The environment and safety are values that have a growing impact on purchase decisions made by consumers, whereas changes have been slower among corporate customers. In industrial sectors, it is still possible to run into the assumption that the more hazardous a chemical is, the more effective it must be. However, modern R&D and new components have changed this situation. Currently, solutions that are much safer and eco-friendlier than their predecessors are being launched, without making any compromises over effectiveness. The development of Kiilto’s cutting fluids also started from this point of view. This was also one of my first projects at Kiilto.
Towards environmental leadership
More and more industrial companies are paying more attention to people and the environment. I believe that previous marketing pitches have started to become true environmental and safety actions in many companies. Employee health and environmental values often go hand in hand, and companies are increasingly making decisions to defend these values. What is more, these values are not in conflict with financial profitability, as improved employee health and lower material costs and waste charges are significant factors for companies, also in terms of their financial value.
However, when people think about the industry and chemicals, they may first think of pollution and toxicity, even though chemical safety is higher than ever before, particularly in Europe. R&D plays a key part in that companies can offer even safer solutions that help their customers to act more responsibly, while taking care of the environment.
The “Commitment to the environment” project in line with Kiilto’s main strategy has set strict environmental goals for us for the next few years. Here are but a few examples: Kiilto aims to be carbon-neutral by 2028, to double the proportion of renewable and recycled components in its solutions and to only use 100% renewable energy. As a new member of the Kiilto family, I have been positively amazed by how much work we have already done in order to become environmental leaders.
Commitment to the environment can also be seen in Kiilto’s products
R&D is like a game of balance. We need to address statutory requirements, the needs and wishes of our customers and, of course, the maximum effectiveness of the solution being developed. At the same time, we need to ensure that the product’s market price is reasonable, the availability of components is high and the environmental goals related to the product are realistic. Before we can say that a product is ready for sale, we also need to test its functionality, corrosion resistance, stability and shelf life. Many details have an impact on the final result and on how easy or difficult it is to develop an eco-friendlier solution.
From this starting point and as a recently started R&D manager, I was given an ambitious project. The purpose was to make cutting fluids used in the metal industry more eco- and user-friendly. The previous products fulfilled their purpose, but they contained oil-based components, preventing them from being disposed of in the sewage system. Similarly, the preservative needed to be changed due to changes in legislation. Now, we had the opportunity to solve two problems at once and make a shift to fully bio-based and biodegradable lubricants.
I am happy to announce that Kiilto will soon launch new eco-friendly cutting fluids. The new cutting fluids meet strict environmental goals, without making any compromises over effectiveness. We have also improved many other properties: the clean products or their water solutions can be disposed of in the sewer, they are no longer classified as dangerous goods for transportation, and they are more stable and easier to wash. As the summer advances, we will announce more information about our new solutions for the metal industry on our website. My work continues with other industrial products, and the goal is to continue to achieve similar improvements.
About the writer:
Jussi Kauko is Kiilto’s new R&D manager who started in his position in February. He is responsible for the R&D of hygiene solutions for the metal and forest industries.