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      A compilation of life cycle studies for six household detergent product categories in Europe: the basis for product-specific A.I.S.E. Charter Advanced Sustainability Profiles

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          A.I.S.E., the International Association for Soaps, Detergents and Maintenance Products, launched the ‘A.I.S.E. Charter for Sustainable Cleaning’ in Europe in 2005 to promote sustainability in the cleaning and maintenance products industry. This Charter is a proactive programme for translating the concept of sustainable innovation into reality and actions. Per product category, life cycle assessments (LCA) are used to set sustainability criteria that are ambitious, but also achievable by all market players.


          This paper presents and discusses LCAs of six household detergent product categories conducted for the Charter, i.e.: manual dishwashing detergents, powder and tablet laundry detergents, window glass trigger spray cleaners, bathroom trigger spray cleaners, acid toilet cleaners, and bleach toilet cleaners. Relevant impact categories are identified, as well as the life cycle stages with the largest contribution to the environmental impact.


          It was concluded that the variables that mainly drive the results (i.e. the environmental hotspots) for manual dishwashing detergents and laundry detergents were the water temperature, water consumption (for manual dishwashing detergents), product dosage (for laundry detergents), and the choice and amount of surfactant. By contrast, for bathroom trigger sprays, acid and bleach toilet cleaners, the driving factors were plastic packaging, transportation to retailer, and specific ingredients. Additionally, the type of surfactant was important for bleach toilet cleaners. For window glass trigger sprays, the driving factors were the plastic packaging and the type of surfactant, and the other ingredients were of less importance. A.I.S.E. used the results of the studies to establish sustainability criteria, the so-called ‘Charter Advanced Sustainability Profiles’, which led to improvements in the marketplace.

          Electronic supplementary material

          The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12302-015-0055-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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          Most cited references 6

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          Are resource savings in manual dishwashing possible? Consumers applying Best Practice Tips

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            Comparing the environmental footprints of home-care and personal-hygiene products: the relevance of different life-cycle phases.

            An in-depth life-cycle assessment of nine home-care and personal-hygiene products was conducted to determine the ecological relevance of different life-cycle phases and compare the environmental profiles of products serving equal applications. Using detailed data from industry and consumer-behavior studies a broad range of environmental impacts were analyzed to identify the main drivers in each life-cycle stage and potentials for improving the environmental footprints. Although chemical production significantly adds to environmental burdens, substantial impacts are caused in the consumer-use phase. As such, this research provides recommendations for product development, supply chain management, product policies, and consumer use. To reduce environmental burdens products should, for instance, be produced in concentrated form, while consumers should apply correct product dosages and low water temperatures during product application.
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              Dishwashing Under Various Consumer-relevant Conditions


                Author and article information

                Environ Sci Eur
                Environ Sci Eur
                Environmental Sciences Europe
                Springer Berlin Heidelberg (Berlin/Heidelberg )
                5 October 2015
                5 October 2015
                : 27
                : 1
                [1 ]PRé Consultants bv, Stationsplein 121, 3818 LE Amersfoort, The Netherlands
                [2 ]Unilever, Safety and Environment Assurance Centre, Sharnbrook, Bedford, MK44 1LQ UK
                [3 ]Henkel AG & Co. KGaA, Henkelstrasse 67, 40589 Düsseldorf, Germany
                [4 ]Procter & Gamble, Brussels Innovation Centre, Temselaan 100, 1853 Strombeek-Bever, Belgium
                [5 ]International Association for Soaps, Detergents and Maintenance Products (A.I.S.E.), Boulevard du Souverain 165, 1160 Brussels, Belgium
                © Golsteijn et al. 2015

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

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