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companies. The biocidal regulation is one of those where you try to be sustainable and reduce the use of hazardous substances, but something like this where you’re being required to demonstrate a real effi cacy is pushing us towards the use of harsher and more effective chemicals – there’s defi nitely a balance needed.”


The Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR) relates to the control of those products which have an active substance within a formula, and this standard hopes to constrict those examples being launched onto the marketplace. When an impact assessment was conducted on the new regulation, it was found that there was a signifi cant risk of phase-outs of products and a risk of larger companies gaining a commercial advantage because of the fi nancial limitations of the BPR. Larger companies have certainly been much more capable of taking on the responsibilities as well as the economical considerations that go with it, meaning that there is an element of rationalisation going into the decision to become accredited in this way.


As an industry which prides itself on innovation and invention, it could be said that such a measure has stunted this growth, as smaller companies need to rationalise the product itself. This created a very lively debate amongst attendees, but only time will tell the true impact of this regulation upon the industry.


Social Responsibility The fact that 2.5 billion people across the world today don’t have access to a toilet, is the reason why the next standout speaker was there to explain why WASH – the Water Sanitation and Hygiene campaign – provides evidence for the impact which business can have on the environment, as well as people’s lives. After spending most of her career in chemical development, Carolyn Jones, Expertise & Authority Manager for WASH and Household Care Unilever to WASH, gave an incredibly


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passionate and energetic talk on how consumers can improve their health and wellbeing through social programmes in the private sector.


She was quick to state the many goals which Unilever have recently released – all of which are very impressive and show a bold statement about the kind of social move they hope to make. She continued: “We’re committed to reducing diarrhoea by changing the washroom behaviour of a billion people by 2050. We’re committed to teaching children to brush their teeth, to help improve the self- esteem of young girls, and also to provide safe drinking water for 500 million people by 2020.”


Sanitation is the most vital factor to their agenda, with 443 million school days lost every year from water, sanitation and hygiene issues. Girls in particular stop going to school due to the lack of toilets, stunting the economic growth rate as half the working population aren’t educated for the workplace. However, that’s not the only difference a toilet can make to a community; Carolyn added: “A recent publication has shown that if you give toilets to a community you can actually make that population taller, because you reduce the amount of infectious disease, food sources work better, and children actually grow taller. There is a downward spiral of malnutrition and infection in those places where sanitation isn’t present.”


By making toilets accessible, affordable and promoting the benefi ts of clean toilets and good hygiene, they aspire to provide toilets to 200 million people across Asia, Africa and African America by 2020; this is no easy task, but with the issue of sanitation gaining traction, Unilever is working towards a global network of players to push their agenda forward.


All in all, the conference was a terrifi c success, with the perfect blend of invigorating speakers and serious topics. Let’s hope next year’s conference lives up to the last.


Carolyn Jones provided the attendees with a vibrant and passionate speech about social responsibility.


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