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Environmental Concerns LAS

Environmental Concerns LAS

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Published by Utsava Kasera

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Published by: Utsava Kasera on Oct 16, 2010
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10/16/2010

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Detergent industry’s commitment to sustainability

INTRODUCTION The detergents industry is certainly very interested and pro-active in pushing forward sustainable cleaning and sustainability in these sectors is a key issue shared by producers and consumers alike. Europe has been caring for these matters for quite some time now, which has led to the creation of a number of institutions actively studying them. A.I.S.E. (International Association for Soaps, Detergents and Maintenance Products) has been committed to these topics since its foundation. The A.I.S.E. is a network of 35 national associations in 31 countries representing over 900 companies ranging from small and medium sized (SMEs) to multi-nationals active in the consumer goods and/or industrial and institutional (I&I) markets – a market worth estimated at about 35 billion euro. THE A.I.S.E. INFORMATION DAY IN BRUSSELS: SUSTAINABILITY A COMMITMENT Brussels, the heart of new Europe, is the place where nations, once divided not only by geographical borders, meet to seek a new way to meet commonly shared needs. Harsh discussion is always present, and chemical issues are no exception. Quite the contrary in fact, hard feelings often make their way amongst opposing parties involved with these topics. The Information Day event organised by A.I.S.E. to officially present its “Charter for Sustainable Cleaning” and held on the 1st of December 2004 in Brussels at the Renaissance Hotel provided a good example of the different views over these issues in Europe. The event was attended by leading companies of the sector and by representatives of the EU Commission, Parliament, NGO’s and other related industries and organisations. The high-level panel of speakers included: Catherine Day, Director General of DG Environment, Patrick Hennessy, DG Enterprise, Anders Wijkman MEP, Chris Davies MEP, Simon Smits, representing the Dutch Presidency and Chairman of the Council ad-hoc Working Group on REACH, Bas de Leeuw, Head of the Strategy Unit of the Production and Consumption branch at the United Nations Environment Programme, and Stefan Scheuer, Policy Director at the European Environment Bureau. Other important attendees were representatives of associations of the sector such as COLIPA (Belgium), CEFIC (Belgium), FEDERCHIMICA (Italy), ASSOCASA (Italy). Ernie Rosenberg, president of the SDA – the American Soap and Detergent Association was also present and represented the link between Europe and the United States, two areas sharing different aspects of the same issues. Rosenberg brought SDA’s appreciation for this initiative to the audience and described how the US deals with these subjects. WHAT IS THE A.I.S.E. CHARTER FOR SUSTAINABLE CLEANING? The Charter for Sustainable Cleaning provides a single framework that guides all companies in the industry to implement the measures necessary to improve the industry’s sustainability profile over the whole lifecycle of products, from the sourcing of raw materials through manufacturing and distribution to consumer use and disposal. To enhance transparency and credibility, the Charter includes key performance indicators, which will be collected and independently verified, to track improvements in the industry’s sustainability profile over time. The first full-year set of results will be published in 2006 for performance in 2005. The Charter is the latest in a progression of voluntary initiatives undertaken by the A.I.S.E. and its network of national industry associations and member companies. It follows on from the Code of Good Environmental Practice and the Washright (see washright.com) campaign, launched in 1998, and the HERA (see heraproject.com) targeted risk assessment initiative, run jointly with the European chemicals industry. In 1999, A.I.S.E. and CEFIC, the European chemicals industry association, launched HERA (Human and Environmental Risk Assessment), a European voluntary initiative aimed at providing a common risk assessment framework for the household cleaning products industry. Specifically, the Charter was triggered by the Green Paper on Integrated Product Policy, and the industry’s efforts to see how it could best address key issues of eco-efficient innovation in the detergents industry. Charles Laroche, President of A.I.S.E., told the audience “This Charter is a significant new Europewide initiative to improve the detergent industry’s

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Household and Personal Care Today • Supplement to chimica oggi/Chemistry Today

Director-General of DG Environment.I.S.I. Anyone working in the chemical sector today must face a five-letter term haunting many people’s sleep these days . through manufacture. they are entitled to use the Charter logo. A WORD FROM THE BRUSSELS INSTITUTIONS Addressing the Information Day. It is part of this industry’s ongoing commitment to turn sustainable development into action. welcomed the industry’s initiative: “I’m pleased to see that industry is taking a proactive role in promoting sustainable development.com. yet when it comes down to practical implementation. and we believe it is programmes such as these that can help to reconcile the Johannesburg environmental and social goals with the Lisbon competitiveness agenda. Companies participating in the Charter agree to be independently verified for the Charter entrance check.com). Once the criteria are met.E.. Treasurer. to use and disposal. Cleaning: Industrial & Institutional floor applications: Using this logo on the products is important for both the manufacturer. This is the reason why Mike Handley.” HOW DOES IT WORK? Companies participating in the Charter will apply sustainability thinking at all phases of the product life-cycle.S.” During the meeting. Catherine Day. who can choose products whose safety is guaranteed when shopping. The presence of EU Laundry: Dish: 9 Household and Personal Care Today • Supplement to chimica oggi/Chemistry Today . a tool to guide all those willing to seriously commit to sustainability of the soaps.sustainable-cleaning. The Charter itself consists of a set of Charter Sustainability Procedures (CSPs) which companies implement in their management systems.E. Catherine Day’s speech aimed at reaching a much larger audience than just the Information Day event attendees. regulations currently under development which are giving rise to strong and harsh discussion between opposing parties.I.sustainability profile. detergents and maintenance products industry..E..sustainablecleaning. Companies participating in the Charter can be found on the website (www.www. Chief Executive Officer of Mc Bride and A. We can only shift towards sustainable consumption and production patterns if we have the engagement of all stakeholders and especially business.S. from product design. It’s a process aiming at safeguarding both the environment and the health and wellness of customers and consumers. who certifies it commits to the Charter requirements the consumer. Catherine Day launched the new A.’s lifecycle approach during his presentation on the “Charter”.REACH. I believe that private sector initiatives such as the Charter are necessary in the process towards sustainable development.. REACH was born with the best of intentions. strongly invited all the companies of the sector to join A. Charter website . it clashes against a situation that has to take into account problems of no easy solution.

org (tel +32 2 230 8371) www.I. It is a great communication opportunity.labberton@aise-net.S. We are now entering a new phase.’s availability to support REACH to work out the best possible solutions addressing the whole production chain – from lab to shop shelves.org www. founded well before Reach spontaneous initiatives by a number of manufacturers who felt the need to join together to face sustainability issues and safeguard human and environmental safety be it through the HERA project and/or the new industry initiative. Regulatory commissions must become well aware of this and always seek fair discussion and exchange of views.E. that’s a fact. For further information please contact Maarten Labberton. A. the various associations and the press to meet and exchange views.I.’s Information Day was an opportunity for people from the industry. as part of everyone’s effort to provide the clearest information possible in the global community. Our special thanks go to the A. what we would like to underline here is that organisations such as A.I.E.com A. Speeches by Hennessy.S. The chemical industry has been actively involved in finding solutions for these issues for many years. Under this view. Sustainability and responsible care have been priority issues in the chemical industry ever since the concepts were first created.E.I. always bearing in mind that they will always find chemical producers and distributors very willing to cooperate and help on these important issues.E.1000 Brussels .I.aise-net. staff for their incredible commitment to these issues. there were people already working hard to work out solutions to the commonly shared environment protection needs.S. is available for any further clarification and support. Nabil Y. Yet.sustainable-cleaning. Davies and Smits were in the same line as A.’s sustainability initiatives. striving to provide tools that are more and more effective in improving the relationship between detergents and the environment. to join forces to improve the quality of the environment we all live in. not less important.S.I. When a “United Europe” was still a blurring concept in everyone’s mind. and A.’s invitation is to all companies of the sector. expressed the vision of the many producers among the Information Day audience and confirmed A.E.S. to improve their own image.E. tools have been provided.E.S.S.I. They need to seriously think about this opportunity they are offered. and contributed significantly to the discussion.’s view over the situation. R&D Senior Vice-President for Global Fabric and Home Care in Procter & Gamble. objectives have been pinpointed.I.E. Director-General A.: maarten. an event that stimulates everyone to continue along the path of sustainability. The path to follow has been laid down. and.Belgium 10 Household and Personal Care Today • Supplement to chimica oggi/Chemistry Today . To sum up.I. This report doesn’t want to look into this discussion since this is not the best place to do so.S. It was also a networking opportunity for all attendees. A. in line with its strong commitment to sustainability.S.representatives and industry people at the Information day meeting inevitably gave rise to a strong discussion and fruitful exchange of perspectives. Square Marie-Louise 49 B. We would like to interpret the proactive discussion coming out from the meeting as a sign of true willingness to set up useful cooperation by all parties involved in these issues. while describing A. the Charter.E. Everyday life issues are the next focus – companies need to take action now.I. and so is the industry’s response to these issues.S. All presentations have been made. to improve their own working environment. the Charter for Sustainable Cleaning ideally means crossing the finish line of the responsible care pathway the chemical industry has been following for many years. Sakkab.E.

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