American Cleaning Institute Comes Clean in Sustainability Report

Photo: pippalou

Photo: pippalou

U.S. cleaning product companies are getting a little cleaner, according to the 2013 Sustainability Report from the American Cleaning Institute.

ACI represents formulators of soaps, detergents and general cleaning products used in a variety of settings; companies that supply ingredients and finished packaging for these products; and oleochemical producers.

The association’s second-ever Sustainability Report details environmental metrics collected from 24 ACI member companies in four key areas: energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, water use and solid waste generation, all of which show overall decreases in impact. Only those companies who contributed data in 2009, 2010 and 2011 were included in the report.

Specifically, from 2009 to 2011, energy use decreased 9 percent, greenhouse gas emissions decreased 7 percent, water use decreased 5 percent and solid waste generation decreased 17 percent.

ACI began aggregating data in 2009 with the assistance of sustainability consultancy firm Environmental Resources Management and reported publicly in their first Sustainability Report in 2011. Members are invited to report annually on sustainability metrics in accordance with a protocol closely aligned with the performance indicators of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. Data is aggregated and normalized per metric ton of production in order to better understand how the cleaning products industry is progressing.

“As an organization representing the cleaning product supply chain, we are proud of our industry’s progress in sustainability and transparency,” wrote Ernie Rosenberg, ACI President and CEO in the Report. “We continue to build the pathway for all ACI member companies to showcase sustainability successes and challenges that are integral to doing business in today’s marketplace.”

Highlighting Efforts to Improve Product Safety, Enhance Public Health
ACI’s Sustainability Report also reviews industry efforts to improve product safety and transparency, through such initiatives as the ACI Cleaning Product Ingredient Inventory and iSTREEM, a web-based computer model which forecasts chemical concentrations in U.S. waterways.

The Report also portrays how ACI partnerships expand educational efforts on the safe, proper and beneficial use of cleaning and hygiene products. Other ACI collaborative efforts with organizations like Clean the World and Cleaning for a Reason are profiled, describing how soaps and cleaning products are used to help those in need.

“Cleaning and hygiene products play such a critical role in enhancing health in our everyday lives,” says Brian Sansoni, ACI’s Vice President of Sustainability Initiatives. “The Report provides snapshots of how strategic partnerships work to assist schools, communities, health professionals and the non-profit community.”

Stories of Sustainability
A key feature of ACI’s online Sustainability Report presents Stories of Sustainability from more than 30 ACI member companies.

“ACI member companies are committed to increasing sustainability and demonstrating corporate social responsibility,” Sansoni says. “Readers can learn more about those individual efforts in our online showcase.”

Read the Stories of Sustainability, and the full report on the American Cleaning Institute’s website.

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.

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