"The alliance with Solenis reinforces our commitment to delivering innovative solutions that enhance hygiene standards, operational efficiency, and sustainability."  

Sherif Fahmy

VICE PRESIDENT, SOUTHEAST ASIA, DIVERSEY

October 06, 2023

Could you introduce Diversey to our audience and speak on your presence in Singapore?

Diversey is a leading global cleaning and hygiene solutions provider, developing and delivering innovative products, services, and technologies. Diversey’s purpose is “to go beyond clean to take care of what’s precious”. In business terms, we help our customers maintain their brand integrity so they can focus on growing their business. With a legacy spanning over a century, the Diversey brand has become synonymous with product quality, service, and innovation.

We are present in Singapore and the country’s vision is heavily aligned with ours. Singapore is focused on research & development, automation, and ESG. We have a lot of experienced people on the ground who can enter a facility, assess the situation, and explain how to reduce man-hours, boost productivity, and deliver the best cleaning efficacy. In a sense, we provide consultancy through products and services.

What are some recent milestones at Diversey?

This year we’re celebrating our 100-year anniversary. We have been looking back at our legacy and have revived our purpose to reiterate that we provide more than just cleaning and hygiene solutions for our customers in diverse industries. This served as a driving force behind our purpose relaunch.

Recently, Diversey was acquired by Solenis, a leading global producer of specialty chemicals. There are an abundance of synergies with Diversey’s existing solutions and merging both companies will allow us to enter the market as an entity that covers the complete spectrum of cleaning solutions. Hence, one plus one creates more than two. This acquisition has created a lot of new opportunities by allowing us to address the mega-trends of today; sustainability, labor challenges, water scarcity, plastic waste, and automation.

How has the cleaning and hygiene industry been impacted after the pandemic?

The pandemic taught everyone the hard way that cleaning is important, relying on the naked eye to determine if something is sufficiently clean is no longer enough for many cases. Many have realized the importance of thorough validation using specific tools and tests to ensure hygiene standards are met.

Before COVID, we were focused on areas such as hospitality, food services, and cleaning companies. The pandemic made us re-assess and expand our presence to other sectors like healthcare and retail.

Additionally, China’s highly anticipated re-opening has not gone as expected. Many countries in South East Asia are heavily dependent on China in many ways, be it through exports or tourism. Flight and port activity still has not returned to pre-pandemic levels in many areas, potentially requiring more time for a full recovery.

What is Diversey’s approach to sustainability?

At Diversey, we are “green at heart”, sustainability is at the core of all our activities. We are happy to see that sustainability is moving away from simply being a box to check to become a serious topic that is addressed in depth. We believe that sustainability should not be viewed as an “extra” and should always be at the forefront. It makes perfect business sense too, on top of the environmental and societal benefits this brings.

We have a lot of ongoing initiatives, around upcycling and creating shared value. For example, our legacy program “Soap For Hope” involves taking used soap bars, from hotels, and recycling them into new soap bars. For impoverished people, accessing food and other essentials is the priority, but it is important that good hygiene is accessible for them too. Such programs are not only beneficial for the environment, but also create new jobs and provide livelihoods. Another program we have is “Linens For Life” which involves upcycling discarded linens from hotels into new products like shirts, bags, or face masks. This also provides a livelihood to local communities through their creative work in converting used linens into items for sale.

Our “Coffee Briques” program converts used coffee grounds into eco-friendly fuel for cooking and heating and we also have a “Plastic Shreds” program where single-use plastic wastes are shredded into plastic chips, which are then used as gravel replacement in the building of horizontal structures such as basketball or badminton courts, village roads, pavements or to fill up potholes in roads. Our goal is to achieve “net positive” impact for energy, water, waste, and GHG by 2030. That is to say, Diversey strives to have an overall positive impact on society and the environment, rather than just aiming to reduce negative impacts.

Do you have a final message?

Now that we are integrated with Solenis, we are excited to create a seamless 'one-stop shop' experience, explore new synergies, and expand our presence in water treatment and specialty chemical solutions. Ushering in a new era of diversified strength and amplified scale, this alliance reinforces our commitment to delivering innovative solutions that enhance hygiene standards, operational efficiency, and sustainability.

As sustainability remains at the core of our vision, we will continuously work to reduce environmental impact while helping our business partners meet their sustainability goals. We will continue to foster strong partnerships, that will help us to do well while we continue to do good. My vision for South East Asia is to make Diversey the customer’s first choice.

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