Developing Advanced Sustainability Profiles
CASE STUDY | For the International Association for Soaps, Detergents and Maintenance Products (A.I.S.E), PRé helped develop a method to determine the hotspots in a product's life cycle. This helps determine key performance indicators.
The International Association for Soaps, Detergents and Maintenance Products (A.I.S.E.), has developed and implemented a Charter for Sustainable Cleaning. This voluntary initiative is a comprehensive life cycle-based framework for promoting a common industry approach to sustainability improvement and reporting.
A key component of the Charter is the product “Advanced Sustainability Profile” (ASP), which signals to consumers that a product fulfills certain criteria on its environmental impacts that lead to a reduced environmental footprint. The main objective of the ASPs is to determine a set of minimum criteria that a product must meet in order to be considered as an example of a product with a good sustainability profile. The main challenges faced by A.I.S.E while implementing this program included:
- achieving stakeholder engagement, cooperation, and support to retrieve data
- identifying and harmonizing industry data per product category
- establishing a scientifi cally robust baseline to enable comparison
- determining which impacts were most relevant to each product category
PRé adopted a life cycle approach to pinpoint the hotspots in a product’s life cycle. This holistic view helped identify the key performance indicators per product category. Additionally, PRé identified which impact categories were relevant for each product type and use by comparing the environmental impact against a reference case. For these consumer facing products, the average impact caused by a European citizen in one year was chosen as the reference.
- A.I.S.E now has a quantitative basis upon which to build ASP’s criteria and targets.
- Manufacturers are able to compare their relative strengths and weaknesses to an industry average via benchmarking.
- A.I.S.E can communicate to its member companies the indicators that should be the focus of their improvement eff orts.
- Environmental profi les of household products can be succinctly communicated to consumers.
- ASP’s make sustainability tangible.
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