Products and Customers
Our greatest marketing achievement on behalf of our customers is the “democratization of sustainability.” We have been able to present technically complex sustainability concepts so positively and credibly to consumers that they feel good about using our products. If sustainability is to go mainstream, we have to dispel the notion that the choice is “green” or “clean”. With products from Werner & Mertz, consumers do not have to make compromises on cleaning performance or quality. In our efforts to get young people more involved, we have taken up environmental challenges that are highly relevant to them and have made sustainability a real part of their lives. We have also generated consumer trust with our implementation leadership in the market. Two of our initiatives address the issues of maximum plastic recycling and surfactants made from plants cultivated in Europe.
Sustainability Achievements through Innovation
In the area of innovation we pursue the goal of becoming the European market and innovation leader in special care products. We want to be always one development generation ahead of the current ecological benchmarks. Werner & Mertz aspires to bring about change where it is conducive to our success – by building on our values and strengths. The company does pioneering work and learns from failures and mistakes.
What all the products from Werner & Mertz have in common is their origin. All come from the company’s own Research & Development area, which consists of several groups including Product Development, Packaging Development, and Research & New Technologies. Here employees develop new and innovative products and optimize existing products and processes. Tests are regularly conducted on the products’ properties with regard to contents, manufacturing, packaging and use. The raw materials, formulas and packaging components are analyzed thoroughly to ensure that they can satisfy tough sustainability requirements. The goal is to develop the raw material portfolio by taking into account the entire life cycle of a material and sustainable recycling processes.
Use of Native Plants
Surfactants in cleaning products and detergents are wash-active substances that dissolve dirt and grease in water. Many variations are available. Surfactants can be obtained sustainably from renewable plants or produced from crude oil or animal components, including slaughtering waste (mostly for fabric softeners). Even in the sustainable manufacturing of surfactants there is an important difference. Surfactants produced from palm kernel oil destroy biodiversity in the rainforest and the rainforest itself, the green lungs of the Earth. Werner & Mertz is convinced that surfactants based on plants cultivated in Europe contribute to climate protection.
Therefore, Werner & Mertz will intensify research on surfactants in the future with the goal of using the wash-active substances made from European oil-producing plants, namely, rapeseed, olives, flaxseed and sunflowers. Rapeseed and sunflower oils come from Germany, Poland and France. Linseed oil comes from flax cultivation in France and Belgium and olive oil from Southern Europe – Spain, Italy and Greece. None of the oils used compete with foodstuff production. For the time in which coconut and palm kernel oils are used in our formulas, we support the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and the sustainable cultivation of palm trees. We cover 100 percent of the raw materials we use with RSPO Book & Claim Credits.
Surfactants from plants cultivated in Europe have the following benefits:
- Renewable raw materials are the basis
- Short transport routes
- Promote cultivation of traditional plants
- No dependence on tropical cultivation and thus avoidance of monocultures and prevention of deforestation of the rainforest
- Encouragement of native species diversity
- No competition with food production
The green frog products are certified with the European environmental seal “EU Ecolabel”. At this time, the highest eco certification is “Cradle-to-Cradle” GOLD: the effect of all ingredients of a detergent and cleaning product on human life is determined at exactly 0.01 percent. That exceeds the European detergent regulation by a significant margin. The gold status was first given to Werner & Mertz for Frosch brand products in 2013. Since then many of our professional products also have received this certification.