23.10.2019

Product development on the environment's terms

In its R&D, Kiilto continuously seeks raw materials and forms of packaging that are kinder to the environment. Another aim is zero waste.

Around 60 R&D experts work in Kiilto's facilities in Lempäälä and Turku.  Products are developed with the environment in mind: product development has a particular focus on lower raw material consumption and the choice of packaging types. However, this does not just concern the development of packaging and its contents. Production is focused on environmentally friendly technology and clean, energy-saving production processes.

Environmental impacts also accounted for in customers' everyday activities

RDI Director Raija Polvinen of Kiilto Oy points out that the environmental perspective has always been part of Kiilto's activities, but has become even more of a priority in recent years.

”Our customers also believe that environmentally friendly R&D processes are highly important,” Polvinen explains.

In addition, the environmental perspective is applied to packaging, products and their use, whereby R&D seeks to enable its customers to take an environmental approach. As an example, Polvinen refers to Kiilto Kerapro Rapid Waterproofing Membrane introduced on building sites a couple of years ago.

”This system saves both time and the environment. The product dries so quickly that it eliminates the need to drive to the building site several times.”

Production based on the circular economy

Kiilto is aiming for zero waste. A key method of achieving this magical goal is material recycling.

– For example, solvents needed for cleaning during production are distilled and re-used. Pulverized lime used during scheduled cleaning at the grout and levelling compound factory is recycled and used as a raw material, explains Polvinen.

R&D takes account of ecology throughout the lifecycle, from product development to raw material and packaging choices, production, distribution, use and the disposal of packaging and product waste. Local production minimises the environmental impacts of shipment.

– The size of shipments also matters. In the case of big customers, products are shipped by lorry and delivered into tanks, so no packaging is needed, Polvinen states.

Many products have been developed to be as environmentally friendly as possible. For example, many household and professional cleaning products almost entirely biodegrade in a short time: in the natural environment, their active ingredients break down into smaller compounds, such as water and carbon dioxide. Many of our products have also been granted the Nordic Swan Ecolabel, based on stringent environmental criteria.

– We always aim to choose the best functioning and most ecological raw materials, whatever the product type, says Oili Kallatsa, RDI Director at KiiltoClean.

Green product development part of the operational culture

Kiilto's environmentally aware approach is guided by its 'Promise to the environment' made in 2018. The promise is based on four perspectives: green packaging and logistics, green material choices and the share of renewable materials, green energy, and green services for customers.
 

Green services refer to training and a range of circular economy solutions which customers also find useful in their own environmental activities.
 

”On the other hand, green energy consumption means aiming to become a carbon-neutral company and reducing our energy consumption. We continually seek new ways of doing things better. For example, solar energy is already used to make a large share of products at Hankasalmi and Lempäälä. We also use waste heat generated during adhesive production at our Lempäälä plant," Polvinen summarises.

Read more:

Adhesive ingredients from the air

Biodegradable hot melt adhesive makes for environmentally friendlier packaging

Packaging encourages environmental responsibility

Kiilto helps Moominworld recycle its plastics