Interview with Mr. Sebastian Soderberg

Face2Face
Mr. Sebastian Soderberg
Mr. Sebastian Soderberg
Business Development & Marketing Director
Novozymes
Novozymes

There is an increasing focus on sustainability in the textile industry across the world.
Novozymes is a biotech-based company, headquartered in Denmark and employing approximately 5,400 people in 30 countries. Listed on the NASDAQ OMX Nordic, Novozymes embarked the Revenue DKK 9.724 billion in 2010. Group’s businesses are divided into three areas: Enzymes for industrial use, Microorganisms and Biopharmaceutical ingredients accounting for respectively 94%, 4% and 2% of sale, respectively (2010).Novozymes markets approximately 700 different products worldwide. 50 years ago Novozymes was the first to market with enzymatic solutions for processing textiles. The solutions offered by the company claim to be capable of decreasing dependence on chemicals, lower the consumption of energy and water, and bring down costs – all while maintaining superior product quality. Mr. Sebastian Soderberg has been associated with Novozymes since 2007, and is currently the Business Development and Marketing Director for Animal Nutrition and Technical Enzymes, including textiles. In his current position, he is among others responsible for driving Novozymes' strategy, positioning, P&L, partnerships and development efforts in the mentioned business segments. Before taking over this portfolio he was the Director – Acquisitions & Integration at Novozymes and was instrumental in firming up strategic acquisitions and alliances for the company. Prior to Novozymes, he has worked with Nordea Corporate Finance. Mr. Soderberg holds a Master of Science in International Business and is an outdoor sports enthusiast. In a Face2Face talk with Ms. Madhu Soni- Sr. Editor & Correspondent, Mr. Sebastian Soderberg highlights ‘Sustainability’ to be vital focus and growing concern for industry across the poles.

It is a pleasure to host another talk about Novozymes on Face2Face. Let us have a walk through memory lane to connect the missing links if any about Novozymes since 2007- our first talk in Face2Face!

We have been focusing on bringing sustainable innovations to market that provides the same good quality of textiles and garments, while saving water, energy and time. I would like to highlight two innovations we brought to market since last you spoke with Novozymes: combined bioblast and bleach clean up in the dye bath for mills and laundries, and our one step solution for prewash and abrasion for laundries. We have seen a great interest in our neutral and combined solutions with the bioblast and biowash segments, where mills and laundries continuously aim to save energy, water and time in processing textiles the sustainable way with enzymes.

Since onset of 2008- industry is not experiencing full fledged times due to economic recession. There has been a little release in situation since 2011, however, industry again is dreading yet another episode of crisis in Europe and debt fighting US. What is your take on it? Does this worry you as an MNC with major share in markets across the globe?

Despite being hit by the global recession at the beginning of 2009, we were able to maintain good growth year on year. For Novozymes as a whole, 2010 brought double-digit growth in sales and record growth in earnings. There’s no doubt that there’s still widespread uncertainty about the global economic situation, but we just announced very satisfactory Q3 results. With the expectation that customers will be somewhat cautious in the fourth quarter, we have adjusted our full-year sales growth expectations to the lower end of the previously given ranges. We now expect full-year sales growth at around 8% in Danish Kroner for Novozymes as a whole.

For textile arena, what technological trends shall govern the market?

The market is increasingly driving the need for solutions that puts less pressure on our scarce resources such as energy and water. Thus, technologies that accommodate these needs will govern the market going forward. We continuously strive at bringing solutions to market that help lower temperatures, and reduces energy, water and time consumption.

Do you think there is an adequate awareness about eco-safe products/solutions for textile processing or finishes?

There is an increasing focus on sustainability in the textile industry across the world. The industry is global, so consumer, retailer and brand demands from one part of the world will reach other parts through the textile supply chain, thus further emphasizing the need for sustainable products/solutions.

We are impressed to see a huge stress on ‘Sustainability’. What ethoses comprise its definition at Novozymes?

Novozymes' vision is to ensure the right balance between better business, cleaner environment, and better lives. And thus, sustainability is seen as an integral part of our business approach and organization. Translating this as part of our ambition we strive to drive the world toward sustainability together with our customers and other business partners. Enzymes are a sustainable alternative and its usage in industrial processes generally decreases the consumption of energy, chemicals, water and raw materials. We put a lot of effort into documenting the environmental impacts of our solutions covering the entire life cycle from cradle to grave though our ISO standard Life Cycle Assessments. In textiles segment, Novozymes’ unique solutions contribute to decreasing dependence on chemicals, lowering consumption of energy and water, and bringing down costs – all while maintaining superior product quality. A life cycle assessment conducted by Novozymes indicates that use of enzymes makes possible savings of up to 70,000 liters of water and 1 ton of CO2 per ton knitted fabric. It also shows a 20–25% reduction in processing time.

There prevails the notion in industry that with the advent of new environmental indexes, for example Sustainability Index, there lies hidden influx of cumbersome procedures and compliances norms. Your group has score high in Dow Jones Sustainability Index, how would you share your comments and experience in that line?

As a company we take sustainability very seriously, and it’s part of our mission to promote and implement sustainable solutions for processes for industries across the world, including the textile industry. Thus, as a sustainability-driven company, it’s a great achievement for our efforts to be recognized and we’re honored that we are listed on a continuous basis.

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Click here to view Previous Face2Face with Novozymes
Published on: 19/12/2011

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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