Meet the Inventor: Tim Audiss Has a Passion for Sustainable Innovation
Clorox is full of scientists of every stripe.
We’ve got microbiologists and geologists, engineers and chemists. We’ve got data scientists and social scientists, technical scientists and theoretical scientists.
One thing all Clorox scientists share, however, is deep curiosity and a passion for what consumers want and need.
Come meet one of our Clorox inventors.
Tim Audiss is relatively new to Clorox R&D, and his first big project was about as high profile as they come.
He was part of the team behind the launch of Clorox® compostable cleaning wipes, one of our most anticipated product innovations of 2020.
That project had many highs: it was an accelerated launch, so agility was essential. He got to work with the manufacturing team to ensure the process met our quality standards. (It does.) It allowed him to put his passion for environmental science to work at work. And he knows he’s laying the groundwork for even more sustainability innovations from the Clorox brand.
That’s pretty exciting stuff.
That feeling when you know you have a winning formula
One of the launch highlights for Tim was doing blind tests of the compostable wipes with Clorox employees.
As you can imagine, Clorox people are a discerning lot when it comes to cleaning wipes. Scent, efficacy, strength, overall experience… these people know what a wipe can and should be.
So when our own people were evenly split over which wipe they prefer, the iconic Clorox disinfecting wipe or the new Clorox compostable cleaning wipe, Tim was pretty stoked. He knew his team had a winner.
“Each round, when we’d tell them one of the wipes was better for the planet and they could just throw it in the green bin, their eyes would light up,” Tim said. “It was really exciting to work on something that feels so different for people.”
Marrying personal interests with professional efforts
Tim planned to work in renewable energy after college, but he went to work for a big consumer packaged goods company instead. There, he fell in love with products.
“I love going to the store and seeing the products I worked on on the shelf,” Tim said. “I got hooked on the consumer products.”
Prior to joining Clorox, Tim focused his R&D efforts on brand maintenance and cost-saving innovations. Compostable wipes were his first foray into launching a new product.
“It’s fun to move upstream in the development of products,” Tim said of Clorox compostable wipes. “This was such a fast-paced project where I could have a lot of ownership and also contribute to sustainability of the wipes business. I can’t wait to see where this innovation takes us.”
The sustainability goals in our IGNITE Strategy are a big motivator for Tim.
“It feels like we’re pushing boundaries with our new strategy,” Tim said. “Sustainability is so much a part of the conversation now, with people asking how can we go bigger and beat our sustainability goals faster.”
All the small things
The compostable wipes project also inspired Clorox R&D to start its own compost bin at its Pleasanton, California, campus so it could do its own compostability testing on-site.
While the campus has always had green compost bins in all buildings, that compost is sent to an offsite industrial composting facility. The R&D composting effort, by contrast, is an extension of the lab.
The Hidden Valley R&D team has a garden where it grows ingredients like tomatoes and herbs for its experiments. Garden trimmings now go in the R&D compost bin. And the Cleaning team closes the loop, using that compost to test how different bio-based wipes materials break down over time.
This is a small but important step to working sustainability into our everyday work at Clorox.