Hello peroxide power; goodbye regulatory hassles

New regulatory provisions present formidable obstacles for all market participants offering biocides in Europe. Using a business model tailored to precisely this situation, a team from the Active Oxygens Business Line is improving market access for its own products. For this it has been nominated for the 2019 Evonik Innovation Award.

Hydrogen peroxide and peracetic acid are strong disinfectants that are effective against a wide range of different microorganisms. At the same time, these two compounds are particularly environmentally compatible. Producers are therefore increasingly using them in place of disinfectants based on chlorine or aldehyde compounds, and this market segment has registered two-digit growth rates over the last few years.

In 2020 the European Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR) will replace the old, and generally much simpler, national regulations for hydrogen peroxide and peracetic acid. This poses a challenge for all market participants wishing to offer their disinfectants in Europe. In the future they will need to demonstrate that each of their products is effective in every single disinfection application defined; in addition they will have to prepare, and keep up to date, a detailed dossier that comprehensively describes the physical and chemical properties and analyzes the toxicology of the product.

Not every producer of disinfectants is willing or able to satisfy these high requirements under his own steam. A team from the Active Oxygens Business Line has developed for this situation a marketing concept that takes account of exactly this: It makes the regulation a central component of the product offer. Formerly, it was the producer’s responsibility to take care of regulatory requirements. But in the future, if the producer so desires, Evonik can take over the major part of the regulatory work involved. In other cases the customer himself remains responsible—but must then undertake the effort and bear the associated costs. The new marketing concept offers the customer a choice of four different collaboration models, giving him varying degrees of relief from the regulatory burden and of operational freedom. In this way Evonik ensures for all market participants the flexibility necessary to allow them to remain active even under the new conditions.

The new concept has now been rolled out on the market, and feedback from customers has been entirely positive. Customers also perceive the new approach as a change in their relationship with Evonik: The classical buyer-seller relationship is replaced by a partnership between equals in which more information is shared.