Hygiene becomes game changer during the pandemic


Gökhan Özdöl, Diversey MEA Vice President, Professional Division speaks about the pandemic impact in the region.


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August 29, 2021
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 Hygiene becomes game changer during the pandemic

How has the pandemic impacted the way Diversey operates in MEA?

Before the pandemic, hygiene was viewed as necessary. Faced with a highly contagious virus, individuals and businesses had to adjust to a new standard of hygiene. And, it has become a game changer for peace of mind and essential for saving lives. Having our mission, to protect and care for people everyday, at the heart of everything we do… we worked collaboratively with our customers to create a safer, cleaner and healthier environment for their guests and staff across their facility during the pandemic.

As of the first day, we guided them at every step of the way to create a customized COVID-19 protocol and checklist, including generic guidance for PPE in an highly unprecedented pandemic setting. We suggested thorough hygiene plans with our products and solutions.

We supported them in their cleaning and disinfecting operations to see if there is a potential risk with hygiene measurements needed to re-open their facility after closure, as well as critical touch point detection to be sanitized before and during opening if a potential risk exists. 

We developed “Safe Business'' Programs integrating products, processes, e-learning and measurement systems to reduce risk and improve hygiene results. Diversey Consulting also played an important role in auditing the customers’ operations within the program. As a result, our added value to our partners’ business together with our visibility have increased during pandemics. 


How can a business deliver better outcomes post-crisis? 

Better outcome for our customers is certainly to deliver peace of mind for their guests and their staff. Before the pandemic, peace of mind for our customers was simply to maintain brand integrity and focus on growing their business in every aspect. Pandemic was a real game changer. The efficient and effective way to deliver peace of mind has evolved to ‘hygiene that ensures cleaning and disinfection” and makes the invisible visible in a sense.

Diversey products and innovative hygiene solutions meet the needs of business owners who want to figure out quality services both for facility and employee safety, cleanliness and also guest comfort and trust, all in one place. Our “Safe Business” Program enables our customers to rebuild guest confidence towards their brand and its hygiene standards in order to minimize the impact of COVID-19 and so ensure their brand reputation and guest experience.


What challenges and opportunities have you observed so far?

Unprecedented times brought both challenges and opportunities at the same time for everyone for sure. But we have been, and always will be, heartily with our customers. 

During this period, we passionately work together with all of our business partners to develop, manage and help implement the best hygiene solutions and services for their businesses and guests. The entire Diversey Team worked hand in hand as one heart-one team! Consequently we have created added value not only for our customers but also for the region and growing market. 

Obviously, we expanded our market share with our Oxivir product range which was developed with patented Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide (AHP) Technology; a breakthrough in infection prevention, delivering fast-acting, broad spectrum disinfection with a high safety profile. 


How did/do you keep your teams, working remotely during lockdown, motivated? What can you do to ensure the health and safety of your workforce?

Our priority has always been our employees; their health & safety was at the top of our agenda during these unprecedented times. Especially our factory employees; they are our frontline heroes. In order to safeguard their health while continuing our operations, we have quickly switched to two shifts and on-duty style.  This led to minimum social interaction which helped decrease the risk of spread. All working space, common areas, and service buses were disinfected regularly. We organized informative sessions, posted signs and distributed brochures to increase awareness. 

To ensure the health and safety of our organization, we have an on-going system in place where all employees must be responsibly obliged; we continue to educate everyone on all safety precautions, rotational WFH or remote working schedule between teams. We conduct regular disinfection in all working areas and advise everyone to avoid having direct contacts with anyone. We also encourage them to take vaccines for protection and have regular self-monitoring through PCR tests. We make certain that our employees have adequate medical coverage in case of any emergencies.

Open and continuous communication is at the heart of everything we do... We also celebrate festivities by sending gifts to employees. These are the few things we do while giving the flexibility to create balance in their lives and achieve an even greater productivity at work.


What do you think the new normal is going to look like for the world? How will Diversey fit for the post pandemic future? 

In the post pandemic period, sustainability will be even more important. Pandemics will definitely be over, however sustainability concerns will remain… The climate crisis and resource scarcity are being felt across the world, and they create new, complex challenges for business and society. For example, 40% of the world's population is affected by water scarcity, and more than 2.1 billion people consume unsafe drinking water. Unfortunately, as we are emerging from the global pandemic, carbon emissions are increasing an estimated 6.6% this year. We are also seeing a 0.5% decrease in the global forest biocapacity. Forests around the world are needed to help mitigate the effects of climate change. The 1.5 degree temperature increase expected in 2040 is now expected in 2030. We hear of floods, drought, and wild fires every day…

Indicators are clear and obvious; protecting our planet will be the top priority for the world. In this regard, The United Nations (UN) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has published the most comprehensive global warming report ever prepared. According to the study, in which 234 scientists from 66 countries participated, the forest fires and floods in many countries in the last few months are just a small preview of what will happen in the future.  

In this respect, everybody including the business world should take action. This is also our strategic priority at Diversey; sustainability is core to the value we create with customers. We collaborate to create shared value and facilitate customers to conserve water and energy, reduce waste and increase productivity with our innovative hygiene solutions. We also commit to advance sustainability in our own operations. We set ambitious goals to continue to improve our water, energy and carbon footprint at our facilities year after year.