Did you know there are different types of sustainability?
Now more than ever, businesses and organizations are rolling out sustainability initiatives to make business practices greener with the likes of reducing waste, cutting greenhouse gas emissions and using eco-friendly building materials.
But that environmental focus, while critically important, is not the only way to participate in sustainable practices. Human health and wellness also play an important role in sustainability.
That’s why the American Cleaning Institute is using its charity partnerships to put social sustainability into focus. As an organization that represents the U.S. cleaning product industry, ACI has made an effort to partner with charities that also focus on people as well as the environment.
“Our commitment to social sustainability has been strong since 1926, and it continues to grow with our new outreach efforts,” says Nancy Bock, vice president of consumer education and meetings for ACI. “Better living is the backbone of all that we do at the Institute. Hygiene and cleaning products have played a continuous role in enhancing health and our quality of life.”
Here are two charities that ACI has partnered with as part of its social sustainability outreach effort incorporated into their clean-themed initiatives.
Clean the World
Clean the World is an organization that not only diverts waste from landfills, but is also focused on socially sustainable goals.
Clean the World collects discarded soaps, shampoos, conditioners and other hygiene products from more than 1,200 participating hotels and hospitality partners.
From there, the collected products get recycled, sanitized, and then distributed along with education materials via non-profit partner organizations to impoverished countries and domestic homeless shelters.
The non-profit has recycling operations centers in Orlando, Las Vegas, Vancouver and Toronto.
“A partnership with ACI helps introduce influential people and companies to Clean the World’s mission – recycling soap, saving lives – while helping to broaden Clean the World’s adoption within the hospitality industry,” says Matt Gomez, director of marketing and communications for Clean the World. “The partnership provides excellent education about the importance of hand washing and other positive hygiene habits, while also supporting Clean the World’s efforts to collect, recycle and distribute soaps from hospitality partners throughout the world. The goal is to improve health and living conditions for people around the world.”
By providing something as basic as soap for hand washing, Clean the World is helping to prevent disease and avoidable death in areas where essentials for cleanliness are otherwise not readily available. In just two years, they’ve distributed more than 9.5 million bars of soap to those in need in more than 45 countries.
In addition to its humanitarian benefits, Clean the World has kept over 600 tons of hotel waste out of landfills and groundwater systems which can be contaminated from discarded hygiene products, meaning the program is a win-win.
“It is a social mission, but at the heart is a respect and love for the individual who receives the recycled soaps and can grow into a healthier lifestyle because of it,” Gomez says. “The hospitality industry throws away one million bars of soap each day in the United States alone. Just imagine how many lives could be improved and saved by recycling that soap and distributing it to people for whom soap is regarded as a luxury.”
Find out more about how to help Clean the World here.
Cleaning for a Reason
Cleaning For A Reason is a non-profit organization working to give women undergoing treatment for cancer one less thing to worry about by partnering with maid services across the U.S. and Canada to offer professional house cleanings at no cost to the patient.
This cleaning service is valuable to its recipients not only because of the healthy and hygienic environment it brings to their homes, but also because something as basic as having a clean house can provide many women with an additional peace of mind during an especially tough time.
So far, Cleaning for a Reason has received over $1 million in donated cleanings to help over 4,000 women with cancer. Whether a recipient is afforded the relief of one less thing on her plate, or is simply reminded that there are people who want to help, Cleaning For A Reason makes a difference one home at a time.
“Cleaning for a Reason has been our charity of choice for the past three years,” says Bock. “We are actively engaged on their Board of Directors and have hosted charity events at our Annual Conventions to help raise funds so that the foundation can provide more residential cleaning services to women who are undergoing treatment for cancer.”
Learn more about helping Cleaning for a Reason here.
By prioritizing its social sustainability efforts, ACI continues to set an example for the industry it serves as well as other similar organizations.
“Sustainability is a shared responsibility. We all benefit from a cleaner, healthier world…,” Gomez says.
Editor’s Note: 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.