Q & A: Hulya Ibrahim, Ecolab
Hulya Ibrahim, VP and general manager, Institutional MEA, Ecolab — a firm specialising in water, hygiene and energy technologies — talks about the firms philosophy on sustainability
How is Ecolab learning from clients and implementing from such learnings?
Ecolab has a simple philosophy: when our customers succeed, we succeed. That’s what fuels us. Ecolab works in synchronicity with our customers across more than one million global customer locations.
Our team of 25,000 field representatives are all segmented industry and sector specialists, so we speak the same languages as our customers, thereby helping them solve problems and leverage solutions to drive efficiency and performance.
By working this way, we partner our customers to reach their goals and grow their business, while also making a genuine difference in the world.
Through these partnerships, we have tackled complex water challenges, kept food supplies safe, maximised the potential of energy and supported clean, safe and healthy environments.
How is Ecolab keeping up with sustainability goals of other markets and is it implementing these across the board?
According to the United Nations, the world will need 25% more energy, 40% more water and 35% more food by 2030. Countries and companies, big or small, will simply fail to exist unless they pay close attention to sustainability.
That’s why sustainability is the DNA of Ecolab. Our sustainability approach is three-pronged and we operate in a way that enhances these key elements: reducing the energy required to power key processes across industries; preservation and protection of water, and the expertise to solve both food safety and hygiene challenges. Through technology, information, on-site service and training, Ecolab helps companies around the world achieve exceptional business results, while minimising environmental and social impact.
An example is our Low Temperature Laundry Programme that was launched in MEA in 2017. The programme has already helped regional laundry businesses save 30% water and use 40% less energy.
What are the ways that Ecolab innovates its different products. How does it stand out from competitors?
Ecolab is a total solution provider. We have an unparalleled portfolio of more than 8,700 innovative, patented products. Our solutions help improve employee hygiene practices and sanitise equipment used to process, prepare or serve food, as well as detergents to clean a variety of surfaces.
However, the difference we make does not end with our product portfolio. Ecolab’s team consists of some of the industry’s most experienced and highly-trained field experts, who work on-site in partnership with our customers to implement cutting-edge food safety procedures and solutions. At our own backend, Ecolab’s Research & Development team utilise their knowledge to turn market needs into new innovations that help these customers solve their problems. This is our mindset across the many industries we serve.
How do you keep the costs low while creating innovative products that are organic?
In these uncertain economic times, and in light of global currency devaluations, it is always a challenge to maintain the cost of products. The good news is, as a global company, Ecolab can tap into a strong multi-market supply chain to offer our customers products at competitive prices. We rely on this strong network to provide the best sourcing strategy for both raw materials and finished goods.