Unilever’s goal to eliminate the use of fossil fuels in all its cleaning brands by 2030 is being enabled by its collaboration with Evonik, a market innovator for green biosurfactants.
Clean Future is a ground-breaking innovation programme designed by Unilever’s Home Care division that seeks to fundamentally change the way in which some of the world’s best-known cleaning and laundry products are created, manufactured and packaged.
Clean Future is unique in its intent to embed the principles of a circular economy into both packaging and product formulations at the commercial scale of global brands to eliminate or reduce their carbon footprint.
Yann d’Herve, head of the Care Solutions business line at Evonik, says: “Evonik shares the ambition of Unilever to leverage advanced biomaterials and manufacturing processes such as fermentation to help realise the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We are proud to be investing and collaborating long term with partners such as Unilever who share similar sustainability goals.”
In its announcement, Unilever accredited its collaboration with Evonik, a “biotechnology leader”, as one key pillar of its Clean Future initiative.
100% biodegradable household cleaning products
Under a collaboration announced in December last year, Evonik is commercialising its innovative class of green biosurfactants known as rhamnolipids for use with a range of Unilever’s household cleaning products. Evonik’s rhamnolipids, which are sustainably manufactured via fermentation processes, can generate exceptional foam-forming properties and cleaning outcomes for household cleaning products while being 100% biodegradable. The capability to produce this naturally occurring class of biosurfactants on an industrial scale was achieved through a long-term R&D project between Creavis, the strategic innovation unit of Evonik, and Nutrition & Care.
Dr Hans Henning Wenk, vice president R&D Care Solutions, says: “We will continue to expand our portfolio of biotechnology-derived ingredients to strengthen our position as a leading provider of sustainable solutions that excite consumers and our customers.”
The Nutrition & Care division is one of Evonik’s three growth divisions and the home of the biotechnology excellence centre. The innovation power in Nutrition & Care stems from a clear focus on sustainability, which also drives its portfolio transformation.
In addition to ingredients used in household cleaning and cosmetic products, Evonik’s Nutrition & Care division is utilising fermentation technologies across a range of other high-growth markets including sustainable animal nutrition, medical devices, advanced food ingredients and pharmaceutical drug products. Evonik is not only a biotechnology leader for the development of green biosurfactants and other advanced biomaterials, it is also a world-leading contract manufacturer for the production of products via microbial fermentation.