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CHSA Publishes Report to Help Cleaning Industry Buy Ethically

CHSA Publishes Report to Help Cleaning Industry Buy Ethically
07 July 2023

The Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association has published a guide to help buyers of cleaning products select environmentally sustainable solutions.

“Sustainability is one of the biggest issues facing our industry,” said Lorcan Mekitarian, Chair of the Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association (CHSA). “Buyers want to do the right thing but knowing what to specify and differentiating sustainable solutions from greenwashing is not easy. Buyers often lack the time or resources to get it right. Our report is designed to help.”

The report is based on advice from manufacturers and distributors of cleaning and hygiene products, including multinationals with a global footprint and major UK-based independent manufacturers. All are CHSA members and have pledged to trade ethically and sustainably, providing supporting information for product claims and making sure “what’s on the box is what’s in the box”.

The report addresses three key questions:


  1. What are the major carbon-reduction initiatives / changes taking place in the industry?
  2. What types of initiative/approach should be specified in tenders?
  3. What should buyers be aware of / avoid and how do they identify greenwashing claims? 


The carbon-reduction initiatives identified include innovations in the design and manufacture of products and packaging, and investment designed to improve energy efficiency and carbon reduction. CHSA members say buyers should expect their suppliers to have a sustainability strategy, detailing substantive initiatives for measuring and reducing carbon emissions. The report also identifies tactics for spotting greenwashing claims including being wary of absolute product claims. 

The CHSA advises FMs to specify the CHSA Accreditation Scheme mark when procuring cleaning products. Lorcan said, in a previous piece written for ThisWeekinFM:  “Busy facilities managers are under pressure to cut costs without compromising on health and safety. They are trying to balance demand with staff shortages, while also dealing with new ways of hybrid working. They do not have the time or resources to check every product they purchase. In relation to cleaning and hygiene products, they cannot, for example, measure the width of rolls of soft tissue or count the number of sheets. They cannot check the duty of each plastic refuse sack. They cannot check what is inside the box matches the description on the label for every product they buy from a cleaning and hygiene distributor. If they specify CHSA Accreditation, they do not have to.”

Picture: a graphic showing a mop and bucket on a wooden floor, a splash of water can also be seen on the floor. Image Credit: Pixabay

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 07 July 2023


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