Bakers can take simple steps to go green by switching to eco-friendly cleaning products and it's surprising it hasn't happened already, says the CEO of Green Endeavor.
The Oregon-based start-up markets and sells biodegradable cleaning products for industrial bakers including degreasers, sanitizers and descaling agents, which are formulated by third parties. The company has already worked with Kellogg, McDonalds and is now testing with DSM.
Three years since its inception, Green Endeavor has signed a partnership with US baking consultancy The Long Company and earlier this month secured a tie-up with global certification, testing and auditing firm UL.
Company CEO Scott Taylor said making a switch to eco-friendly cleaning products was an easy move for industrial bakers and it made long-term financial sense.
“It’s the least complicated approach at tangibly making a difference. Millions of gallons of previous hazardous and toxic chemicals going into rivers are being replaced with biodegradable, environmentally friendly product.
“It’s mind-boggling it hasn’t been done sooner, because it’s easy to do,” he told BakeryandSnacks.com.
The main focus of Green Endeavor was to provide alternatives to caustic alkaline- and acid-based cleaning liquids, he said.
“Those are the two prime commodity industrial cleaning chemicals that are used… Those chemicals are very cheap but there’s also a whole economical eco-system around using hazardous products – you have special handling; special storage; gloves; goggles etc.,” he said.
Profit was, of course, a focus for businesses, Taylor said, and these eco-friendly chemical alternatives could push up the bottom line and lift brand responsibility, which could ultimately convert into dollars.
Scott Taylor, Green Endeavor CEO: "These big companies have a lot of language to talk about how they care about the environment, but a lot of it is window dressing"
“These big companies have a lot of language to talk about how they care about the environment, but a lot of it is window dressing. And it’s logical because consumers want to hear about it. But if you just said – ‘what if there was a way that you could increase your bottom line, safety for your employees and do something that was better for environmental impact’ – well, you can do it now. We’re doing it every day and we’ve been doing it for three years. We’re not rocket scientists; we’re practical thinkers,” he said.
Partnerships to drive awareness
Taylor both partnerships would help drive business forward and generate increased awareness among industrial bakers on alternative, eco-friendly chemical cleaning.
“The next two years are going to be super exciting. The UL tie-up was a huge sea change for us and with The Long Company getting us into these big industrial bakery manufacturing facilities, there’s going to be a precedent set for the rest of industry,” he said.
Working alongside UL to certify and standardize products would add credibility, he said, particularly among those bakers who are perhaps concerned about change or trying something new.
In addition, he said The Long Company’s president Bill Zimmerman would help present the business case for companies considering making a switch – discussing cost efficiency in terms of bottom line, workers comp, insurance and increased safety.
“I’m an eco-industrialist… I go out and pass all these different products to make sure they’re effective, they work, and they’ve been tested environmentally so they’re safer. But also, they’ve got to be economical - that’s the service we provide.”
Unique business model
Taylor said Green Endeavor’s business model was unique, and one that should secure trust among industry.
The fact it was selling third-party products, manufactured by different formulators meant the company remained neutral, he explained.
Most products Green Endeavor sources are proprietary, patented formulations.