This first report establishes performance benchmarks in ten key areas, including carbon dioxide emissions, packaging usage, and end-user guidance, and demonstrates the contribution being made by the European detergents and cleaning industry towards international targets for safeguarding the environment.

Dr Andrew Williams, the director general of UKCPI, the UK trade association for cleaning and hygiene products, will be meeting the UK trade press in January to discuss the sustainability report and the European Union-wide Charter for Sustainable Cleaning.

UKCPI is one of the largest members of AISE, (the International Association for Soaps, Detergents and Maintenance Products), which works in a similar capacity at the European level.

The Charter for Sustainable Cleaning aims to establish guidelines, benchmarks and key performance indicators to help the cleaning industry voluntarily improve its sustainability, beyond the parameters set out by the British government.

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is supporting the scheme. David Kidney MP, PPS to Rt Hon David Miliband MP as Secretary of State for the Environment, said: “I’m impressed with this comprehensive scheme across Europe. I’m sure it will raise standards in the sector. This initiative will, in time, help the industry to play its part in tackling climate change.”