First-Ever U.S. Cleaning Industry Sustainability Report Released

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New ACI report shows off sustainability practices in the cleaning industry. (Stock Photo)

The first-ever report outlining the environmental metrics for the U.S. cleaning product supply chain was released by the American Cleaning Institute on Wednesday.

Twenty of the association’s member companies contributed their sustainability practices and metrics to the study, which focuses mainly on greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), energy and water use and solid waste between 2007 and 2009.

The report found that almost every one of these factors decreased over the two-year span, but here are some specifics.

It has been the mission of many companies nationwide to lower CO2 emissions as part of greening initiatives. The cleaning industry is no different, and it found some success. GHG emission per production decreased by 25 percent.

Energy use, which in this report includes electricity, steam and fuel used by stationary combustion sources, decreased 18 percent per ton of production.

Water usages decreased by 10 percent per unit of production.

The only factor that actually increased was waste generation, by 2 percent, but the report claims that this is due to a specific company “whose overall waste generation is an order of magnitude higher than the other participating companies.”

While the report outlines some positive steps forward, there are always challenges to practicing and maintaining sustainability initiatives.

“The challenge is to always improve your performance, environmentally and economically,” said Brian Sansoni, Vice President of Communication and Membership for ACI. “As we begin to report on aggregated metrics, the challenge will also be there to demonstrate progress, whenever possible.”

View the ACI 2011 Sustainability Report at www.cleaninginstitute.org.

Earth911 partners with many industries, manufacturers and organizations to support its Recycling Directory, the largest in the nation, which is provided to consumers at no cost. The American Cleaning Institute is one of these partners.

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