The Charter for Sustainable Cleaning is the flagship voluntary sustainability initiative of the European cleaning and maintenance products industry. The aim is to encourage the whole industry to undertake continual improvement in terms of sustainability and to also encourage consumers to adopt more sustainable ways of doing their washing, cleaning, and maintenance. It is a lifecycle analysis-based framework that facilitates a common industry approach to sustainability practice and reporting.

Sectors of activity
Environmental Services, Consumer Goods, Industrial Sector

Type of initiative
Other

Start date
01/01/2005

Shared by

Amelie Weber

Sustainability Manager

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Objectives

The Charter for Sustainable Cleaning is the flagship voluntary sustainability initiative of the European cleaning and maintenance products industry. The aim is to encourage the whole industry to undertake continual improvement in terms of sustainability and to also encourage consumers to adopt more sustainable ways of doing their washing, cleaning, and maintenance. The Charter contributes directly or indirectly to most of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and has goal 12 “Responsible Consumption & Production” at its heart. It also addresses the objectives of the European Green Deal including the EU Plastics Strategy.

The Charter is a lifecycle analysis (LCA) based framework. It promotes and facilitates a common industry approach to sustainability practice and reporting. A wide variety of activities and initiatives are covered, ranging from the human and environmental safety of chemicals and products, to eco-efficiency, corporate social responsibility, occupational health and safety, resource use and consumer information. All companies that commit to the Charter will be able to use the company Charter logo on their products and can therefore demonstrate to their value chain partners, stakeholders, customers and consumers that they are actively working towards these critical priorities. Manufacturers who additionally meet the sustainability product standards can use the product Charter logo. Consumers can be assured that products carrying the product logo meet high standards for environmental safety, minimise waste and provide clear and transparent information on how to use them in a more sustainable way. More information on the two logos can be found in the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBVCMxxLzmc.

The original Charter was launched in 2005 in all EU countries plus Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland and covers all product categories of the soaps, detergents and maintenance products industry, in both the household and industrial and institutional sectors. It is open to all companies, whether they are members of A.I.S.E., its National Association members or not, and whether they manufacture, distribute, or market soaps, detergents, maintenance products or cleaning systems. It is relevant both to manufacturing companies placing products directly on the market as well to retailers and distributors wishing to apply the Charter to private label products. Major updates were launched in 2010 and 2020 (i.e. Charter 2020+) .

Activities

As collected through the One Planet Reporting

Outcome level

SCP monitoring and reporting

  • Charter KPI Reporting

Impact and Results

The Charter has a proven track record of delivering tangible improvements in environmental performance. Since 2006, companies signed up to the Charter have cut energy use by 36% and carbon emissions by 44% per tonne produced, and have reduced packaging by 32% per consumer unit, all externally verified by the Charter auditors.

With over 90% of production tonnage in the EU+5 now covered by the Charter, this shows clearly that the industry has decoupled production from environmental impacts.

Next steps and how to get involved

The Charter 2020 is open to all companies operating in the European cleaning and hygiene products industry. To sign up, request access to the Charter training area via e-mail (charter@aise.eu) .