Dana: “My Year in Industry… and beyond” … at Surfachem, a 2M Holdings Company

As part of the 2M-STEM programme, we are proud to provide Year in Industry opportunities for young people wanting to access a career in the Chemical Industry.

Following an Industrial placement with us, Dana secured a Year in Industry placement at 2M, which later led to a permanent role in our lab. She tells her story, below:

“My experience in second year with interviews for industrial placement wasn’t good. I’d gone to about five interviews, applied to 25+ jobs, and had either not heard back from some jobs, or had been rejected completely from others. By the time the stressful exam season came round, I had almost fully given up on finding a placement.

That was until my friend sent me an advert from the university, about a six week summer placement at Surfachem, a 2M Holdings Company.

After applying, interviewing and meeting some people, I was delighted to be offered a six week summer job in the head office, sponsored by Santander, to deal with regulatory information for the company. Even though I would have preferred working in a laboratory over summer, I knew that working behind the scenes of a chemical company would still give me an edge when it came to finding a job once I’d graduated.

My first week working for the company went by quickly; I’d been assigned to the technical team and was given my first project, which included updating COSSH and product information sheets. As part of my enrolment, I’d spent time with the other teams within the company – from sales to purchasing and account managers. Everyone in the company was genuinely nice, and would always be willing to help if I came to them with a problem.

As the weeks went by I felt like an essential part of the team, so when I heard from Technincal Director Fakhara Jones that they were exploring a Year in Industry placement for me, I was over the moon.

My placement year was one of the most enjoyable years I’d had at university. I’ll admit that at first it was daunting. The amount of products that were kept and used in the lab, as well as figuring out what did what in a formulation astounded me, but as the weeks passed I found that I could commit a lot of the information to memory.

Preparing for SCS Formulate was one of the biggest tests of my placement year. We needed to make up about 20 different products, all to be displayed at the exhibition, within a couple of weeks. Since we were making such a large amount of products, working precisely and efficiently was essential.

As my Year in Industry came to an end, we started having discussions about me coming back and working part time through my last year at University. It was an amazing opportunity. Not only did it allow me to keep up to date with projects and formulation work, but it also meant that coming back full time after Graduation would be a smoother process, both for myself and the company.

Two weeks after finishing my last exams, I started working full time for Surfachem, and I honestly couldn’t be happier. The experiences and relationships that I’ve gained throughout these two years invaluable and I hope that my journey into Formulation continues to be just as wonderful.”

Dana, Technical Development Chemist, Surfachem

Dana at the Surfachem technical laboratory within the 3M Buckley Innovation Centre at The University of Huddersfield, Yorkshire, UK

Dana graduating with a Chemistry Degree from the University of Huddersfield, Yorkshire, UK

*This article was first published by Chemicals Northwest in the December 2017 edition of Elements Magazine
For further details, please contact Liran Maller, HR Director at 2M Holdings: lmaller@2m-holdings.com

Top, Safety, Health and the Environment (SHE) Award for Banner Chemicals’ and 2M Holdings’ Compliance Director

David Dalton (right) receives the Gerald Soane Award from former SIA Chairman Geoff Stamper
Photo courtesy of Andrew Norman

Britain’s Solvent Industry Association (SIA) has awarded David Dalton, Group Compliance Director of Banner Chemicals and its parent company, 2M Holdings, their prestigious annual Gerald Soane Award for Safety, Health, and the Environment at their Annual General Meeting in October 2017.

The award was given in recognition of David’s outstanding work on a number of Guidance Notes in the 2016-17 period and for his ever-present and ongoing commitment to the Association.

David said:
“The SIA Technical Committee’s aim is to improve knowledge throughout the solvent supply chain and advocate the adoption of best practice when handling solvents.

The focus of the SIA’s Guidance Notes is to provide straightforward practical advice to end users where technical resources may be limited.

I am extremely pleased to be the recipient of Gerald Soane award for my work with the Technical Committee, which is a collaborative process drawing on a wide range of expertise and knowledge from member companies.”
David has been an active member of the SIA’s Technical Committee for many years and has worked tirelessly for improved Health and Safety across the Industry.

This award follows previous recognition from Chemicals Northwest for SHE in ensuring safer packaging practices along the supply chain, in accordance with ADR regulations, which David wrote for the SIA in 2015.

Banner Chemicals is part of the 2M Group and is a full and active member of the Solvents Industry Association.

2M STEM programme shows 100 students how Chemistry is used in Crime scene investigations

Encouraging young people to access a career in Chemistry is a key part of the 2M-STEM programme, set up in 2015 by 2M Holdings.

At the end of July, Jim Bell, Dispersions Development Manager and Specialty Chemicals Account Manager at Banner Chemicals, a 2M subsidiary, changed from Chemist to teacher for the day, as part of the ‘Chemistry at Work’ initiative at the Catalyst Museum.

Jim introducing pupils to the phenomenon of Chemiluminescence.

Demonstrating real life, exciting applications of chemistry to nearly 100 students in classes of 15, Jim showed year 8 and year 9 (12-14 year olds) the kind of impact chemistry can have.

“Every year I present to the young budding scientists, I see a renewed and continued interest in the chemical industry” said Jim.

Jim introduced the students to the phenomenon of Chemiluminescence (the emission of light as a result of a chemical reaction).

He started with the basic chemistry involved with a military grade safety light stick, and provided all students with “party style” glow sticks to activate.

This was further demonstrated by reacting the individual chemicals in situ so that the students could see the reaction develop before their very eyes.

After an interesting discussion they moved on to a more important application where the same chemistry is used in Crime Scene Investigation to detect latent blood stains where the iron in human blood acts as the catalyst at levels as low as one: one million, and showed that blood could also be detected after attempts were made to clean the crime scene. This technology could all be related to the ‘CSI television programme’ which the students were familiar with.

Mottie Kessler, Chairman and CEO of 2M Holdings said:
“I am proud the 2M-STEM programme continues to support local schools, in conjunction with the Catalyst Museum. The UK Chemical Industry is world leading, but its success depends on our development and support of the next generation of scientists.”

The Catalyst museum have been organizing these business outreach days for many years now, “to ensure the UK science sector in the UK continues to evolve and the next generation of scientists have the skills that both they and business require to be successful in the future.”

2M Holdings is proud to be involved for the third year running.

Jim with pupils at ‘Chemistry at Work’ event.

The “2M STEM” programme wins top CSR award from Chemical Business Association for its work with 550 young people

The CSR programme of 2M Holdings, “2M STEM” saw a leap in the number of young people helped last year, with staff across the Group helping over 550 young people across the UK to access a career in Science, Technology, Engineering or Maths (STEM.)

2M Holding’s staff volunteered in schools, universities, careers fairs and a science museum to inspire and advise young people on a career in STEM.

2M Holdings created and supported graduate jobs, apprenticeships, internships and work experience opportunities across its sites, from its R&D Laboratories, to its sales centres of excellence.

2016 was a record year for the number of STEM graduates recruited into 2M Holdings, including Chemistry and Chemical Engineering graduates.

Liran Maller, Group Director of HR for 2M Holdings said:

“I am delighted with this recognition of our continued efforts to help young people access a career in STEM. As a company working across many communities in the UK, helping young people while closing the skills gap is a vital part of who we are.

The 2M STEM programme will go from strength to strength and we will continue to break down barriers for young people wanting to access a career in the Industry.”

The Chemical Business Association commended 2M’s ‘outstanding contribution’ to the community.

2M Stands in Solidarity with victims of Manchester bombings to support Red Cross ‘We Love Manchester’ Emergency Fund

In solidarity with the victims and survivors of the Manchester bombings, 2M Holdings is raising funds for the ‘We Love Manchester Emergency Fund’.

Donations will help the victims and survivors with emotional support, funeral costs and funds which will be needed over the coming weeks and months as they struggle to overcome the effects of the bombings.

As Manchester’s neighbours, we stand in solidarity with all those affected. Our hearts and thoughts are with them and their families at this difficult time.

Donations can be made via https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/2M-Holdings and go directly to the Red Cross ‘We Love Manchester Emergency Fund’..

Mottie Kessler MBE takes up post as Chair of Chemical Business Association, UK

Mottie Kessler is now Chair of the Chemical Business Association (CBA), a post he will hold until April 2019.

The Association will be critical in liaising with the UK Government on Brexit and the implications of everything from regulation to trade agreements.

“The Chemical Industry is one of the largest employers in the UK and underpins crucial industries from Aviation to Pharma” says Mottie, Chairman and CEO of 2M Holdings Ltd. “This will be a telling time for the Industry.”

Looking ahead at the next two years, Mottie says his objectives are to represent the UK supply chain while promoting best practice through Responsible Care, an area 2M Holdings has received a number of awards for.

“Clearly it is vital, especially in the current climate” says Mottie, “To focus on supporting members’ growth through guidance, legislative and technical support and this will be key for me.”

Mottie will also continue to clear a path for young people interested in taking up a career in the science-based industries, which are key to the strength of the UK economy. The “2M STEM” programme is now entering its third year, having helped a record 550 young people access a career in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) in 2016.

It will certainly be an interesting two years! We wish Mottie the best of luck.

Elevance Partners with 2M Holdings to Distribute Elevance Clean® Product Lines

Elevance Partners with 2M Holdings to Distribute Elevance Clean® Product Lines

Woodridge, Illinois, USA (April 27, 2017) – Elevance Renewable Sciences, Inc., which creates novel, high-performing specialty chemicals from renewable feedstocks, today announced its partnership with 2M Holdings as a new distributor for the Elevance Clean® product line to the household, industrial & institutional market in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

“We are pleased to partner with 2M Holdings, which brings in-depth product and market knowledge in the household, industrial & institutional industry where the Elevance Clean® product line provides superior performance attributes,” said Commercial Director Gregory E. Gerhardt. “At Elevance, we remain committed to developing renewable and high-performance cleaning solutions – like our Elevance Clean® product line for cleaners.”


2M Holdings will provide enhanced service and support capabilities for existing and potential customers in the UK and Ireland with an interest in the Elevance Clean® product line, including:

  • Elevance Clean® 1200XA and Elevance Clean® 1200HT, superior performing, fast acting and VOC-exempt solvents for industrial degreasing formulations that outperform conventional and bio-based predecessors; and
  • Elevance Clean® 1000, a high-performing, bio-based cleaning ingredient that helps reduce d-limonene dependence and provides price and supply stability while improving performance in applications such as asphalt and tar removal, and metal degreasing.

“The agreement with Elevance expands 2M’s portfolio of environmentally friendly and sustainable products. We have expertise in precision cleaning and solvents and our application laboratories and technical teams support customers in providing bespoke solutions,” said 2M Holdings Chairman & CEO Mottie Kessler.

Customers in the UK and Ireland should direct all inquiries to 2M Holdings via phone: +44 19028 597 000 or via email to: info@bannerchemicals.com.

To learn more about or request a sample of the Elevance Clean® 1200 product line or Elevance Clean® 1000, visit www.elevance.com/clean1200 or www.elevance.com/clean1000.

About Elevance Renewable Sciences, Inc.
Headquartered in Woodridge, Ill., Elevance Renewable Sciences, Inc. creates novel, high-performing specialty chemicals from renewable feedstocks using a proprietary Nobel Prize-winning olefin metathesis technology. These chemical building blocks are leveraged in a wide range of applications, including detergents, coatings, personal care, oil field, agricultural chemicals and engineered polymers. Elevance uses a collaborative business model, exploring opportunities to engage with industry leaders, accelerating time to market and leveraging market expertise while enabling its partners to achieve growth through sustainable and higher performing solutions. To learn more, visit www.elevance.com.

2M Holdings Ltd expands and builds presence in Germany, acquiring dry ice producer CE-O2 Trockeneis GmbH

2M Logo





Press Release:  2M Holdings Ltd expands and builds presence in Germany, acquiring dry ice producer CE-O2 Trockeneis GmbH
(Düsseldorf, Germany)

CE-O2 Distribution Truck

2M Holdings Ltd (“2M”) is delighted to announce it has acquired CE-O2 Trockeneis GmbH (CE-02), a privately held, long standing producer and supplier of dry ice to customers in the Food, Catering and Life Science industries.

“When we acquire a business our objective is to buy a good business and help it to grow and become excellent. An added benefit is when we can use it as a stepping stone to add product lines which support our suppliers and new customers” said Mottie Kessler, 2M Chairman & CEO.

With its prime location in Düsseldorf airport and its excellent reputation, CE-O2 is a perfect fit to support 2M’s growth strategy.

“Having established CE-O2 in 1999 and growing the business, we decided it would be best to find it a new owner who would support its further growth, while maintaining workforce and reputation. We feel that 2M is the ideal new home for the business we established and for its employees” added Mr Wagener, key shareholder and Managing Director of CE-O2.

Dry-ice is used in a variety of industries and applications, including:
•    Biological Research → keeps samples fresh
•    Medical Procedures → enables the transportation of organs for transplant
•    Food Processing → freeze drying, cold grinding and keeping food fresh for many hours
•    Cleaning → dry ice blasting
•    Rubber Processing
•    Pharmaceutical Manufacturing

Mr Reiner Niethammer, who has many years’ experience in the industrial gases industry, will become Managing Director and the selling shareholders will continue to support CE-O2’s growth under 2M’s new ownership.

About CE-O2 Trockeneis GmbH

Established in Düsseldorf, Germany in 1999 by its three owners, CE-O2 produces and distributes dry ice slices, nuggets and pellets, matching its customers’ requirements. It owns and operates dry ice production units as well as a dedicated fleet of special insulated boxes and transportation, to deliver to its customers in the Food, Catering and Life Science industries. Being located next to Düsseldorf International Airport enables CE-02 to provide quick response and highest service level to support customers’ requirements.

About 2M Holdings Limited

2M Holdings Ltd (www.2m-holdings.com) is a portfolio of strong brand chemical distribution and related chemical services companies of samples management, storage and blending. The group is privately owned and was founded in 2004 by Mottie Kessler MBE, the present Chairman and CEO.

Headquartered in the UK with local presence in China, Benelux, Ireland, Poland, Scandinavia, Brazil, 2M exports to over 90 countries.

2M Holdings Limited includes: Banner Chemicals, Surfachem, MP Storage & Blending, Packed Chlorine, SampleRite UK, SampleRite China, and Stowlin Croftshaw.

2M businesses specialise in solvents, specialty chemicals and surfactants to automotive, precision cleaning, coating, emission reduction, oilfield & refineries, flavours & fragrances, personal care, household & industrial hygiene cleaning and pharmaceuticals industries.

2M also produces: CleanAirBlue™, Pigmentan, MEC-Prime, Perklone™ EXT, Perklone™ D, Perklone™ MD and Triklone™ LE, SamSol, and Packed Chlorine.

Contact information

Please direct all inquiries to 2M Holdings via phone: +44 1928 597 000 or via email to: mkessler@2m-holdings.com

HRH Prince Charles gives Mottie Kessler MBE at Buckingham Palace Ceremony for Services to Industry and Exporting in the North West of England

Mottie Kessler recently met HRH Prince Charles, at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace, to receive his MBE for Services to Industry and Exporting in the North West of England.

The award is given for Mottie’s services to the Chemical Industry in the UK, including significant job creation and export promotion in the North of England and exporting to over 90 countries. Mottie has also been recognised for his support in helping young people access a career in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.)


Mottie, who founded the 2M Group 12 years ago said:

I am proud and humbled to receive this award. I feel it represents recognition of the importance of Chemical businesses in the UK and the Chemical Industry as a whole.

Our success is based on our partnership with our loyal suppliers, customers and dedicated teams. Our export growth has been strongly supported by DIT, formerly UKTI.

12 years ago we took a leap of faith, investing heavily in the North of England, providing building blocks, services and knowhow essential for improving everyday life.

We decided to keep pushing, despite the odds, to grow and nurture our Chemical businesses and to support the Industry in the UK. I believe that the Chemical industry can offer growth, better life and sustainability in the UK. Coupling chemistry and entrepreneurship is key to the UK’s success.

I want to thank our Export Director, who is also my wife and my business partner, Dr Maggie Kessler as without her, this journey would not have been possible.

About the 2M Group and Mottie’s business journey:

Twelve years ago Mottie founded the 2M Group which became a portfolio of branded Chemical Distribution and related Service Companies.

The Group includes:

  • Distribution companies including: Banner Chemicals (est. 1860), Surfachem, Packed Chlorine and Stowlin.
  • Service companies including: MP Storage and Blending, SampleRite and Prism Chemicals.
  • International subsidiaries in China, Brazil & Benelux, Poland and Norway.

The 2M Group supports UK producers and customers via its best-in- class product selection, technical knowhow and stewardship, and specialty services. The Group provides products which help keep our drinking water free from bacteria, green technology for reducing diesel emissions, create beauty products and essential pharmaceutical products and help UK producers in their marketing efforts by managing their commercial samples, among many other services.

When Mottie established the 2M Group, it only sold within the UK and had 80 employees. The Group now exports to over 90 countries and has over 250 employees.

Mottie started his own career with an industrial work placement and has made it his mission to provide young people in the UK with similar opportunities: the 2M Group has devoted great resources and energies to helping young people across the North access a career in STEM and in 2016 reached over 550 young people by providing work placements, jobs, careers guidance and ‘get into Science’ days.

Mottie and 2M Holdings have also been recognised in multiple business awards including:

  • International Business of the year 2016 for 2M’s Subsidiary, Surfachem
  • Director of the Year, Mid-Market Enterprise, Institute of Directors, 2015
  • Global Director of the Year,Institute of Directors2015
  • EY Entrepreneur for Manufacturing, UK North, 2014

For press contact, please contact Liran Maller at lmaller@2m-holdings.com

2M Group Announces another year of ‘2M STEM’ – Supporting young people access careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM)

In 2016, the 2M Group helped over 550 young people access careers in STEM Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects in the UK, as part of its ‘2M – STEM’ programme. The Group has just announced it will be continuing the programme in 2017 and has pledged to support even more young people this year, with special emphasis on graduates of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Life Sciences degrees.

Overcoming the STEM skill shortage is vital to the health and survival of many of the UK’s industries, including the Chemical Industry, of which 2M is a leading distributor.

As a British company of over 150 years’ history and a leading Chemical distributor, exporting to over 90 countries, 2M have made it their mission to help and inspire young people in the UK realise their potential in STEM subjects.

Figures show a widening skills gap in the UK’s industrial science sector, where there are over 30,000 more employees aged 40 – 64 than those in the 16 – 40 age group. New or recent school leavers and graduates accounted for only of 8.5% of the sectors’ total workforce.

The 2M-STEM programme has seen many employees across the 2M Group volunteering their time and insight to help young people learn about a career in the Chemical industry. The Group has used all of its sites across the UK, from its R & D facility in Huddersfield’s Innovation Centre, to the 8 acre Middlesbrough site – MP Storage and Blending, to provide apprenticeships, jobs, work experience and internships for as many young people as it could reach.

Mottie Kessler, Founder and Chairman of the 2M Group said: ‘I started my own career in the industry with a supported work placement and it gave me an opportunity and career which became a life-long passion. I want us to give young people those same opportunities.’

Liran Maller, Group Director of HR said: “Many of the young people we meet think a career in this industry is unattainable – that is a perception we are changing one person at a time. So far, the 2M-STEM programme has reached over 550 young people in 2016 alone. 2017 will be an even more successful year.”

If you are a recent graduate or school leaver hungry to pursue a career in Chemistry, Formulations, Chemical Engineering or IT, please email a CV and cover letter to recruitment@2m-holdings.com