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15th November 2022

Sustainability and detergents: environmentally friendly innovation

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Sustainability is a major topic for global industry today, directly impacting business decisions around products, packaging, branding and the supply chain.

Consumers and governments regularly discuss how to reduce the negative environmental and social impact that businesses have on the environment.

In May 2021, the European Commission led the first High-Level Roundtable on the implementation of the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability (CSS)​, which aims to better protect citizens and the environment, and to boost innovation for safe and sustainable chemicals.

This event saw the participation of the International Association for Soaps, Detergents and Maintenance Products (AISE) and the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic).

The good news

The industry is ready to play its role and will support an “effective and coherent implementation of Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability”. At the same time, all players agreed on two requisites:

  1. an EU border enforcement (of the existing chemicals legislation)
  2. a safety-and-sustainability-by-design innovation.

In a joint statement, they explained that these requisites “will reassure those who comply with legislation and invest in sustainability in chemistry that their competitiveness will be safeguarded”.

The trade bodies added that “sustainability must be achieved without compromise on safety”.

As in other industries, innovation has been the driving force behind change and improvements. In the detergent sector, companies are already developing:

  • new technologies to produce innovative formulations
  • more sustainable products with reduced environmental impact.

Our report

We used Cipher’s unique Universal Technology Taxonomy to scan and review the patent owners in the Sustainable Detergents space.

This enabled us to identify the key companies producing new formulations and the countries leading innovation.

Our understanding of the patent landscape also allowed us to unveil and understand details of the new technologies which are making detergents more environmentally friendly.

Sustainability and detergents report


Sustainable Detergents

  • How to make a sustainable detergent?
    • Bio-surfactants
    • Optimal solubility and efficiency of enzymes
    • Concentrated formulations and renewable materials
  • Who leads innovation and where?
    • Active patent families
    • Families by geography

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