Cleaning Products Industry Undergoes First-Ever “Critical Issue” Assessment

American Cleaning Institute Sustainability Report “Materiality Assessment” identifies top ten issues to the industry’s internal and external stakeholders

ACI’s 2015 Sustainability Report is the third public report for the cleaning products industry. (Graphic: Business Wire)

WASHINGTON--()--The American Cleaning Institute’s (ACI) 2015 Sustainability Report showcases the cleaning products industry’s progress toward sustainable development and unveils ACI’s first-ever industry “materiality assessment,” which maps the critical risks and opportunities facing its value chain.

The materiality assessment, conducted by sustainability analytics firm Framework LLC, identifies and characterizes those issues that are most material across ACI’s membership and to the industry at large. Companies committed to sustainability have increasingly informed their strategies and reporting by conducting such analyses, but the ACI assessment is among the first across the value chain of an entire industry sector.

The top ten issues to the cleaning products industry’s internal and external stakeholders identified by the materiality assessment include:

  • Materials: Safety of chemical ingredients; raw material sourcing and scarcity
  • Disclosure and Transparency: Public disclosure of information related to sustainability, governance, and products
  • Climate Change / Greenhouse Gases: Climate risks and opportunities; emissions of greenhouse gases
  • Ecological Impacts: Biodiversity; deforestation; environmental management; responsible agricultural practices
  • Water: Water use, waste water treatment, and water recycling
  • Workplace Health and Safety: Health and safety management; health and wellness training programs
  • Waste: Hazardous and non-hazardous waste; management of product end-of-life
  • Energy: Energy use; renewable energy
  • Supply Chain Management: Screening business partners on ethics and sustainability issues
  • Compliance: Compliance with environmental, health, and safety regulations

“This assessment represents a new way of reporting on industry priorities, so it is vital to share the results with our stakeholders and engage in dialogue to gain a deeper understanding of the issues,” said Ernie Rosenberg, ACI President and CEO. “We plan to be more strategic about tracking future industry performance on these matters, and our Sustainability Report will evolve as a result.”

More information about the materiality assessment is available in the online version of the Report. This is ACI’s third Sustainability Report; the previous editions were published in 2011 and 2013.

Industry Performance

In 2014, 33 ACI member companies, including cleaning product makers and upstream ingredient suppliers, contributed environmental metrics data for ACI’s Sustainability Metrics Program. The program captured sustainability performance for 17.3 million metric tons of cleaning product-related production, and its results are detailed in the 2015 Report.

Since the Program’s launch in 2009, more than 5,000 data points have been collected on environmental issues most relevant to the industry. The Report shows improvements by member companies in many environmental areas key to ACI, including energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, water use and solid waste generation. Highlights include:

  • Substantial improvements to water efficiency across the industry, with a 21 percent reduction in water used per ton of production for the industry since 2009
  • Absolute amount of electricity from green energy sources has increased over 30 percent since 2008
  • Significant advances in waste reduction, totaling an 18 percent reduction overall since 2009

The following companies submitted metrics data for the 2014 Sustainability Metrics Program:

The 2015 Sustainability Report also features an updated summary of ACI social and environmental sustainability programs, as well as details on ACI scientific and research programs.

Among the highlights reported:

  • Twenty-five companies committed to continually improve their sustainability performance through participation in ACI’s Charter for Sustainable Cleaning
  • Publicly available hazard data were linked to 80 percent of members’ cleaning product ingredients
  • More than 6,000 hygiene kits were put together for families and communities in need in the United States during ACI’s Annual Conventions in 2014 and 2015
  • $65,000 was donated in 2014 and 2015 by ACI and its member companies to support free home cleanings to women battling cancer

Furthermore, the online version of the Report includes a gateway to more than 30 profiles of how ACI members demonstrate sustainability.

About the American Cleaning Institute:

The American Cleaning Institute® (ACI) is the Home of the U.S. Cleaning Products Industry® and represents the $30 billion U.S. cleaning products market. ACI members include the formulators of soaps, detergents, and general cleaning products used in household, commercial, industrial and institutional settings; companies that supply ingredients and finished packaging for these products; and oleochemical producers. ACI ( and its members are dedicated to improving health and the quality of life through sustainable cleaning products and practices.


Media Contact:
CooperKatz for ACI
Ben Murray, 917-595-3066

Release Summary

A new report analyzes the U.S. cleaning products industry’s progress toward sustainable development and unveils a first-ever assessment of the critical risks and opportunities facing manufacturers.


Media Contact:
CooperKatz for ACI
Ben Murray, 917-595-3066