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Solving a slippery problem with bioscience

16 September 2020

IN THE summer of 2019, Ian Millar, from Dorset-based MACK Cleaning Supplies wondered if Poole-based cosmetics manufacturers and retailer LUSH might benefit from being introduced to sustainable biotech cleaning products from InnuScience.

Ian had been impressed by the InnuScience message and product range and was keen to explore the opportunities it might provide to a customer who is equally invested in the welfare of the planet and people. 

He contacted LUSH Manufacturing Facilities Manager Andy Conroy and outlined the benefits that InnuScience products might bring. Andy showed immediate interest, especially when he discovered that InnuScience biotechnical products use bacteria and enzymatic extracts to deliver excellent cleaning performance with absolutely minimal environmental impact or human risk.

Challenge: Reducing the safety risk to staff 

LUSH’s attention to the welfare of its employees is critical, especially in an environment that features extensive use of natural ingredients such as cocoa butter and essential oils that can create significant issues of slip-fall especially considering the handmade nature of Lush’s products.

Ian Millar recommended InnuScience’s Nu-Grip Plus as it is designed to bio-degrade and quickly remove deep-down fats, oils, greases and other grime on floors and is especially effective on porous floors that have absorbed and built up deposits over time. Nu-Grip Plus leaves a bio-film that continues to remove oils or butters and leaves floors slip resistant. Furthermore it helps to manage grease build-up and prevents clogging of drain outlets.

Andy Conroy was keen to learn more, but before agreeing to a meeting, he first asked the company’s earth care and buying teams to look into InnuScience to see if its environmental credentials matched LUSH’s strict criteria. The Earth Care Team and Buying teams for LUSH are the guardians of the fundamental LUSH ethos and are key to helping ensure that suppliers match their exacting standards. On passing that critical test, arranging a practical demonstration was the next step.

Solution: Getting a grip with Nu-Grip Plus

A single pass with Nu-Grip Plus produced stunning results – a clean and slip-free floor which the assembled staff were highly impressed with.

Andy Conroy agreed to a 2 month trial across four of the LUSH factories to evaluate how the InnuScience products performed in different working conditions. At the end of the trial and after receiving feedback from the staff involved, he agreed to install the InnuScience products at all manufacturing sites. 

The immediate success of the Nu-Grip Plus trial in improving floor cleanliness and safety led to LUSH deciding to only use biological products from InnuScience. In every application, the differences were clear, from using Nu-Kleen All for hard surface cleaning and Nu-Bio Scrub for sinks, washrooms and toilets. In addition LUSH uses Nu-Cycle 3 and Nu-Cycle 1 in its dishwashers and ready-mixed Nu-Descaler, put directly into toilets in place of traditional bleach-based products.

Benefits: Lower costs, exceptional cleaning results and shared green ethics

While cost may have been an initial concern, it was quickly proven that the bacterial cultures and enzymatic extracts which feature in InnuScience products are highly effective even at very low concentrations, resulting in a very low cost per litre. Beyond that, and the fact that the products produced exceptional results, the cleaning products also deliver a residual and prolonged cleansing action. The more they are used, the cleaner surfaces become.

Alongside no animal testing, LUSH’s principles include being aware of how the products it manufactures and sells interact with the environment. In that respect working with MACK Cleaning Supplies, which describes itself as ‘The greener cleaning supply company’, and specifying InnuScience’s planet and people friendly products, is a natural fit.

Adopting InnuScience cleaning solutions became a catalyst for other changes, including looking at how this part of LUSH’s operation could benefit their overall carbon footprint. LUSH appreciated that InnuScience’s products are shipped by sea, work effectively with cold water, and reduce the total amount of consumables required. The revised number of products used as a part of the InnuScience change meant that there were significantly fewer products used on site too, so less plastic to dispose of subsequently. 

“Alongside improved cleaning, hygiene and safety, other benefits include removing potentially hazardous chemicals from the workplace and major space saving where multiple products were previously stored,” said Ian Millar. “All InnuScience products are free from volatile organic compounds (VOCs), so while they clean efficiently, they are also safer for employees.”

While resolving the issue of potentially slippery floors was a particular issue in two of the company’s manufacturing sites the InnuScience solution has now been rolled out across the whole estate, and is also being tested in some retail outlets. 

“As a global leader in commercial cleaning solutions based on biotechnology, InnuScience is used to confronting challenges, so it is always satisfying when one of our products solves a particular issue,” said InnuScience marketing director Paul Twiss. “It is rewarding to see such a positive demonstration of how our eco-friendly and cost-effective products have improved cleaning, hygiene and safety at LUSH.”