The international firm Ecover produces washing and cleaning products. It was founded in Belgium in 1980. Ecover is a pioneering and very progressive company. It came up with a phosphate-free detergent, long before phosphates were seen as a problem. Ecover has since grown into the biggest producer of ecological washing and cleaning products and now has branches in Belgium (headquarters), the United States, England, Switzerland, France and Germany. Its products are on sale in more than 20 countries. Environmental policy is completely integrated in the company, from production to marketing. As one of the most visible characteristics of this policy, the company was the first ecological factory in the world, with a green or living roof of 6000 m2.
Meanwhile, a second ecological factory has been opened in Landacres, France. This factory is in an industrial green zone, where only companies that operate with respect to the environment are welcomed.
Ecover’s goal is that it offers both efficient and sustainable solutions for human hygiene needs. Ecover regards the environment as an inseparable part of the economy. Much research is conducted into new technologies and raw materials. This is to keep the negative effects on the environment to a minimum.
In its own laboratories, Ecover develops ecological products that are perfectly equivalent to conventional washing and cleaning agents. The test methods and measuring techniques are those customarily in the industry.
Ecover takes account of ecological, economic and social aspects during the entire process from origin to degradation of the product. Everything has to meet strict requirements.
Ecover acquires its raw materials from plant and mineral sources. The advantages are that they are eminently reusuable and they offer many possibilities.
Because the raw materials are reusuable, the burden on the environment and on health is minimal.
Of course Ecover also places high demands on its packaging materials. Use is made of as little packaging as possible. And the packaging is itself 100% recyclable!
Ecover makes a conscious choice for raw materials that are completely degradable. In this too Ecover is ahead of legislation.
Current legislation stipulates that only detergents must be 60% degradable within 28 days. Only 3% to 20% of washing and cleaning products consists of detergent. Ecover products are completely degradable, not just the detergents themselves, but all the raw materials.
There is good news. After more than 30 years, surface water has become cleaner partly through better purification and less phosphates in washing products. But it can be better. If all of us use ecological products that are friendlier to the environment, we will make the world even cleaner.