ACI Unveils Cleaning Product Industry Sustainability Report
The first-ever sustainability report for the U.S. cleaning products industry — released by the American Cleaning Institute (ACI, formerly The Soap and Detergent Association) — showcases aggregated environmental metrics data from producers and suppliers of cleaning products and snapshots of the industry’s social and environmental sustainability programs and activities.
ACI’s 2011 Sustainability Report is available at www.cleaninginstitute.org.
In 2009, ACI and its members embarked on a project to report on a common set of sustainability-related metrics relevant to both its consumer packaged goods and raw material supplier members. As part of ACI’s Sustainability Metrics Project, 20 member companies (representing 73 percent of ACI’s dues-assessed member product sales) participated in a project to track environmental sustainability metrics.
“Establishing these metrics provides a baseline for indicators by which we can measure sustainability-related performance for the production of cleaning products at ACI member manufacturing facilities in the United States,” said Ernie Rosenberg, ACI President & CEO.
The report summarizes data on greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), energy use, water use and solid waste associated with U.S. production of cleaning products.
Among the project’s findings:
• Between 2007 and 2009, total energy use, which includes electricity, steam and fuel used by stationary combustion sources, decreased by approximately 18% per ton of production.
• Between 2007 and 2009, the rate of GHG emission per unit of production decreased by approximately 25%, reflecting applied practices to reduce GHG emissions among member companies.
• Water use decreased approximately 10% per unit of production between 2007 and 2009.
• Waste generation per unit of production decreased between 2008 and 2009, but increased by approximately 2% overall between 2007 and 2009. (This increase can be attributed largely to an increase in waste by a company whose overall waste generation is an order of magnitude higher than the other participating companies.)
“Through our Sustainability Report, ACI wants to better inform key audiences about our progress and identify where we have challenges to address,” said ACI’s Ernie Rosenberg. “We are taking a few small steps forward with this metrics project, and we plan to build and expand upon this effort through the sustainability journey that lies ahead.”
Social, Environmental Sustainability Activities Highlighted
Besides the sustainability metrics data, the Report features snapshots of many ACI member company sustainability efforts and a profile of ACI’s social and environmental sustainability programs and activities.
“While this Sustainability Report is new, our industry’s sustainability and social responsibility efforts are not,” Rosenberg said. “We have contributed to enhanced public health, social welfare and education for years. Our members have been reducing the environmental footprint of their products literally for decades. We should be proud of our history and enthusiastic about what we will contribute, economically, socially and environmentally, in the years ahead.”
ACI Lays Out Sustainability Definition for Cleaning Products Industry
Under ACI’s Principles for Sustainability, a sustainability definition is laid out for the cleaning products industry: The ability to improve the quality of life for this and future generations, by creating products that promote hygiene and cleanliness, are environmentally sound, and are economically successful.
The Institute’s sustainability mission is “to benefit society and improve the quality of life through hygiene and cleanliness by driving sustainability improvements across our industry and throughout the supply chain.”