufacturing costs for our customers. Now we are ready with a technology that can dramatically help reduce raw material usage, energy input, and waste. And this is happening at the point in time when the world is very interested in sustainability and climate change.”