Engaging with consumers

Promoting sustainable consumption of cleaning products 

One of A.I.S.E.’s key priorities is to steer the sustainable development agenda and reduce the environmental footprint linked to the production and consumption of detergents and maintenance products. To achieve this goal, A.I.S.E. runs a broad range of activities such as voluntary Product Stewardship Programmes, but also, the comprehensive A.I.S.E. Charter for Sustainable Cleaning which is implemented by more than 200 companies in Europe. 

A.I.S.E. believes that a science-based approach, incorporating the full product life cycle is essential to make progress and move towards sustainability. Life cycle analyses show that most detergent and cleaning products have the biggest impact on the environment when they are used, mainly because of the energy and water needed to do the laundry or wash dishes. That’s why A.I.S.E. actively encourages more sustainable consumption by consumers and professional users of detergents and cleaning products.In addition, the industry conducts consumer habits surveys targeting European consumers regularly. Results show that there is a great potential for improvement in terms of, for example dosage, wash load or washing at low temperature.  

The initiatives highlighted in the lefthand menu are ongoing (some since 1997), making the detergent and cleaning products sector a pioneer in the field of pan-European industry-led campaigns to promote the sustainable consumption of its products:

  • Best use information-on billions of detergents and cleaning product packaging across Europe and via the Cleanright.eu website, consumers obtain easy-to-understand tips and pictograms on how to save energy, water, CO2 and money while cleaning. 
  • Joint industry consumer tips-together with partners responsible for the home appliances industry and the care labels on clothes, three industry assocaiions have published joint tips for sustainable laundering by consumers at home. 

How it all began

The ‘Washright’ campaign was the very first initiative developed by the detergent industry to promote the sustainable use of laundry detergents. Initiated in 1998, it ran for several years and shared targeted key messages with consumers in the EU 15 (at that time). This campaign received very positive feedback from UNEP and various European and national stakeholders.