​Today, companies across the household care value chain are meeting in Copenhagen to work on lessening the environmental impact of their products. They will also discuss how to collaborate to deliver more sustainable products to consumers.

“Our partners are committed to doing the right thing for the environment, but they also aim to cut costs on raw materials, packaging and transportation. This is a pragmatic, impactful way to approach sustainability and it opens new doors for everyone, from ingredient providers to detergent manufactures to retailers,” says Cynthia Bryant, Household Care Director at Novozymes.

Hosted biennially by Novozymes, the Copenhagen Household Care Sustainability Summit gathers the industry’s top business and sustainability minds to share pragmatic ideas for achieving true, systematic sustainability.

This year’s includes participants from some of the biggest companies in the industry such as P&G, Henkel and Unilever, trade and consumer organizations and think tanks. Speakers include Kara Hurst, CEO of The Sustainability Consortium, and Reed Doyle, Director of Global Strategic Sourcing at Seventh Generation.

Collaboration is key to sustainability
The summit also aims to foster collaboration on sustainability issues in an otherwise highly competitive industry.

“There is plenty of incentive in our industry to collaborate on sustainability. When key global retailers, such as Walmart, are focused on energy and waste reduction in their supply chains, it becomes our obligation to deliver more compact, better performing solutions,” Bryant explains.

In 2012, Walmart launched its supplier scorecard that ranks suppliers in terms of sustainability. By defining how to measure the environmental impact of their production processes, detergent manufacturers can not only achieve great cost and environmental savings for themselves, they can also qualify to supply to Walmart.

Measuring and documenting data
“Our partners are very interested in learning more about how to operate leaner and greener,” explains Bryant. “That’s why the summit also will focus on how to measure and document production processes. If we can collectively optimize our operations, we can reduce the environmental footprint of the entire industry while growing our businesses. It’s a potential huge win for all of us.”

The market for laundry detergents is approximately 245 billion DKK annually and each year 17 million tons of detergents are produced and consumed globally1. Even small changes could have a huge impact. If all consumers in North America washed their warm washes at cold, the savings would equal 7.4 million tons of CO2, which equals annual emissions from 2 million cars off the road2.

“These are exactly the areas where we are trying to make progress – but no one company can do it alone. We believe the summit provides the right platform to support knowledge sharing and collaboration towards more sustainable and more profitable business.”