Charter for Sustainable Cleaning

The Charter for Sustainable Cleaning is the flagship voluntary initiative of the European cleaning 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 requirements 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. has developed and manages the Charter scheme on the industry's behalf. It is open to all companies in all EU countries plus Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, 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.

The experience gained by A.I.S.E. through the Charter offers valuable input to the work that A.I.S.E. undertakes in the context of its pilot work on "Product Environment Footprint”.   

Please download a Poster summarising the Charter for Sustainable Cleaning scheme here

Sustainability assurance

Since the original Charter was launched in 2005, about 250 companies have have joined the project, representing over 95% of the total production output for Europe.

Regular upgrades ensure that it continues to offer the most advanced whole life cycle sustainability assurance scheme for promoting best practice within the industry. In 2010 a product dimension was added, enabling companies to offer sustainability assurance for individual products, with an enhance Charter logo. 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. 

How it works

The Charter stipulates a set of Charter Sustainability Procedures (CSPs) for companies to implement in their management systems. It also defines a set of key performance indicators (KPIs) linked to CSPs and covering the whole lifecycle.

Companies signed up to the Charter must report annually on these KPIs to measure their progress towards sustainable cleaning. The data collected is independently verified by the internationla audit firm SGS on behalf of A.I.S.E..

Since 2010, the Charter also incorporates a product dimension, enabling companies to offer sustainability assurance for individual products, by complying with Charter Advanced Sustainability Profiles (ASPs) . ASPs, which are again developed based on life cycle analysis, set sustainability criteria that are ambitious but reasonably achievable by all market players.

To view the Charter ASP criteria available to date for implementation, please visit the Charter website.
External and independent verification guarantees that all applicant companies are individually assessed on the same basis by a neutral, professional auditing body. To access the list of Charter verifiers, click here.

KPI reporting

The Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) provide a summary of results for the past number of years. Data is submitted by Charter Ordinary member companies that report the results for twelve month financial or sustainability reporting periods ending during each calendar year. 

Associate members, which are not manufacturers but importers, distributors or retailers placing products on the market under their own labels, do not normally report KPI data but may contribute any relevant information to the KPI reports done by the Ordinary members which are the manufacturers of their products. The KPI performance results since 2005 may be downloaded here.

Below is a summary of the key highlights published in 2017. View the full 2017 KPI Commentary or visit the A.I.S.E. Activity & Sustainability Report 2017-2018 for more details. 

To take part in the scheme please call +32 (0)2 679 62 60 or email