Industry Leaders Forum: Michelle Miles, ANZ Country Lead, Diversey ANZ

A notable achievement has been our progress toward obtaining Eco Label Certifications in AU, an initiative that we plan to extend to many of our products in the coming year.

How was 2023 for Diversey? What were the highlights? What were the challenges?

In August 2023 I was delighted to announce my appointment as the Australian and New Zealand Country Lead for Diversey. With more than 12 years of experience within the global Diversey team, working in various countries, including South Africa and New Zealand, I am eager to embrace my new role and propel the Diversey ANZ business.

In Australia, we have expanded our operations with a new plant in Victoria, enhancing our ability to serve key markets. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic in the last few years, our focus remains on meeting the needs of our customers with improved solutions and products that position them for success in the marketplace.

Diversey ANZ also entered its second year of developing our local manufacturing facility in Victoria, and throughout 2023, we continued to broaden our locally insourced product range while maintaining the highest standards of quality. The ongoing operation of this manufacturing facility has enabled us to reduce dependence on global supply chains, offering increased security for our ANZ customers.

A notable achievement has been our progress toward obtaining Eco Label Certifications in AU, an initiative that we plan to extend to many of our products in the coming year. This strategic move further fortifies our portfolio, demonstrating our commitment to sustainability and product excellence.

What are the company’s main priorities for 2024?

In the dynamic landscape of our business, we are not only focused on delivering outstanding products but also on fostering the development of our people. Our commitment extends beyond day-to-day operations to encompass customer engagement, ensuring that we not only meet but exceed their expectations.

Recognising the importance of staying ahead, we consistently evaluate our product offerings, proactively preparing for increased tender opportunities in 2023, and actively seeking innovative solutions that set us apart. We firmly believe in surpassing industry standards rather than merely keeping up. This comprehensive strategy underscores our commitment to excellence, reflected in both the quality of our products and the exceptional experiences we offer to our valued customers.”

Another primary focus for the ANZ team lies in ‘insourcing’ and sustainability, aimed at strengthening our supply chain capabilities. In 2023, we completed the upgrade of our new manufacturing facility. This enhancement allowed us to continue investing in innovative solutions, with infection prevention taking centre stage—a sector we foresee as consistently growing. Simultaneously, our dedication extends to advancing sustainability initiatives. The evident demand for sustainable formulations and packaging reflects not only our business strategy but also resonates with the trajectory of the market.

Will you be launching any new products or entering new categories in 2024?

In Diversey ANZ we are gearing up to launch Gausium Robotics in 2024. Partnering with TASKI, we will introduce the TASKI GS Ecobot series featuring advanced cleaning robots like the Ecobot 50 scrubber drier and Ecobot 40 vacuum sweeper. Supported by our global service infrastructure, these robots have already proven effective in diverse facilities worldwide, delivering professional and consistent cleaning services. This collaboration underscores our commitment to sustainable and intelligent cleaning solutions, aiming to enhance efficiency while prioritising environmental and health considerations. The launch anticipates a significant advancement in cutting-edge cleaning technology. 

We will also be introducing our ‘SURE’ professional plant-based cleaning range—ideal for customers striving for eco-friendly solutions, sustainability goals and focused on employee safety. The circular design of SURE reduces environmental impact through natural ingredients and promotes reuse. SURE offers efficacy comparable to traditional options without compromising time and costs. Our 100 per cent biodegradable products prioritise safety, free from artificial additives and formulated for the lowest hazard classifications

What do you see as the most significant opportunities and challenges in the cleaning industry?

The cleaning industry sees significant opportunities with the growing environmental awareness presents chances for businesses promoting sustainable cleaning practices and eco-friendly products. Challenges include the difficulty in recruiting and retaining skilled staff during labour shortages or the recent economic fluctuations.

To thrive, our industry must embrace smart cleaning technologies for improved efficiency and cost reduction, market eco-friendly practices to meet the demand for environmentally conscious services and remain agile in response to shifts in customer needs, regulations, and technological advancements.

Are there any key sustainability commitments/targets Diversey has made for 2024?

Our primary environmental impact lies in our products and solutions, supporting customers in waste prevention, water conservation, energy savings, and health protection. Diversey is committed to sustainable practices, aiming to measure, and offset our consumption impact across key indicators such as energy, water, waste, and greenhouse gases. Our goals include achieving Net Positive status by 2050, ensuring all packaging contributes to a circular economy by 2030, reaching net-zero carbon emissions in operations by 2050 with a science-based target set in 2024, prioritising water stewardship, and focusing on waste reduction.

Do you have a message for the industry?

Our cleaning and hygiene customers are experiencing shifts in their needs and sophistication. As an industry, our emphasis should be on initiatives that deliver tangible benefits to our customers. Currently, the primary focus should centre around sustainability, cost-effectiveness, and ongoing safety measures for intellectual property.

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