GM, Coke, Ikea, Ecolab, Carlsberg, Henkel Support Greener Chemical Leasing Model

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Chemical manufacturers around the world aspire to sell their products in largest possible quantities. However, the challenge with this traditional business model is that it tends to encourage overuse of chemicals and places human health and the environment under extra strain. To counter this situation, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has been advocating an alternative business model called “chemical leasing.”

UNIDO believes that the chemical leasing model supports efficient chemicals management. The concept behind this model is that instead of paying for the quantity of chemicals that a company consumes, it pays for the services rendered by those chemicals. For instance, the company may pay based on the volume of water that is chemically treated, the number of machinery parts painted, or the surface area of pipes chemically cleansed.

When payment is decoupled from consumption through chemical leasing, it results in clear environmental and economic benefits for both chemical suppliers and corporate users of chemicals, according to UNIDO. The organization launched its Global Chemical Leasing Program in 2005 supported by the Austrian and German governments. Since then, it has initiated projects in a number of countries, including Serbia, Sri Lanka, Colombia, Brazil, Croatia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Russia, Ukraine and Uganda.

Now a growing number of global companies are beginning to embrace the chemical leasing model as a means to improve their sustainability. Companies such as Coca-Cola, General Motors, Ecolab, Carlsberg, Henkel, and Ikea are discovering the advantages of buying and selling chemicals as a service rather than as a product.

For instance, beer manufacturer Carlsberg has scaled its chemical use over the last five years based on the price of chemicals per hectoliter of beer produced. The company says that this model has helped it reduce energy, steam, water and chemical usage in all possible areas, while still maintaining optimal performance.

In 2012, Coca-Cola contracted Ecolab for its sprawling Serbian operations to improve its use of chemicals in three processes: lubricating the bottling conveyors, cleaning equipment surfaces and washing bottles. Payment was based on the number of packaged products that the operations shipped out, rather than the quantity of chemicals used. Ecolab has also been involved in another chemical leasing project with Knjaz Milos, Serbia’s largest producer of beverages and mineral water.

Source: The Guardian

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