In an interview, Melissa Hockstad, President & CEO, American Cleaning Institute (ACI) with Chemical Today magazine speaks about the trends, opportunities and challenges in the cleaning chemicals industry.
Trends and focus on sustainability
There continues to be great demand for cleaning, hygiene and disinfecting products in all sectors: consumer, commercial, and healthcare. Moreover, the cleaning product supply chain is innovating to meet their customer requests with innovative, sustainable chemistries and products.
What you have seen over the past decade is companies embracing and embedding sustainable business practices throughout their operations.
At the American Cleaning Institute, we will be releasing our fourth Sustainability Report later this year, where we hope to showcase the industry’s progress toward sustainable development. In 2017 we plan to put our recent industry materiality assessment – which is really a critical issues assessment – at the centre of the report and reflect on the topics that matter most to our industry and stakeholders.
Within this new integrated report structure, we will highlight key metrics and showcase the work ACI has done to move the needle on our material issues. You can also expect a showcase of ACI companies and their individual sustainability progress.
We’re fortunate to have so many leader companies in the cleaning product supply chain, in the US and around the world, that are addressing the core vision of the American Cleaning Institute: to enhance health and the quality of life through sustainable cleaning products and practices.
Innovative research forms the core of the products and chemistries.
Among the areas ACI has focused on:
ACI has laid out a detailed work plan for the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to provide extensive safety and efficacy data for the major ingredients used in consumer, commercial, and healthcare antiseptic products that align with requests made by FDA. We are working diligently to ensure that consumer and commercial customers and healthcare institutions continue to have access to these safe and beneficial products.
This past year, ACI published a study detailing research methods that used innovative non-animal techniques for filling hazard data gaps for 261 high production volume chemicals. The research methods eliminated the need for over 1200 animal tests that would have sacrificed 115,000 to 150,000 animals. The research also showed between $50 million and $70 million in associated testing costs were avoided.
Safety data on hundreds of chemicals in the US consumer cleaning product supply chain have been collected and are now available through the website of the American Cleaning Institute’s Cleaning Product Ingredient Safety Initiative.
ACI recently announced that more than five years of work on the Initiative has been finalised, providing reams of publicly available data on ingredients in cleaning products.
The data available on ACI’s Cleaning Product Ingredient Safety Initiative provides the scientific backbone to cleaning product ingredient safety. The website represents a significant transparency initiative for the cleaning products industry.
Challenges in cleaning chemicals industry
The challenges that lie ahead for our supply chain continue to involve meeting a greater demand for sustainable products and chemistries by retailers, governments and NGOs, complex regulatory requirements in many parts of the world, difficult economic headwinds and currency fluctuations.
Yet the cleaning product sector remains resilient. Consumers and commercial institutions use cleaning and hygiene products every single day, and our supply chain will continue to bring products to market that meet the demands of a growing world population.