Kai Bendix became the CEO of ADA Cosmetics shortly after the first lockdown in July 2020. Below, he discusses how he wants to pave the way for a new, more sustainable era.
What is behind the “New ADA”-strategy?
The transformation of the market is in full swing. As a manufacturer, this means that we have to reignite our innovative strength and creatively move forward with sustainable product concepts. The “New ADA”-strategy has given new purpose and meaning to our efforts. The goal is “putting beauty into travel.”
Three market-related aspects are particularly important in its implementation: everything we do from now on should be “surprising, sustainable, and safe.” This triad defines the new ADA.
Surprising means innovative, sustainable refers to responsible management of resources and the environment, and safe stands for hygiene – the hottest topic in the hotel industry right now.
Simply put, ensuring excellent hygiene is part of a carefree guest experience, while also creating important competitive advantages over other hotels. Our customers should have complete and absolute confidence in our products’ safety. We guarantee it, and have already been pioneers in this field for years with our closed dispensers.
Sustainability is a key concept. How are you implementing this?
Sustainability is part of everything we do at our company. It’s a conscious goal in the development of every product and the optimization of every process. Since 2018, we have been the only hotel cosmetics manufacturer with Cradle to Cradle (C2C) certification.
This certification sets a very high standard. Each raw material, each recipe is scrupulously examined. All ingredients are environmentally safe and fully biodegradable. Sustainable waste and water management, the use of renewable energies, minimizing CO2 emissions, commitment to social responsibility – all of these are included.
You will be expanding the C2C certification to include packaging, is that right?
Yes. We already use only recyclable packaging materials, but now we want to greatly increase the use of recycled plastics. For this we are working with partners such as the Plastic Bank, an organization that focuses on collecting plastic waste from the world’s oceans and beaches. In addition to reducing plastic usage, we continue to research the development of innovative, sustainable packaging that will advance the vision of a circular economy.
How is sustainability reflected in your product mix?
Within the next one or two years, small cosmetic bottles will have disappeared from hotel bathrooms. This is one reason why we continue to place a strong focus on dispenser systems – one of our core competencies. ADA invented the first dispenser system for the hotel industry.
Now, we have just launched our latest dispenser system, SHAPE. This new system combines everything: design, functionality, hygiene, and sustainability.
We are also developing a method for clean, aseptic filling of open dispenser systems. Another program is in the works to enable the return of empty cartridges for recycling. Closing the recycling loop is essential to solving the longstanding plastics dilemma in our societies.
We have also just expanded our green accessories assortment, “Think, Act & Live Responsible,” into a comprehensive range of cosmetics. As of early next year, it will feature a completely sustainable product assortment, from shower gel to nail file. Our development pipeline also includes innovative formats for cosmetics application.
How are you promoting innovation?
More than almost any other company, ADA Cosmetics stands for new ideas. But we have to think and act on a more multidimensional level. Innovation can’t be managed singlehandedly in the long term. The pace set by small start-ups in our market is a real challenge for an established player like us. Therefore, we plan to cooperate more intensively with external innovators in the future and become more responsive.
Also, we are currently on the lookout worldwide for exciting, young skincare brands as future partners and see a lot of potential for both sides. But the most important thing for us is maintaining close contact with our customers. They are our key drivers of innovation and will help us discover the right solutions for their needs.