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European detergent industry a step closer to sustainable cleaning

Friday, June 08, 2012

Significant CO2 savings presented in 7th sustainability report

A.I.S.E., the international Association for Soaps, Detergents and maintenance products, has presented its 7th sustainability report today at its General Assembly in Nice.

It reports significant industry progress, in particular in energy and CO2 savings, with a 22 % decrease versus 2006, far exceeding the 2012 Kyoto targets for the EU and already overshooting the EU 2020 climate and energy targets for GHG emissions.







MEP Gaston Franco, speaking at A.I.S.E.'s General Assembly where the report was released, said: "I congratulate the companies that have signed the A.I.S.E. Charter for Sustainable Cleaning, which contains a number of very pertinent objectives. It is important in Europe – vis-à-vis consumers and regulators – to demonstrate tangible efforts undertaken by companies in a voluntary way and not through regulatory pressure. The Charter scheme is valuable for the sector and I welcome these initiatives. Sustainable development needs such kinds of voluntary approaches similarly to what is done in our region with the fragrance industry."

This result was possible thanks to more than 175 companies which have signed up to A.I.S.E.'s Charter for Sustainable Cleaning, the voluntary industry initiative which encourages manufacturers and consumers to adopt more sustainable cleaning practices. More than 85% of the total production of detergents and maintenance products in Europe meet industry's sustainability requirements as defined through this voluntary industry program. Part of their commitment also includes annual reporting against a set of 11 Key Performance Indicators including total tonnages covered by this scheme, consumer information, occupational health and safety, and water consumption.

Gwenolé Cozigou, Director at the  European Commission, DG Entreprise and Industry, noted that European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani was calling for “a strong and competitive industry in Europe and has no doubt that innovation and sustainability will be two major themes to secure it, underlining that companies of all sizes have opportunities in these domains”.

Commenting during the event, which gathered more than 100 people from the industry as well as various suppliers, Hans Bender, President of A.I.S.E., said: "The achievements of A.I.S.E. and its network of expertise are remarkable. When looking ahead, further challenges remain, but also opportunities. Perhaps the biggest one is to engage consumers towards sustainable use of our products. For this, we’ll need breakthroughs in innovation and concerted communication efforts and consumer’s engagement."

The portal already conveys a number of tips on best use of products. If all European consumers who wash at 40°C or higher were to wash at 10 degrees less, the energy saved would be equivalent to lighting every home in Poland for a year!

About the Charter for Sustainable Cleaning

The Charter for Sustainable Cleaning is a voluntary industry initiative set up by A.I.S.E. in 2005 encouraging manufacturers and consumers to adopt more sustainable cleaning practices. The Charter covers all product categories of the soaps, detergents and maintenance products industry, both in the household and industrial/institutional sectors. As of 2012, 85% of cleaning products across Europe are covered under the Charter. The year 2011 marked the first major update to the Charter. Starting in the autumn of 2011, the Charter has been offering sustainability assurance for individual products, marked by an enhanced Charter logo. The first category of products for which criteria have been developed are: laundry detergents, fabric conditioners and automatic dishwashing detergents. The assurance will then expand progressively to other cleaning products. Those criteria have been developed taking the most relevant life cycle parameters into account.

For all details of the Charter requirements, please consult:

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