Professional cleaning companies collaborate to evaluate the benefit of probiotics in green cleaning, in response to COVID-19
The COVID-19 crisis has motivated collaboration among rival cleaning companies to explore the effect of Novozymes’ new probiotic cleaning product in trials hosted by five companies across Gladsaxe Municipality, Denmark.
April 29, 2021 - Novozymes has joined forces with a number of cleaning companies and a startup, in a partnership established with the support of Gladsaxe Municipality's local business service, to test a solution to one of the challenges in the post-COVID-19 world: the increased need for deep cleaning.
More frequent cleaning and application of more chemical products can be harmful to the environment and cleaning staff, whilst negatively impacting our indoor microbiome. Additionally, research has shown that indoor environments which are too clean can weaken the body’s immune system and increase the incidence of asthma and allergies.
Open innovation tests a new product concept
Novozymes and Gladsaxe Municipality entered a local partnership to test the probiotic cleaning product, Microvia™ Pro, developed by Novozymes.
Katrine Munch-Hansen, Business Director for Household Care in Europe is excited to join forces with other players to focus on the future of cleaning with more environmentally friendly solutions. “Collaborating on innovation with these partners is a significant step on our journey to create greener and safer solutions with microbes. In addition, working directly with the end user enables us to gain even better market insight to ensure as efficient solutions as possible.”
The purpose of the test is to identify changes in the floor microbiome using DNA sequencing before and after cleaning. This enables Novozymes to evaluate the effect of probiotic floor cleaners as a sustainable alternative to traditional surface cleaners in office and canteen areas.
“Novozymes sees a great potential in using microbes to provide long-lasting cleaning benefits. By combining five harmless Bacillus species with different capabilities, we have created a unique microbial blend that can support existing cleaning solutions by degrading microscopic dirt and creating beneficial shifts in the indoor microbiome. We’re looking forward to seeing the results of the test,” says Marta Kinnunen-Grubb, an industry technology specialist behind the experiment.
Broad innovative partnership
The call for collaboration attracted several large cleaning companies, interested in trialing the new solution. Cleaning staff in five locations across the district will continue with current cleaning practices, replacing their floor cleaning solution with a biodegradable dust-binding floor cleaner mixed with the probiotic Microvia™ Pro blend. The test starts on May 3, 2021 and will take place over a six-week period.
“Gladsaxe has many large companies within cleaning and hygiene. We gathered them in an open dialogue about the future's sustainable cleaning as part of the municipality's strategy for a green restart after corona, and it is with great pleasure that the parties have joined forces to test Novozymes’ product,” says Freja Ludvigsen, Gladsaxe's Business Development Manager.
The test design was developed by Novozymes together with the startup Aks2tal, which has a close collaboration with Forenede Service on new methods for dust binding.
“As a company, we have a great responsibility to take care of both the environment and people, and professionally we are extremely curious about probiotic cleaning solutions that we test here in the company. If it turns out that new solutions can replace conventional chemistry, it will be of great importance in an industry like ours, where people work in close contact with many different cleaning agents every day. It will be a big plus - both for the environment and for the individual employee”, says Head of Environment and Quality at Forenede Service, Nils Bjørn Larsen.
About the partnership
At the end of 2020, HelloScience, a platform for open and collaborative innovation founded by Novozymes, invited cleaning companies and startups to a LiveLab event. The purpose is to rethink current cleaning habits and create the cleaning agents of the future.