What is the Charter?
A European industry sustainability scheme
The Charter for Sustainable Cleaning is a voluntary initiative of the European soaps, detergents and maintenance products industry.
The aim is to encourage the whole industry to undertake continual improvement in terms of sustainability and also to encourage consumers to adopt more sustainable ways of doing their washing, cleaning and household maintenance.
The Charter is a lifecycle analysis (LCA) based framework. It promotes and facilitates a common industry approach to sustainability practice and reporting. A wide variety of activities and initiatives are covered, ranging from the human and environmental safety of chemicals and products, to eco-efficiency, occupational health and safety, resource use and consumer information.
A.I.S.E., which represents the soaps, detergents and maintenance products industry in Europe, manages the Charter scheme on its behalf.
A growing success
The original Charter was launched in 2005 in all EU countries plus Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland and covers all product categories of the soaps, detergents and maintenance products industry, in both the household and industrial and institutional sectors.
It is open to all companies, whether they are members of A.I.S.E. or not, and whether they manufacture, distribute, or market soaps, detergents, maintenance products or cleaning systems. It is relevant both to manufacturing companies placing products directly on the market as well to retailers and distributors wishing to apply the Charter to private label products.
More than 200 companies have already joined the project, representing more than 85% of the total production output for Europe.
In this website a reference to "Charter" refers to the overall scheme irrespective of which version. In order to distinguish between the original Charter as launched in 2005 and the newly ugraded version being launched in 2010, the original is referred to as Charter 2005, and the newly upgraded version as Charter 2010.
What is new in the Charter update 2010?
From the outset, the Charter has been seen as a long term, living scheme, which will continue to evolve over time, to steer better sustainability practice for the whole sector. Regular upgrades of the Charter ensure that it continues to offer the most advanced sustainability assurance scheme for promoting best practice within the industry, using LCA and science as a basis.
The Charter update 2010, the first major upgrade, introduces a product dimension, enabling companies to give a sustainability assurance for individual products, with an enhanced Charter logo. These can be obtained by companies committed to the Charter update 2010 through voluntary compliance with the new Advanced Sustainability Profiles (ASPs) for product categories.
It also establishes equivalences between the Charter Sustainability Procedures and ISO and certain other manufacturing standards in order to avoid duplication between the Charter verification process and regular company audits.
Companies committed to the current scheme can choose to migrate to the Charter update 2010 or stay with the Charter version 2005. A.I.S.E encourages all companies to migrate to the Charter update 2010 in order to promote rapid awareness and understanding of the upgraded system.