Diversey, Inc. is a global provider of cleaning and hygiene products in the hospitality, healthcare, food and beverage, food service, retail and facility management sectors. Diversey’s purpose is to protect and care for people through leading hygiene, infection prevention and cleaning solutions. The following is an inside look at Diversey’s sustainability initiatives from VP of Sustainability, Daniel Daggett. The first iteration was published in March of 2021.
Coming out of a challenging 18 months, Diversey has refined its sustainability strategy to align with the trends and to stay ahead of the curve. Having recently gone public, Diversey is poised to revamp its commitment to sustainable business practices.
Since going public, we’ve increased our focus on ESG (environmental, social responsibility, governance). In our world today, companies not only need to have a strong financial base, they are also expected to embrace sustainability and really align their solutions toward global challenges that we're facing, such as the Sustainable Development Goals from the UN Global Compact.
On a broader scale, we continue to note powerful forces around carbon and packaging. Today, we see several companies committing to zero carbon, because there is a general understanding that we need to find carbon neutral solutions going forward, which is underscored by the goal of reaching net zero carbon by 2050. We see more and more customers and other organizations look to suppliers for help in endorsing this notion of a zero carbon economy. Additionally, we’ve also observed a continued focus on packaging and a drive to reduce the packaging footprint and prevent waste.
Looking ahead, we’re anticipating that the pandemic will begin to fade away and allow for the resumption of normal business operations with some improvements, including lower carbon, a smaller packaging footprint, greener chemistry etc. We’re beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel as we look to return to familiar aspects of our business.
A New Strategic Vision
Having gone public and with a new set of stakeholders in the investment community, we needed to re-invigorate our sustainability strategy in a way that we not only continue to drive value for our customers, but also to keep our people engaged. Our new strategy is called “Protect, Care and Sustain”. This is very closely tied to our brand promise, which is “Protecting and Caring, Always”. By aligning our sustainability strategy with our core mission, it helps bring our brand to life and demonstrates how we can make the world a better place by protecting and caring always.
As previously mentioned, the strategy focuses heavily on the investment community. We protect through environmental stewardship, and execute care through social responsibility. We also focus on governance, which brings to the forefront how we view transparency, how we view risk management, and how we view stakeholder engagement in sustaining governance. There will be several new goals, which will extend beyond incremental changes and overhaul the way we integrate sustainability with our business operations.
The overall mindset of Diversey’s sustainability goals means moving from incremental to continuous improvement. We’re taking the sustainability goals that we've had for such a long time and are moving the needle to become more of an inspirational sustainability company. This shift will resonate strongly with our core stakeholders. Beyond our goals in the care section, which include diversity, equity and inclusion, we are also augmenting our environmental goals, to cover net positive packaging. Moreover, we’re frequently assessing how we can better align our solutions and the value proposition of the company with our customers’ sustainability goals. We aim to be able to not only meet these goals today, but also provide them the solutions that we know are going to be necessary as they continue on in their sustainability journey.
Expanding Green Offerings
Diversey is consistently pushing the envelope of sustainable innovation. To measure innovative progress, Diversey utilizes a scorecard to challenge ideas and drive for results on the innovation front. The scorecard allows us to assess safety features and how a product can save on water and energy usage. In tandem with our new sustainability strategy, we're going to require that 100% of our innovations deliver sustainability benefits over the products that they’re replacing.
Integrating Sustainability Practices
For those looking to expand their sustainability platforms, it’s best to incorporate methods of assessing opportunity. Many organizations express concern over the cost of embracing sustainability; however, the key is to isolate opportunities with a strong return on investment. By demonstrating the ROI, other members within the business are more likely to buy into the solution. Today, there are many sustainability frameworks in existence that have playbooks that outline how to tackle the components of ESG. By identifying the biggest opportunities up front, companies can set themselves up for long term success and truly make an impact in sustainability.