Ecover turns corona profits into green projects


A green Flemish company pledges half a million euros to innovative nature and biodiversity initiatives

Fertilise the future

The coronavirus may be bad for the economy as a whole, but some companies are cashing in. One of them, Ecover – which produces green cleaning products – has decided to do the decent thing and spend some of its extra profit on sustainable development projects.

The company, which is headquartered in Malle, Antwerp Province, has pledged at least €500,000 to a Fertilise the Future Fund. Companies and other organisations with innovative environmental projects can apply for grants from the fund.

“In the aftermath of this pandemic, innovative ideas and bold business plans may well be lost,” said Tom Domen (pictured), Ecover’s global innovation manager. “But faced with a climate crisis, these are the ideas that we need more than ever before. That is why we are asking companies and organisations with radically new ideas to apply to our fund.”

Projects could include anything from a green roof that enhances biodiversity, to sustainable agriculture or the restoration of natural ecosystems. “Ideas will be chosen based on the range of benefits they provide for people and planet,” the company says.

The fund is open to organisations anywhere in Europe, although the intention is to support at least one project each in the UK, Germany and Belgium. These are the countries where Ecover is sold.

Applicants are asked to choose between three funding levels, of roughly €11,000 to €110,000, €110,000 to €330,000, and above €330,000. Applications can be made until 31 August, and the number of grants given will depend on the quantity and quality of applications received.

While Ecover has not yet revealed how much extra money it has made thanks to the pandemic, it describes demand for its cleaning products being so high that it had to increase capacity at its Malle production plant.

“We used part of our capacity to produce hand disinfection gel for healthcare institutions in the region, where there was a shortage at the time,” Domen said. “But now it’s time to think about how we want to rebuild our society.”

Photo courtesy Ecover