Author: Paul Twiss, InnuScience

Some 35 years ago a young college student Steve Teasdale, was in the middle of his training as a mining prospector for the French government living with the Cree Native Indians in the north of Canada. His time with them was to sow an indelible appreciation of the importance and fragility of the link that binds people to their environment evidenced by the adoptive Cree family of trapper hunters’ dependence on the sustainable utilisation of their natural resources, a dependence that built on Steve’s passion for the environment and all thing nature.

Fast forward to a university student who although having studied engineering fell in love with the opportunity to study biotech at the University of Quebec’s biological department and with his future business partner Daniel Couillard, first elaborated the ideas of taking biotechnology back into the commercial environment.

A chance visit to a commercial kitchen, shocked both Steve and Daniel as they found workers were using conventional chemicals as a daily routine; products that threatened their health, damaged surfaces and ultimately threatened the environment. This practice raised no significant concern for the people using these products. The practice was not even solving basic hygiene problems, surfaces were still filthy and greasy and floors still slippery.

Determined to end this situation, they set about establishing test products to see if they could effectively clean the area safely both for the employees, as much for the environment. The years spent with the Cree brought inspiration, as much as Steve’s continuous fascination with nature, and the various ecosystems that exist within as did the thousands of soil samples he’d collected.

After a further 2 years work, using the labs at the University of Quebec’s Biological Sciences department, isolating and developing bacterial strains and prototypes, they developed a solution for grease removal on cooker hoods. The first InnuScience products developed and marketed targeted niche applications, including treatments for drains, grease traps and odour management.

Starting from this single prototype, InnuScience has since developed an extensive portfolio of products using advanced technologies. Each product is unique and innovative. Every bacterial strain has been carefully selected for its exceptional, natural cleaning abilities: the H2 strain that was found on a beaver dam, the Pt8 on potato leftovers, the 34 from a hollow maple trunk, the famous J2 from a leaching bed and many more unique bacterial strains.

This concept of equilibrium is universal among Native Americans – expressing the critical need for balance between humans (‘Innu’ for Native Americans) and the natural environment. The name InnuScience was formed to reflect this fundamental relationship.

Today the InnuScience story continues. Sustainability driven businesses such as The Conduit, Sticks N Sushi, Farmacy Restaurant, Spring Restaurant and the Universities of Edinburgh and Manchester have made the switch to InnuScience. As the new decade opens, InnuScience, buoyed by additional resources and renewed focus, is now ready to shift the markets’ perception of green cleaning products from a niche offering to the new normal and to change the way the world cleans.