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Sustainability for the future: Sodexo Austria sets new standards with Green Care Professional

Sodexo Austria, with 3,900 employees, offers services to improve the quality of life. In the fields of building cleaning, catering and fully integrated facilities management, Sodexo in Austria is among the largest service providers in the market.

For Managing Director Michael Freitag of Sodexo Service Solutions Austria GmbH, sustainability plays an especially important role as it is firmly embedded in the company’s culture and DNA.  

„… In Werner & Mertz Professional Vertriebs GmbH, we have found a partner that shares our values and helps us to achieve our sustainability goals.“

Michael Freitag
Managing Director, Sodexo Service Solutions Austria GmbH


“We are committed to acting with sustainability in mind at all times. With our Better Tomorrow Plan, we pursue ambitious goals for CO2 reduction, ESG reporting and EU Taxonomy. Other topics such as CSR, diversity and equal treatment are also important to us”, says Freitag.

“As a company, we have to take responsibility and have the right partner at our side”, he says. “In Werner & Mertz Professional Vertriebs GmbH, we have found a partner that shares our values and helps us to achieve our sustainability goals.”

Sodexo knows that the subject of sustainability is becoming ever more important. Requests for bids from healthcare providers and hospitals want cleaning and care products that are suitable for sustainable procurement and have the relevant certificates as proof. 


The resources that we conserve by using Green Care Professional products can be documented and calculated.

Martin Roscher
Regional Manager Healthcare Lower Austria and Vienna, Sodexo Service Solutions Austria GmbH

“The resources that we conserve by using Green Care Professional products can be documented and calculated”, says Martin Roscher, Regional Manager Healthcare Lower Austria and Vienna, at Sodexo. “With the  Green Care Performance Calculator, the avoidance of CO2, plastic and crude oil can be verified and transparently identified for our sites. The resource savings certificate makes our sustainability goals visible, measurable and traceable.“

Resource savings certificate for Sodexo Austria
© Werner & Mertz Professional Vertriebs GmbH

The high-performance, integrally sustainable products from the Green Care Professional brand are manufactured exclusively in the EMAS-certified factories in Germany and Hallein, Austria, in compliance with the highest quality standards.  

Sodexo appreciates the sustainable products and something more. “We have excellent cooperation with Werner & Mertz Professional Vertriebs GmbH and its experts on site”, says Roscher. “They support us in our everyday work, with training, for example. They come to us in the buildings we clean and instruct our employees in the proper handling of the cleaning products. That helps us enormously.”

Sustainability is not a trend, but a necessary step in protecting the environment and contributing to a better future for upcoming generations.

About Sodexo

Founded in Marseille in 1996 by Pierre Bellon, Sodexo today is the world’s leader in services that improve the quality of everyday life for everyone. Nearly 422,000 employees serve 100 million people in 53 countries daily. Sodexo has more than 30 years of experience in the Austrian market. Sodexo Service Solutions Austria GmbH employs about 3,900 in Austria whose service mentality delights almost 475,000 people every day in some 1,400 businesses, including commercial operations, government agencies and healthcare facilities.

There’s no way around sustainable cleaning products

Saubermacher Outsourcing GmbH relies on Green Care Professional products from the cleaning products manufacturer Werner & Mertz Professional.

Erika Marko, Commercial Managaing Director at Saubermacher Outsourcing GmbH, has been responsible for the entire Facility Services business in Austria since the company’s founding. Today more than 350 staff members are employeed and an area equal to more than 5000 square kilometers is cleaned every year.  

Where cleaning and hygiene products are concerned, Ms. Marko has put her trust in Werner & Mertz Professional Vertriebs GmbH from the very start. Sustainability is in the DNA of Saubermacher Outsourcing whose parent company, Saubermacher Dienstleistungs GmbH, is the world’s most sustainable waste management company, according to a GRESB rating.    

“What we do today
determines how the world
looks tomorrow.“  

Erika Marko
Commercial Managing Director

©Werner & Mertz Professional Vertriebs GmbH

In the cooperation with Werner & Mertz, Ms. Marko appreciates the problem-solving skills of the sales rep responsible for her and his understanding of the needs and requirements of her building managers. Besides the sustainability factors, she says the innovations from Werner & Mertz are so important because they give her, as a customer, an advantage over the competition. 

Particularly in the tendering business, environmental issues are being prioritized, says Ms. Marko, especially with regard to cleaning products. Saubermacher Outsourcing works according to its own guideline, which explicitly points to the use of sustainable Green Care Professional products. The Green Care Performance Calculator Certificate (for resource saving) from Werner & Mertz Professional serves as proof the the company’s environmental awareness. The certificate shows how much CO2, plastic and crude oil Saubermacher Outsourcing has avoided to date by using Green Care Professional products. It also estimates future savings in the buildings involved in the tender – for an environment that’s worth living in.   

For Saubermacher Outsourcing, the Quick & Easy system is a top favorite for cost monitoring. Thanks to simple use and low dosing, the system keeps operations within budget. The dosing systems for the different cleaning areas, such as kitchen or laundry, also contribute positively to cost reduction. 

©Werner & Mertz Professional Vertriebs GmbH

Erika Marko is impressed by the outstanding cleaning performance and efficiency of Green Care products.  

Modern Sale of Indulgences: Werner & Mertz Professional Opposes Climate Greenwashing

Ever since climate protection became a corporate image issue, product marketing has been turning out enticing but meaningless climate claims like “net null”, “climate neutral” and “CO2 negative”. This trend extends into B2B segments such as professional building cleaning. Here, too, climate protection has long been a decisive selling point. However, in order to meet the expectations of their business customers, companies frequently use means whose benefit for the climate is more than doubtful.

An especially dubious practice is reforestation carbon offsetting. Companies work out their annual greenhouse gas emissions so that they can advertise their products as climate friendly. Then they purchase the matching number of carbon credits. The money paid goes into planting trees, which ought to reabsorb the emitted CO2 over the course of their lifetime. In purely arithmetical terms, they may now declare themselves “climate neutral”. For that designation, however, a company does not have to lower its own CO2 emissions by one single gram.

In its new sustainability campaign “Circular Success”, the Professional Division of Werner & Mertz, Tana-Chemie GmbH, stakes out a clear position in opposition to this type of climate greenwashing. “With our Green Care Professional brand, we have long stood for a holistic view of environmental and climate protection,” says Thomas Ulbricht, the head of Werner & Mertz Professional. “The way we see it, companies that plant trees just anywhere and use creative accounting to make their performance look good do not contribute to genuine sustainability. For us, that’s nothing more than the modern sale of indulgences, which misleads purchasing agents in the professional cleaning industry.“

Arguments against climate fraud

Many arguments can be made against the creative accounting used in tree-planting projects. Since mid-October, those arguments can be read on the Website of the Circular Success campaign from Werner & Mertz Professional. There the Mainz eco pioneer lists the same valid objections to reforestation raised by many climate protectionists. Among them are the shady business practices of numerous carbon offsetting agencies, including problematic double-accounting of CO2 avoidance and untrustworthy calculation methods for absorbed greenhouse gas.

“Reforestation is fundamentally a good thing. Natural forests are the best climate protection,“ says Ulbricht. “That is true only when companies do not use it to buy themselves a way out of their real responsibility. That responsibility consists of taking the first step of lowering their own CO₂ emissions. Compensating with carbon offsetting should be used only for emissions that cannot be avoided at all.”

For this reason Werner & Mertz Professional pursues climate protection in another way that is significantly more extensive, says Ulbricht. “Planting trees is not enough. That’s why we go a step further, aiming to take on problems in the right order and with a holistic approach. We put our stake on the circular economy and systematically improve all areas we can influence as a company.“

Building blocks for genuine climate protection

The climate protection guide used by the Mainz eco pioneer is the European Green Deal, with whose help the European Union wants to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. As in the Green Deal, Werner & Mertz Professional divides its climate protection measures into several action areas. On the new Circular Success Website, the company outlines six building blocks to reduce energy and resource consumption, to protect the planet’s biosphere, and to prevent environmental pollution. Behind every building block are concrete innovations and projects with verifiable success:

  1. Cooperation and projects for biodiversity conservation
  2. Biologically degradable formulas and regenerative raw materials in all products from Green Care Professional
  3. Protection of forests, soil, bodies of water
  4. Recycled and recyclable packaging with special focus on Post-Consumer Recyclate from European household waste collection
  5. Sustainable construction and use of renewable energies such as wind power, photovoltatics and geothermal energy
  6. Environmentally friendly water management in the Mainz headquarters building and in Production

“At Werner & Mertz Professional, climate protection, environmental protection and the circular economy have always gone hand-in-hand, touching all business areas“, says Ulbricht. “We always strive to stay at least a full step ahed of the current eco standard. So we offer our customers products for which climate protection is not an empty claim, but a matter of fact.”

You’ll find the new Circular Success campaign site:

The (r)evolution of laundry detergents and softeners: proven skin compatibility

When developing laundry detergents and fabric softeners, the focus is usually on cleaning performance and the effect on the fibres and shaping of textiles. For some years now, environmental properties have additionally gained in importance, as this topic increasingly concerns the public and more and more people are interested in reducing their ecological footprint.

The ideal product, however, should master another challenge: it should be skin-compatible and cause neither skin irritations nor allergic reactions. The cooperation with Dermatest GmbH, an independent dermatological institute for testing the safety and skin compatibility of industrial products, marks Tana-Chemie’s pioneering role. The sustainable detergents and fabric softeners of the Green Care Professional brand have been successfully tested and have been awarded the Dermatest seal for proven skin compatibility.

The Dermetest seal of approval is a scientific label for independently tested products which come into contact with the skin. Products which are labelled with this seal have proven their safety in terms of exposure time and site of application in patch tests. Exceptional safety when it comes to your skin!

Our skin is only a few millimetres thick. And yet it protects us from many dangerous environmental influences and performs vital functions for the body. It prevents the penetration of pathogens, fungi and moisture, houses nerve fibres, immune defence cells, touch receptors, blood and lymph vessels, stores energy and serves as a heat insulator. It also plays a significant role in our well-being. Daily contact with hundreds of substances, liquids and surfaces poses a great challenge and danger to the skin. Textiles, and thus also the detergents and fabric softeners used, are in particularly long-term and extensive contact with our skin on a daily basis. Additional friction can also irritate the skin. Therefore, the skin compatibility of these products is particularly important. 

In order to meet this demand for its products, Tana-Chemie had the skin compatibility and safety of the Green Care Professional detergents and fabric softeners tested by Dermatest GmbH. Epicutaneous tests of the use concentrations according to the application instructions were carried out on volunteers under dermatological control. These tests follow internationally recognised guidelines*: 

  • At least 30 test persons are selected for each test 
  • Male and female test subjects are included regardless of the subsequent target group of the product 
  • All test persons are older than 18 years 
  • By selecting certain skin types, e.g. sensitive or atopic skin, the tolerance for certain products and skin types can be tested 
  • The one-time contact in the context of a test is intensified in comparison to the later application in order to achieve a meaningful result 

For testing, the test products are applied in a suitable concentration to a self-adhesive patch and stuck on under occlusive (closed) conditions for 24h. The occlusive conditions under the patch intensify the contact of the skin with the product, which increases the significance of the result. The assessment of possible skin reactions is carried out according to the recommendations of ISO 10993-23:2021 (Section 8, Annex E). 

Since the course of the reactions provides information about the type of reaction (allergic or irritant), three readings are the quality standard at Dermatest. The first assessment takes place 30 to 60 minutes after removal of the patch, a second and third reading takes place 24 and 48 hours after the first reading. 

Only when the product has successfully passed this test is the Dermatest seal and the rating “dermatologically tested” awarded. 

The detergents and fabric softeners in the Green Care Professional line have successfully passed the tests and have thus been awarded the Dermatest seal and are thus proven to be skin-friendly and safe to use. 

* (10993-23:2021, Section 8 and Annex E (Irritation testing of medical devices on human skin), the guideline of the German Dermatological Society (DDG) and the German Society for Allergology and Clinical Immunology (DGAKI) on “Performance of the epicutaneous test with contact allergens” (AWMF guideline register). 

Detergents and fabric softeners from Green Care Professional have been awarded the Dermatest seal and are therefore
dermatologically tested in accordance with the instructions for use and demonstrably skin-friendly when the concentrations
for use are observed.  © Tana-Chemie GmbH

About the Dermatest GmbH

Dermatest protects your skin. Since 1978. The independent dermatological institute tests all substances and items that come into contact with the skin for safety and skin compatibility and awards safe products with the Dermatest seal. The effectiveness of cosmetics is also independently checked at Dermatest. A large team of scientists from dermatology, allergology, food chemistry and biology ensures scientific competence and accuracy. Many tests are carried out with the help of volunteers, some of whom have been working with Dermatest for years. All tests take place under medical supervision and in accordance with international guidelines. Since 2009, Dermatest’s quality management system has been certified according to DIN EN ISO 9001 and audited by TÜV Rheinland. 

Clean down textiles to feel good

Down textiles – light as a feather, providing cozy warmth – like duvets, pillows as well as jackets, e.g., of residents in retirement and nursing homes are a real challenge for professional laundry. How can cozy natural products made of real feathers and down stay fresh, clean, and fluffy in the cold season?

“With a few tricks and the right detergent, you will keep feathers and down fresh for a long time and also ensure the necessary hygiene,” explains Angelika Büttner, expert for professional detergents at Tana-Chemie.

Cleaning even sensitive materials in a safe way for people and the environment requires compliance with certain properties. Besides a high material compatibility, the absence of bleaching agents and optical brighteners, as well as EU Ecolabel certification, other sustainability aspects should also be taken into account.

Thus, the sustainable ACTIV delicat fine and wool detergent by Green Care Professional fulfils these properties and is mainly based on renewable raw materials. The mild detergent protects textiles and cares for fine and sensitive fibres with almond oil, thus ensuring clean down textiles. Its formulation is biodegradable and harmless to the health of the users of the textiles. ACTIV delicat is dermatologically tested and as it contains neither dyes nor phosphates, it is also ideal for hand washing.  

The appropriate washing method increases the effectiveness and durability of the materials. Always read the washing instructions before washing. © Tana-Chemie GmbH.

Green and Clean: Sustainable washing powders by Green Care Professional

In in-house laundries with only few wash cycles per day, the question arises as to whether washing powders can meet laundry hygiene requirements. Can this be done without sacrificing optimized energy, water and chemical efficiency? Is the use of washing powders with manual dosing sustainable?

The answer is provided by Tana-Chemie’s Green Care Professional brand washing powder range. Sustainable solutions for all types of soiling and textiles guarantee outstanding washing results. And with the freshly revised formulations for even more sustainability! The concentrated powders are characterized by high performance, which not only saves transport energy. The reduced dosage also minimizes costs per wash load. The smaller packaging is user-friendly and saves storage capacity. A key part of the revision is, of course, the biodegradable ingredients and EU Ecolabel certification. The formulations are free of microplastics and complexing agents such as EDTA, NDA, phosphates and chlorine-containing compounds.

Less Powder. More Performance. Complete green.

ACTIV intense: High performing laundry detergent with long-lasting fragrance, perfectly suitable for old people’s and nursing homes

ACTIV performa: High performing laundry detergent for bleaching and degreasing, perfectly suitable for use in hotels, restaurants and cafés

ACTIV bicompact, Ultra concentrated laundry detergent for short washing cycles and particularly energy-saving, can be used from 20°C

Green Transformation: The “Go Green” Year at Werner & Mertz Professional

Our Green Care Professional family is still growing

For the Professional Division of Werner & Mertz, 2022 promises to be a thoroughly green year. In the “Go Green“ project, the Mainz specialists for professional cleaning are hard at work, enlarging the product portfolio of their sustainable Green Care Professional brand. In the process, the formulas and packaging of several Tana Professional brand products are being reworked and optimized for a sustainable circular economy and their inclusion in the Green Care Professional portfolio. Thus, the recyclable solutions for professional building cleaning will be significantly expanded again.   

“With our choice of ingredients for Green Care Professional, we are setting standards today for ecological products that often deliver better cleaning performance,” said Dr. Paula Barreleiro, Head of Formula Development at Tana-Chemie GmbH. “We are steadfastly following this path with “Go Green”. In pursuit of our goals, we are tapping the experience and technology of our closed loop sustainability concept for the Green Care Professional brand.”

In the future many of the reworked products will bear the respected eco credentials such as the Cradle-to-Cradle certificate, EU Ecolabel and the Austrian Ecolabel. “These certifications are a visible sign that we are raising the sustainability of our customers to a new level with our product conversions. We see this as the most promising way to a circular future,“ says Xiaoming Bai, Head of International Product Management and Marketing.

The next big step

The ecological products for cleaning professionals developed by Tana-Chemie GmbH since 1987 were brought together under the eco brand Green Care Professional in 2011. In recent years the company has been steadily modifying its Tana Professional products for the circular economy. The next big step is coming up in 2022. “This will definitely be our ‘Go Green’ year,” says Bai. “By the end of the year, we will have incorporated the major share of the planned Tana products into our Green Care portfolio.”   

The large-scale transformation involves many products from the areas of Building Cleaning, Kitchen, Laundry and Personal Hygiene. Their formulas and packaging adhere even more closely to the principles of the holistic circular economy. In addition, formulas contain a greater share of plant-based raw materials which are biologically degradable and thus suitable for a return to the biological cycle. After usage, the packaging made of high-quality recycled plastic and based on Design for Recycling specifications is held in a closed technical cycle.

“You can see in the example of our sanitary cleaner SANET lavocid,“ says Barreleiro, “how we are reworking our Tana Professional products for their integration in the Green-Care portfolio. Since its transformation, the product has been EU Ecolabel certified. Now free of preservatives, the formula contains surfactants based on renewable plants and natural citric acid. Furthermore, the packaging is made of 100 percent recyclate and is kept in a closed loop with proper recycling.”

More information about the “Go Green” project can be found at

Werner & Mertz Professional at Interclean 2022: Crowds rush toward the circular economy

Tana-Chemie GmbH auf der Interclean 2022. Copyright: Tana-Chemie GmbH

Interest in sustainability and the circular economy is growing by leaps and bounds in the professional building cleaning sector. That’s the take-away for Tana-Chemie, the Professional Divison of Werner & Mertz, from this year’s Interclean trade show in Amsterdam. Several hundred companies presented their latest solutions and concepts for professional cleaning from 10 to 13 May in the Netherlands capital.

At the Werner & Mertz Professional booth at Interclean, visitors from all over the world got a good look at the newest products, services and digital tools from the eco pioneer. As usual, the company’s fair presence revolved around the key concept of a sustainable circular economy. “It was fantastic that after a purely digital interlude in 2020, we could finally talk face-to-face with customers,“ says Thomas Ulbricht, CEO of Werner & Mertz Professional. “The atmosphere among the fair visitors was very positive and the interest in our products and topics was enormous.” 

Compared to the last live fair in 2018, it was easy to see that sustainability has become the focus of all companies at Interclean, according to Mr. Ulbricht. “As a long-time pioneer of the circular economy and ecological product design, we obviously benefit from this new eco awareness. Which, not least of all, could be seen in the large crowds at our booth.” 

The transition to the circular economy

A highlight at the Werner & Mertz Professional booth was a three-dimensional installation that demonstrated the two recycling loops for Green Care Professional brand cleaning products. In one, plant-based raw materials that go into the cleaning products from Green Care are biologically degraded in nature and returned to the biological cycle. The packaging made of high-quality recycled plastic and designed for recycling is kept in a closed technical cycle.

“In this eye-catching model, our customers can see how our products support them in speeding up their transition to the circular economy,“ Mr. Ulbricht says. “It was quickly clear to many visitors that our cleaning solutions also raise customers‘ sustainable use to a whole new level. And that’s made possible without any extra effort from the user. Our Green Care portfolio is a sure way for our customers to become heroes of the circular economy.”

One of the products and digital tools available to users pushing the green transformation in their own companies is the Green Care Academy, an innovative continuing education program for cleaning professionals. On this newly developed eLearning platform, professional cleaning staff have access to practical instructional videos with easily understood information about daily work routines.

Using the free online tool Green Care Performance Calculator, visitors at the booth could find out how many tons of plastic waste, crude oil and greenhouse gases they could avoid by switching to sustainable cleaning products from Green Care Professional. With KLIKS – Pouch, the company introduced a sustainable innovation for its KLIKS dosing system. Now Green Care concentrated cleaners are available in space-saving plastic pouches whose design purposely eliminates all unnecessary packaging material.


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Guest speaker at INPACS GmbH

Werner & Mertz Professional went outside its own booth to share the message of the innovative power of a sustainable circular economy. Xiaoming Bai, International Marketing Director at Werner & Mertz Professional, was invited to speak at the INPACS GmbH booth. In his keynote address, Bai led the audience step by step through the transitional process to a successful circular economy and spoke about what the European Green Deal means for the professional cleaning sector.

EcoVadis Platinum awarded to Tana-Chemie GmbH

Tana-Chemie GmbH receives highest award from EcoVadis

Founded in 1971 under the brand names Green Care Professional and Tana Professional, the Professional Division of the Werner & Mertz Group has since then offered high-performance hygiene solutions for use in professional cleaning in different sectors. Applications include building cleaning, healthcare facilities and food processing operations. With the focus on integrally sustainable cleaning, the company works toward establishing a functioning circular economy. Through the manufacturing of environmentally compatible and biologically degradable ingredients for cleaning products and the use of innovative, recyclable packaging, the Werner & Mertz Group pursues an approach that has earned it a pioneering position in resource conservation.

Tana-Chemie GmbH has received many awards in recent years for its sustainability efforts and accomplishments. They include certificates of compliance with criteria for EMAS, the world’s most demanding environmental management system;the sustainable building standard LEED Platinum for the Mainz administration building; and Gold certification of several professional products from the renowned Cradle to Cradle® NGO. In June of this year, Tana-Chemie lived up to its excellent reputation once again. The highly respected CSR rating agency EcoVadis recognized the company for the second time—this time with Platinum, the top rating for sustainable business and a special honor that goes to just one percent of all companies audited.  

Since 2007 EcoVadis has evaluated companies’ environmental protection and social practices. More than 75,000 businesses in 200 industries around the world have had themselves and their supply chains objectively assessed and placed into one of the four rating classes of Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. The demanding audit covers corporate performance in 21 categories, divided into the four areas of Labor and Human Rights, Ethics, Environment and Sustainable Procurement. The last two subjects were particularly  decisive for Tana-Chemie. Special mention was made of the company’s use of recyclable packaging and renewable energy, the reduction in water consumption for production through innovative methods such as the re-use of water from operational processes. With its elevation from the previous Silver status to Platinum, Tana-Chemie is recognized as one of the most sustainable companies in the world. 

Thomas Ulbricht, Head of the Werner & Mertz Professional Division, is proud of the best rating award. The result, he says, reflects the company’s years of effort in sustainable management. The EcoVadis platinum award brings obvious benefits to the environment and, not least of all, to the business partners of Tana-Chemie. For one thing, the entire supply chain is made more transparent and for another, the envisioned continuous improvement of performance in key indicators is for the good of everyone involved. All of that creates lasting mutual trust.

Vergabe-Insider: New online trade journal about green public procurement

There’s no doubt that public procurement must and will become more sustainable. The changes present great challenges to purchasing agents because, despite sustainability’s relevance, the issue has thus far been neglected in public procurement. Consequently, the agents lack clarification on one hand and concrete assistance with practical implementation on the other. In order to change that, the Professional Division of the Mainz-based cleaning products manufacturer Werner & Mertz, is working with the Forschungsgruppe für Recht und Management öffentlicher Beschaffung (FoRMöB) at the University of the German Armed Forces in Munich. Together they have founded the VERGABE INSIDER, an online trade journal for everyone who deals with green public procurement. Another important partner in the magazine is NABU (Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union).