The American Cleaning Institute (ACI)

Environmental Justice


Trade associations serve the growth and innovation of a variety of sectors of the American economy. In today’s landscape it is more apparent than ever that businesses must be in tune with the needs of both their customers and the communities in which they operate. Ultimately, businesses rely on the health and wellbeing of their communities and must demonstrate that they too are a good neighbor.

The term “Environmental Justice” has recently gained a lot of attention, although the term and concept have existed for decades. It centers on the necessity for all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status to have the right to a clean, healthy environment and that environmental burdens and benefits should be distributed fairly. This has not always been the case in the United States, and furthermore throughout the world. The time is now, and we must do better to ensure Environmental Justice (EJ).

Industry must work in turn to ensure that collective action can yield the outcomes necessary to effect change. Companies must continue to innovate to make products that provide great value and also contribute to a favorable impact on human health an the environment.

Government agencies should also continue their work ensuring that safer, more sustainable chemistries and innovations can make their way into the marketplace.

We must also carry on the work to engage our communities. It’s time to build upon and/or create dynamic and meaningful relationships with the communities in which we operate, bringing radical transparency and building benefits that work for all. We are committed to learning how to tackle EJ concerns, because we have an opportunity to do better and learn along with our member companies.

As a collective, we hope to improve our understanding of EJ impacts and remain open to the changes needed to bring about equity for all. Our action plan encourages our collective learning and improvement through its three key tenants:

  1. Education,
  2. Outreach and Partnerships and
  3. Reporting on our progress.

In these ways we will strive to continuously improve and make the cleaning product industry a better neighbor to all communities.


We are working to educate our members on the history of Environmental Justice, how they can better understand their current impacts and how to engage the communities in which they operate, in order to have meaningful and genuine relationships with these communities and be invested in their health and socioeconomic outcomes.

- Melissa Hockstad, ACI President & CEO


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