We have a collective responsibility to support multi-stakeholder initiatives that contribute to sustainable business success and a better future for everyone.
Goal: Contribute positively to our shared future through supporting the UN SDGs.
The SDGs provide an ideal framework in which we can come together with other industries, governments and organizations to drive positive impact.
The UN SDGs and their predecessors, the Millennium Development Goals, have led the way in achieving some impressive results. Since 2000, the maternal mortality rate in sub-Saharan Africa has fallen by 35 percent and the mortality rate for children under-five by 50 percent. In the least developed countries, the proportion of people with access to electricity has more than doubled. Globally, unemployment has fallen and labor productivity risen.
The SDGs are therefore making a real impact on improving livelihoods for the poorest and most vulnerable in society, making us proud to support them. But we know there is a lot more to do to achieve the Goals by 2030. Billions of people still lack basic sanitation, nearly a billion have no electricity and air pollution affects 90 percent of people who live in cities.
The diversity of the cleaning product value chain means our members all have their own critical sustainability issues and opportunities to contribute to the greater good. But by aligning activities and targets with the SDGs and by working together across and beyond the industry, we can maximize our impact for good, and do our part to create a better world.
Individually aligning business priorities and sustainability strategies with the SDGs is a critical next step. Already, 43 ACI companies have started to align their strategies with the SDGs or are reporting their impact in helping achieve the SDG targets. Where members do not currently have aligned strategies, we will be encouraging them to do so. This will include sharing valuable tools such as the chemical sector SDG Roadmap, a collaborative initiative to help the sector contribute to the achievement of the Goals.
Additionally, while members will each have different priorities, impacts and opportunities, collaboration can unlock answers that benefit everyone. Many of the SDGs need more attention, and by combining our collective resources and expertise, there may be real possibilities to make a greater impact than we could do individually. Given the scale and reach of our industry, that impact could be considerable indeed, making a real and lasting difference.
Our Alignment with the SDGs
The development of our Uniting for a Cleaner World framework has been driven by the concept and vision of a sustainable world. While our framework lays out the role the cleaning industry can play, it shares the same aspiration set forth by the SDGs. As such, we have been able to draw direct alignments from the SDGs to our own goals.
Ultimately, we expect our industry commitments will extend the specific SDG targets noted today, and possibly add support for additional SDGs and their respective targets. In many cases, achievement of the SDGs is critical to the future success of the industry.
As a cleaning products industry, we naturally support efforts to promote cleaning – and its benefits for health, hygiene and well-being – for those in need. That’s why we join together to accelerate the work of Clean the World.
Clean the World is a social enterprise that aims to improve the quality of life for vulnerable communities across the globe. It provides sustainable resources and education programs to raise awareness of the need for clean water, sanitation and hygiene, helping people affected by poverty or homelessness, or by humanitarian or natural crises. Encouraging hotels to implement waste-reduction programs, Clean the World collects discarded soap bars, shampoos, conditioners and other hygiene products from thousands of hotels around the world, then redistributes them to communities to help them improve hygiene and health. More than $80,000 has been donated to Clean the World by ACI and its member companies since 2018.