May 19, 2006 FINAL

The A.I.S.E. Agenda for “Responsible Sustainable Cleaning”

This paper outlines the new A.I.S.E. “Agenda for Responsible Sustainable Cleaning”. It incorporates a model illustrating how it will implement this new approach to sustainability.

Background – setting the scene The concept of Sustainable Development was defined by the Brundtland Commission in 1987 as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (World Commission on Environment and Development 1987). It can be viewed as being built on a balanced consideration of the three pillars of economic development, social responsibility, and environmental protection. The Brundtland Report formed the basis for the UN Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 which produced concrete agreements on putting Sustainable Development into action. Industry and governments all played a part in trying to advance the agenda and progress was reviewed at the subsequent UN Johannesburg Sustainable Development Conference in 2002. The EU Commission has led the way in attempting to integrate economic, environmental and social concerns into all areas of policy-making. Publications such as the Green Paper on Integrated Product Policy and the Consultation Paper on an EU Strategy for Sustainable Development focus on the biggest challenges to sustainability. As evidence of the EU’s commitment, Sustainable Development is enshrined in the EU Treaty as an “overarching” principle of all EU policies. Business has also been active in helping to move the debate forward. For example the World Business Council for Sustainable Development has introduced “Seven Keys” for improving lives through the market.


Developing the sustainability agenda A.I.S.E. – representing the detergent industry in 30 countries - has long been committed to protecting consumers and the environment, and recognises clearly that the challenge is to translate the accepted concept of Sustainable Development into practical reality and actions. Supported by its National Associations members, A.I.S.E. has a long and successful track record of acting voluntarily in the interests of environmental protection and more general sustainability issues. Ever since its foundation in 1952, A.I.S.E. has been committed to act responsibly in a proactive manner. Taking into account the needs of society and of the end-users of its products, particularly with regard to human safety and the environment, A.I.S.E. has engaged in constructive and continuous dialogue with EU stakeholders, both institutional (Parliament, Council and Commission) and NGO’s. In addition, through its network of National Associations, A.I.S.E., has held continual dialogue with governments and NGO’s in the Member States. The key objective of these activities has traditionally been to ensure that our industry’s voice is heard in the development of the regulatory framework controlling the industry. In the more recent past, A.I.S.E. has extended this dialogue process with key stakeholders into a much wider range of activities, broadly promoting sustainability and self-regulation.

Vision and Mission In recognition of the growing political importance of Sustainable Development post Rio and in preparation for Johannesburg, in 2001 our industry re-defined the statements setting out its vision and A.I.S.E.’s mission as follows: Vision “We benefit society by contributing to the sustainable improvement of the quality and comfort of life through hygiene and cleanliness in a free, competitive, and innovative way.” A.I.S.E. Mission A.I.S.E.’s mission is to communicate effectively and objectively the values embodied in the industry vision and in related policies to all appropriate stakeholders while taking these stakeholders’ views into account. To achieve this, A.I.S.E. will act as the voice of the detergent industry in Europe, work with other organisations as appropriate ensuring stakeholder dialogue takes place in an atmosphere of trust, and improve the economic and legal environment in which the industry operates.


New A.I.S.E. Agenda for Responsible Sustainable Cleaning Now that Sustainable Development has become an over-arching policy principle built into all new legislation in Europe, A.I.S.E. has further developed and strengthened its own approach. Using the established vision and mission above but giving more depth to its policies under each of the three pillars of sustainability – economic, social and environmental - A.I.S.E. now defines its sustainability policies as follows: Economically successful A.I.S.E. aims to encourage sustainable delivery, in free market conditions and based on sound science and ethical standards, of competitively priced household and industrial cleaning products that satisfy human needs and bring quality and comfort of life. Socially responsible A.I.S.E. aims to ensure, through a policy of voluntary continual improvement over and above basic legal requirements, that the household and industrial cleaning industry’s role in guarding health, hygiene, safety and well-being among end-users and stakeholders is recognised and encouraged by society. Environmentally sound A.I.S.E. aims to bring about a voluntary progressive reduction in ecological impact and resource intensity, throughout the life-cycle, of household and industrial cleaning products, to a level at least in line with the Earth's estimated carrying capacity. With the objective of promoting proactively the concept of Sustainable Development in the detergent industry, A.I.S.E. has now made these policies into its new A.I.S.E. Agenda for Responsible Sustainable Cleaning. Effectively, this Agenda encompasses all the activities of A.I.S.E.

Milestones Retrospectively it can be seen that already many of the early voluntary initiatives of A.I.S.E. were highly consistent with the new Agenda for Responsible Sustainable Cleaning. The following are examples of practical actions which have been the main milestones in A.I.S.E.’s historical progress towards a broader sustainability agenda: 1960’s: Biodegradability of surfactants During the ‘60s, A.I.S.E. fostered the move to more biodegradable surfactants. From then our industry has constantly sought to make progress in the areas of human and environmental safety. 1980’s: ERASM A.I.S.E., together with CESIO, created ERASM specifically to advance research into risk assessment methodology for surfactants. Importantly, the first project

4 ERASM tackled in this area was run in collaboration with the Dutch Ministry of the Environment. 1980’s: Ingredient labelling At the same time, A.I.S.E. realised it was important for communication to consumers to be more transparent. To this end, in the late ‘80’s A.I.S.E. developed and promoted a voluntary ingredient labelling initiative in partnership with the EU Commission, which resulted in a Commission Recommendation (CEE 89/542). 1997: Code of Good Environmental Practice In 1992, A.I.S.E. became more proactive and moved towards a Sustainable Development agenda with the development of the “Code of Good Environmental Practice” (The Code). Launched in 1997, it was a voluntary initiative specifically designed to promote a move towards more sustainable consumption. 1999: “Washright©” campaign A.I.S.E. supported The Code with ‘Washright’ - its first ever concerted, harmonised TV advertising and PR campaign to educate consumers on how best to wash in a more sustainable manner. Millions of laundry packs across Europe carried harmonised consumer information panels giving tips on good washing practice. Since the turn of the millennium the number of such initiatives has increased significantly, with the effect that A.I.S.E.’s reputation for acting voluntarily in the interests of society and sustainability has been greatly enhanced. The following are either current or in the process of being launched: 1999: HERA (Human and Environmental Risk Assessment in Ingredients for Household Cleaning Products) In 1999 an even bolder initiative was undertaken in partnership with CEFIC, when the HERA programme was launched. This programme based on scientific risk assessment aimed to confirm the safety of household products and give confidence to consumers about the use of products via innovative communication tools. The scientific risk assessment phase ended in 2005, but the development of communications continues. 2000: DUCC (Downstream Users of Chemicals Co-ordination) Group As the discussion on REACh started to enter the critical phase of the definition of the actual Regulation, A.I.S.E. acted as a catalyst for the formation of the DUCC Group. DUCC is an industry platform of European associations ranging from detergents (A.I.S.E.) and cosmetics (COLIPA) to adhesives (FEICA), paints (CEPE), aerosols (FEA) and others. The objective of such a coalition is to have the voice of the downstream users heard as the new chemical legislation gets discussed and eventually finalized.

5 2004: Charter for Sustainable Cleaning The “A.I.S.E. Charter for Sustainable Cleaning” (The Charter) was launched in all EU 25 countries plus Switzerland, Norway and Iceland at the end of 2004, covering all product categories of our industry – from laundry to maintenance products whether in the household or Industrial and Institutional sectors. This voluntary initiative broke new ground by encouraging adoption of good sustainability management practice at all stages of the product life-cycle at factory level throughout the EU. The process goes through an external independent verification, and gives annual details of EU-wide progress against certain KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). 2005: Safe behaviour tips: A.I.S.E. undertook the challenge of developing a set of new “icons” to provide advice to consumers in an easy and direct way how to use detergents in the best and safest way. This development was done with the input of stakeholders and was validated via appropriate consumer research studies. 2006: Laundry Sustainability Project The “A.I.S.E. Laundry Sustainability Project” was launched at the beginning of 2006. This voluntary project is a direct follow-up to “The Code” and its associated “Washright©” campaign, and is focused mainly on the CEE region where “The Code” had not originally been implemented. The objective is to continue to deliver significant sustainability benefits by educating consumers to dose correctly when using ‘compact’ laundry detergents. Participating laundry detergent manufacturers agree to market only laundry powders that have been compacted by at least 33% by weight. 2006: Save Energy and Water Project The next program under development is the “Save Energy and Water” (SE&W) project for automatic machine dishwashing detergents. Companies which commit to the initiative undertake to influence consumer behaviour to use 50°/55° auto programmes on their machines. This will be done via the use of a SE&W logo on pack as well as providing direct advice to consumers in communication campaigns for the individual brands.

Activities implementing the Agenda for Responsible Sustainable Cleaning A.I.S.E.’s mission is to promote and co-ordinate a variety of activities on behalf of the industry in fulfilment of the Agenda for Responsible Sustainable Cleaning. These activities divide into the following broad areas: Partnering to achieve a better regulatory framework A.I.S.E. aims to work in partnership with other stakeholders to create a better regulatory framework using its technical and communications expertise. A.I.S.E. has a long history of harnessing the scientific expertise of its members to develop science-based solutions during the shaping of legislation. Amongst examples which will continue in the short and medium term are:

6 • • • Provision of detailed technical input into the development of the REACH Implementation Projects, including creation of Exposure Scenarios, which will help ensure REACH comes into effect smoothly. Detailed technical work to influence GHS implementation. Provision of data to support the program associated with the development of GHS and the subsequent work associated investigation into VOCs and Indoor Air Quality.

Developing voluntary initiatives A.I.S.E. aims to develop and promote voluntary initiatives which implement our industry’s sustainability agenda. These activities can have technical aspects as well communications objectives, and may be at EU level, or national level through National Associations, and affect one or more sectors of our industry. A.I.S.E. puts a high value on the development and promotion of voluntary initiatives, particularly for the part they play in demonstrating the detergent industry’s responsible approach. The six most recent initiatives listed under ‘milestones’ above are currently active, and it is expected new ones will be developed in the near future.

Analysis, dialogue with stakeholders, and communications A.I.S.E. will take all opportunities to communicate its aims and achievements. However, it is keen to ensure that its activities are not run in isolation, but take into account the input from all key stakeholders through open, trustful and constructive dialogue based on objective analysis. Specific educational materials, such as the Hygiene brochure, the website or consumer-targeted brochures on legislation around detergents have been developed. In addition, A.I.S.E. has a yearly program of events and publications with the specific purpose of encouraging active participation of all involved parties. We can cite as examples: • The General Assembly is a major discussion forum for the industry and is also an opportunity to have “local” contacts and get in touch with the reality of each member country. This event rotates every year to a different country. The annual A.I.S.E. Information Day in Brussels is an opportunity to hear input from key Brussels-based stakeholders. The Annual Report presents a picture of the market we operate in, its evolution and the key events that have characterized it in a given year. A new A.I.S.E. Sustainability Report will present via a set of Key Performance Indicators the aggregated results that have been achieved by the companies participating in the Charter for Sustainable Cleaning. This report will also inform people about new initiatives that contribute to Sustainable Development. Websites giving consumer information and guidance will be extended. For example, the “Washright©” communication campaign, which gave advice to consumers on how to wash laundry in a more sustainable way, thus promoting sustainable consumption, is being kept active through “The Charter” website.

• • •

7 All activities ‘under one roof’ We, the detergent industry, represented through A.I.S.E., look at the internal framework in which we operate as our “house” which contains all the elements of our engagement:

Industry Vision Agenda for Responsible Sustainable Cleaning
(Economic, Social, Environmental)
Partnering to achieve a better regulatory framework Developing & promoting voluntary initiatives

Science-based solutions

Dialogue with stakeholders

Communications to end-users

Opportunities & issues identification via membership

Conclusion A.I.S.E. is convinced that this Agenda for Responsible Sustainable Cleaning represents a very good and useful framework for its current and future activities and is committed to ensure that the principles embedded in it can form a firm basis for future policy making in our industry. A.I.S.E. is also committed to continue to ensuring that this Agenda remains a living and inspirational document that will be continually revised in a timely fashion in line with societal and industrial developments and needs. -------------∞∞∞--------------