HUL pilots projects to save water

Amrita Nair Ghaswalla Mumbai | Updated on July 19, 2013

In an effort to reduce the number of buckets of water needed to rinse clothes from three to one, Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) is piloting a rinse aid in water-scarce Chennai.

The company is currently test marketing its ‘Comfort One Rinse’ in the city. Last year, it tested a liquid called ‘Magic Water Saver’ in Andhra Pradesh which, it said, technically reduced the amount of water required to wash clothes.

The company said it developed new product formulations that require less water after researching local consumer habits.

Priya Nair, Vice-President, laundry category, HUL, said laundry was the easiest area to reduce water usage in homes.

Following in the footsteps of its parent, Unilever, which aims to change the ‘domestic routine of millions of people’ in water-scarce countries to help reduce water use by 2020, HUL has launched these two products as pilot projects.

The company said Magic Water Saver saves up to three buckets per wash, while Comfort One Rinse saves two buckets a wash. The company said the latter, a fabric conditioner, removed detergent foam in just one rinse, saving around 20 litres of water with every wash.

According to HUL, in 2012, One Rinse products were globally used in 1.4 billion washes in 28.7 million households. Earlier, Unilever's ‘Turn Off the Tap’ campaign in the US had encouraged people to switch off the shower while they lathered.

By 2030, the supply of water in India is estimated to be half of the total demand. About 57 per cent of the over 100 million people facing water shortage belong to the lower socio-economic strata.

According to a survey conducted by the company, 20 per cent of water is used for washing clothes in lower strata households. Most of these households wash clothes by hand.

An analysis by Unilever had shown that around 38 per cent of Unilever’s water footprint came from the laundry process, and a significant proportion of this was related to washing laundry by hand, especially in the developing world.

Published on July 19, 2013

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