Rio anniversary marks advances in sustainable cleaning

Posted by Charlotte Salter, on June 14, 2012.

In the run-up to the Rio+20 Earth Summit, new research shows that consumers across the UK are smartening up their act when it comes to sustainable cleaning. The release of a new sustainable cleaning initiative will help shoppers make more green choices this summer.

Shoppers across the UK will begin to see the new Charter for Sustainable Cleaning logo on cleaning products from summer 2012. Starting with laundry detergents and fabric conditioners, the Charter logo will be found in future on many other cleaning products.

With over 175 producers and retailers committed to the scheme, the Charter for Sustainable Cleaning is a voluntary initiative designed to encourage manufacturers and consumers to adopt more sustainable cleaning practices.

More than half (57%) of Europeans claim to clean in a more sustainable way than they did five years ago, according to a recent study of over 5,000 consumers across 23 countries.

More Brits than ever before are saving energy and money by washing at lower temperatures. The number of people across the UK who are washing laundry at 30 degrees has risen, climbing to 32% of all washes from 29% five years ago. In total across Europe, this has resulted in savings of 3474 GWH (300 000 TEP, that’s the equivalent of one year of street lighting in the UK and Ireland!).

When it comes to deciding which products to buy, after value, the environmental impact of products is highly influential. More than two-thirds of consumers across Europe now rate environmental concerns as one of their biggest priorities when buying cleaning products. 67 per cent of those surveyed stated that the environmental impact of a product is a top priority for them when they are deciding which to buy – an increase of five per cent since 2008. Despite the current economic climate, more than half (52%) of consumers are more likely to look for sustainability claims on products and purchase more sustainable products than they were five years ago.

Director General of cleaning association UKCPI, Philip Malpass, comments:“As consumers, we expect more and more of companies, and their products to help us in our efforts to be more sustainable. The Charter for Sustainable Cleaning is about helping us to clean more sustainably whilst also saving energy and money!

What can consumers do?

Did you know that if everyone who washes at 40°C or higher were to wash at 10 degrees less, the energy saved would be equivalent to lighting every home in Poland.

To find out more about green cleaning, visit our Green cleaning pages


UKCPI provides expert and balanced information about cleaning and hygiene in the home and in the workplace.

Contact the UKCPI on or call 07843 199397.