The A.I.S.E. Charter for Sustainable Cleaning

How does it work?

An advanced industry sustainability scheme

The Charter for Sustainable Cleaning is a voluntary lifecycle-based framework that promotes a common industry approach to sustainability practice and reporting. It is open to all market players in the soaps, detergents and maintenance products industry.

Manufacturers join as 'Ordinary Members' and go through the Entrance Check. Retailers and distributors join as 'Associate Members' and do not have to pass an Entrance Check but do have to commit to the rules of the scheme.

Once a company has passed the Entrance Check, and signed up and committed to the rules of the Charter, it is entitled to use the Charter logo and is required to report annually on the specified KPIs.

Charter Sustainability Procedures

The Charter stipulates a set Charter Sustainability Procedures (CSPs) for companies to implement in their management systems.

These CSPs must apply to a minimum of 75% of the company's production (in the Charter version 2005 50% until the first re-verification when it rises to 75%). For the Entrance Check the company must be verified on the six 'Essential CSPs' by an independent external verifier in order to provide assurance that the company does have the required processes in place, under control, and adequately applied. The other six CSPs (five in the case of the Charter version 2005), which are the 'Additional CSPs', have to be added for the first re-verification three years after joining the Charter and for every subsequent three-yearly re-verification.

The external verification guarantees that all applicant companies are individually assessed on the same basis by a neutral, professional auditing body, and regularly re-assessed to ensure continued compliance.

The company bears the cost of the Entrance Check CSP verification.


Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

The Charter also defines a set of 11 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), which are specifically linked to the CSPs. Companies that sign up to the Charter are required to report annually to A.I.S.E. on these KPIs.

A.I.S.E. collects and aggregates the results and publishes them in the annual A.I.S.E. Activity & Sustainability Report, providing measurable evidence of the progress of the whole industry sector on a European level.

The KPI reporting is also externally verified through a process of random audits managed by A.I.S.E.  A.I.S.E bears the cost of this verification from its Charter budget.


Advanced Sustainability Profiles (Charter update 2010 only)

Companies joining or migrating to the Charter update 2010 can opt to use the new voluntary 'Advanced Sustainability Profiles' (ASPs) where relevant to their products.

Products which meet the requirements of these ASPs may then use a differentiated 'ASP' logo on pack which signifies not only that the manufacturer is committed to certain sustainability processes at the manufacturing level (as under the Charter version 2005), but also that the product itself meets certain advanced sustainability criteria. ASPs are specific to A.I.S.E. product categories, whether in the household or in the industrial & institutional cleaning sector, and companies are verified on their use of the ASP logo on a random basis by A.I.S.E., similarly to the KPI verification.



The process of implementing the CSPs and measuring and reporting the KPIs helps to drive continuous improvement in sustainable production and consumption.

Improvements can occur at all stages of the product life-cycle, from product specification, through manufacturing, to end-use and disposal. For example, safety improvements can come from selection of properly risk-assessed raw materials, adopting best practice in manufacturing systems, and increasing the use of on-pack guidance for consumers. Environmental improvements can include reducing use of resources, creating less waste, and emitting less carbon dioxide.


 View / print the full diagram 

CSPs and KPIs overview, covering all life cycle stages

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