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Press release
Innovation
September 3, 2020

Unilever accredits its collaboration with Evonik as one key pillar of its “Clean Future” initiative

Evonik, one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals and a market innovator for green biosurfactants used with household cleaning products, is proud to be enabling Unilever to achieve its goal of eliminating the use of fossil fuels in all of its cleaning brands by 2030.

  • As a biotechnology leader, Evonik is enabling Unilever to make its household cleaning products more sustainable
  • Evonik’s green biosurfactants are fermentation-made, highly effective and 100% biodegradable
  • Collaboration underlines Evonik strategy to make sustainability a key driver of innovation and growth

Essen. Evonik, one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals and a market innovator for green biosurfactants used with household cleaning products, is proud to be enabling Unilever to achieve its goal of eliminating the use of fossil fuels in all of its cleaning brands by 2030.

Clean Future is a ground-breaking innovation program 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, said “Evonik shares the ambition of Unilever to leverage advanced biomaterials and manufacturing processes such as fermentation to help realize 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.

Under a collaboration announced in December last year, Evonik is commercializing 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, said “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 utilizing 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.

Company information

Evonik is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. The company is active in more than 100 countries around the world and generated sales of €13.1 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of €2.15 billion in 2019. Evonik goes far beyond chemistry to create innovative, profitable and sustainable solutions for customers. More than 32,000 employees work together for a common purpose: We want to improve life, today and tomorrow.

About Nutrition & Care

The focus of the business of the Nutrition & Care division is on health and quality of life. It develops differentiated solutions for active pharmaceutical ingredients, medical devices, nutrition for humans and animals, personal care, cosmetics, and household cleaning. In these resilient end markets, the division generated sales of around €2.92 billion in 2019 with about 5,300 employees. It is part of Evonik Operations GmbH.

Disclaimer

In so far as forecasts or expectations are expressed in this press release or where our statements concern the future, these forecasts, expectations or statements may involve known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results or developments may vary, depending on changes in the operating environment. Neither Evonik Industries AG nor its group companies assume an obligation to update the forecasts, expectations or statements contained in this release.