In mid-2010 Helle Madso, president of Falken Industries brought all of her management together for a special two-day brainstorming session. The purpose was to ask the big question says Madso, what will the world be like 10 years from now ? And how should Falken respond to those changes ?” |
Madso and her team reached two conclusions: first, in order to participate fully in global growth, Falken needed to expand even more aggressively its current presence in fast growing emerging markets; and second, that the company should take its Eco-Pledge Standard even further with proactive stance toward ecological problems that will develop products with minimal environmental impact.
The focus on environment concerns made sense. The company operates in consumer, professional and industrial segments producing impregnated wipes and chemicals, all of which are directly entwined with sustainability issues. Every day products like vehicular shampoo, detergents, and other washing liquids all require hot and cold water at the point of use. Now that water is an increasingly scarce resource, and CO2 – which is emitted when generating the electricity to heat the water – is seen as contributing to global warming, products that reduce water use and CO2 emissions offer irrefutable environmental benefits.
Falken holds a leadership position in waterless car-wash products, impregnated wipes, and industrial concentrates.
Madso, wasn’t kidding. She shortly thereafter unveiled an environmental statement that committed the company to clear numerical targets, starting with its home market, Europe : a 30% cut in the amount of water required by the company’s products and a 35% cut in carbon dioxide emissions, vis-à-vis the company’s 2005 figures, by 2015. “As a company it’s important for us to reduce CO2 emissions and water use at the procurement and manufacturing stages” explained Manuel Garcia, Communications Officer.
The Eco-Pledge logo adorning the labels of Falken’s new ultra-eco-friendly products encapsulates this philosophy of corporate responsibility. New concentrations means smaller packaging producing less physical waste, and improved cleaning power coupled with the ease of just a single rinse dramatically cuts vehicular washing time, with proportionate water and electricity savings.
Creating eco-conscious products like these, is not only about being a good corporate citizen. With interest accelerating at all levels about sustainability, Falken’s advanced ability to produce environmentally responsible products constitutes a major competitive advantage, one that Madso intends to reinforce with considerable new investments in research and development.
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