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Cleaning Industry Launches Sustainable Products Initiative

The American Cleaning Institute (ACI), whose members include Dow Chemical, Procter & Gamble, SC Johnson and Seventh Generation among other major brands, has launched a voluntary initiative to improve the sustainability of cleaning products.

The Charter for Sustainable Cleaning goes beyond basic legal requirements and provides a framework for driving the industry toward common sustainability goals, ACI says. It requires companies to have systems in place for continual assessment, review, and improvement of sustainability performance, including raw material selection, resource use, and occupational health and safety, at every stage of the product lifecycle.

The charter consists of three required components:

  • Charter companies must formally commit to the ACI Principles for Sustainability.
  • Charter companies must participate in ACI’s Sustainability Metrics Program.
  • Charter companies must work toward implementing a set of essential sustainability procedures and activities (SPAs), which apply to the design, raw material use, manufacture, consumer use and disposal of products and packaging, to become members of the Charter.

The ACI Charter is based in part on the A.I.S.E. Charter for Sustainable Cleaning, a voluntary initiative of the European soaps, detergents and maintenance products industry developed by ACI’s sister trade association, A.I.S.E.

Earlier this week ACI member company Procter & Gamble announced plans to end the use of phosphates in all of its laundry detergents in the next two years, a move that will have the greatest impact on developing countries. The company stopped using phosphates in laundry detergent sold in the US in the early 1990s as part of a voluntary ACI commitment.

ACI member companies reduced their greenhouse gas emissions 12 percent from 2010 to 2011, according to the organization’s most recent sustainability report.


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