Home Cleaning Brands Are Making Sustainability

How Home Cleaning Brands Are Making Sustainability a Priority

In recent years, the home cleaning product industry has made great strides towards adopting more sustainable practices. As consumers become increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of the products they use, companies have responded by re-evaluating their manufacturing processes, ingredients, and packaging. Major players in the industry have rolled out new sustainability initiatives and made commitments to reduce their carbon footprint. This trend looks set to continue as brands compete to establish their eco-credentials in the minds of environmentally-conscious shoppers.

One of the key drivers behind this shift is growing public awareness of the detrimental effects that some chemicals used in cleaning products can have. There are concerns around air and water pollution as a result of production, as well as potential health risks to consumers from harsh ingredients. In light of this, manufacturers have reformulated many of their products using plant-based, biodegradable ingredients that are gentler on both the environment and the people who use them.

Many leading home cleaning brands have now made far-reaching sustainability pledges. They have committed to minimizing their environmental footprint across their whole supply chain, from sourcing ingredients in a responsible manner to reducing energy and water usage at manufacturing facilities. There is also a focus on cutting down on packaging and making it recyclable. Additionally, companies are investing in education and certification programs to demonstrate their commitment to sustainable practices.

This article will explore the key ways in which manufacturers of home cleaning products are embracing sustainability and detail some of the initiatives the major players are undertaking. It will show how the industry is transforming in response to consumer demand for eco-friendly products.

Reduce Packaging

Sustainable cleaning product companies are focused on reducing packaging waste. Some key ways they accomplish this include:

  • Using less packaging materials overall. For example, concentrated formulas allow for smaller bottles.
  • Choosing recyclable materials like glass, aluminum, and #1 and #2 plastics whenever possible. Avoiding plastics like PVC that are not widely accepted for recycling.
  • Eliminating unnecessary outer cardboard boxes or shrink wrap.
  • Designing packaging that uses less material, like thinner plastic walls on bottles.
  • Offering bulk refill options to completely eliminate single-use packaging. Customers can refill their reusable bottles.
  • Encouraging post-consumer recycled content in packaging when possible.

The less packaging used and the more recyclable the materials are, the better for the environment. Companies are getting creative with packaging-free solutions and ways to minimize waste.

Eco-Friendly Ingredients

Many leading home cleaning brands are reformulating products to rely on plant-based, biodegradable ingredients that are safer for the environment. These natural ingredient alternatives often perform just as effectively as conventional cleaning agents.

Some of the most common eco-friendly ingredients now found in green cleaning products include:

  • Plant-derived soaps and surfactants made from coconuts, palm oil or corn that effectively lift dirt and grease.
  • Citric acid from citrus fruits that cuts through soap scum and hard water stains.
  • Baking soda as a natural deodorizer and abrasive for scrubbing.
  • Vinegar to dissolve grime, remove odors and sanitize surfaces.
  • Essential oils like lemon, eucalyptus and peppermint that add natural fragrance.
  • Enzymes from plants that break down stains and organic matter.

The use of plant-based ingredients grown through sustainable agriculture makes these products biodegradable and far less toxic. They reduce the amount of harmful chemicals that get washed down drains and dumped into waterways. Consumers concerned about their family’s health and the planet are increasingly seeking out these gentler green cleaning solutions.

Renewable Energy

Home cleaning product manufacturers are increasingly powering their manufacturing facilities with renewable energy sources like solar and wind. This helps reduce their overall carbon footprint and reliance on fossil fuels.

Some companies are installing solar panels on factory rooftops to generate a portion of the energy used on-site. Others are purchasing renewable energy credits or signing power purchase agreements with wind and solar farms to source a percentage of electricity from clean sources.

Seventh Generation, a leading natural cleaning brand, powers its headquarters with 100% renewable electricity. The Clorox Company, maker of many popular cleaning products, has set a goal to source 50% of its electricity from renewables by 2025. Procter & Gamble, parent company of brands like Mr. Clean, aims to use 30% renewable electricity by 2020.

Transitioning to renewable energy demonstrates a commitment to sustainability and helps attract environmentally-conscious consumers. Manufacturers prominently advertise these efforts through product labels and marketing. While renewable energy initiatives do require upfront investment, they can provide long-term cost savings compared to fossil fuels.

Overall, powering factories with solar, wind, and other renewables has become an important way for cleaning companies to reduce their environmental footprint. It’s a growing trend across the industry.

Water Conservation

Water conservation is a key focus for many home cleaning product manufacturers seeking to implement more sustainable practices. This includes efforts to recycle water used in manufacturing as well as utilizing production methods that conserve water.

Many facilities have implemented closed-loop water recycling systems to reuse water multiple times during production. The water is treated onsite and cycled back into the system for further use. This significantly reduces the overall amount of freshwater utilized. General Mills, for example, has cut water use at its facilities by nearly 40% through water recycling and reuse initiatives.

In addition to recycling, many companies are switching to water-efficient production methods. Some laundry detergent manufacturers have reformulated their products to work effectively in cold water cycles, reducing hot water usage during laundering. Dishwasher detergents are also being designed for lower temperature cleaning.

Manufacturing plants may utilize low-flow equipment, auto shut-off valves, and other water-saving devices. Upgrading to water-efficient machinery can make a significant dent in usage. For example, P&G replaced one piece of equipment in a plant which ended up reducing water utilization by over 10 million gallons per year.

Optimizing production processes to conserve water requires both technology improvements and changes in standard operating procedures. But the benefits for sustainability are well worth the investment for many brands. Their efforts continue to minimize the amount of freshwater utilized in manufacturing home cleaning products.

Supply Chain

Leading home cleaning product manufacturers are making efforts to source ingredients and materials in ethical and environmentally sustainable ways. This includes building relationships with local suppliers to reduce transportation emissions and support local economies. Companies are also implementing supplier codes of conduct to ensure human rights protections and fair labor practices across their supply chains.

When sourcing ingredients like plant oils, fragrances, and other renewable materials, manufacturers are partnering with suppliers who use methods like sustainable agriculture, reforestation programs, and fair trade practices. For example, some companies require palm oil to be certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). This helps avoid deforestation and destruction of wildlife habitats.

For packaging and containers, manufacturers look for recycled and recyclable materials as well as renewable resources like bamboo and fast-growing woods. Some companies even partner with suppliers who utilize waste products from other industries, like recycled glass or plastic retrieved from waterways.

Overall, leading cleaning brands are considering sustainability and ethics when making supplier choices. This allows them to reduce their environmental footprints and support the wellbeing of workers and communities across their supply chains. Responsible sourcing makes an important contribution to the sustainability efforts of eco-conscious manufacturers.


Manufacturers are making efforts to educate consumers about their sustainability initiatives and the importance of choosing eco-friendly products. Many brands have information on their websites detailing their efforts to use plant-based ingredients, reduce water usage, and minimize packaging.

Blog posts and social media campaigns focus on informing consumers how to identify truly green products based on certifications, ingredients, and packaging. Manufacturers want to empower buyers to make informed choices.

Some brands have created online calculators that show consumers their potential environmental impact by switching to green cleaners. The calculators estimate reduced plastic waste and carbon emissions on an individual household level. This makes sustainability relevant on a personal level.

Many companies publish annual sustainability reports highlighting their progress and goals. These help hold brands accountable to consumers who care about green practices. Reports cover water conservation, energy use, waste reduction, and other metrics.

Overall, education is an important part of ensuring consumers align with a brand’s values and understand how to make sustainable choices. Manufacturers are making efforts to be transparent and make information readily available. An informed consumer is in the best position to support environmentally responsible companies.


Eco-labels provide consumers with an easy way to identify cleaning products that meet certain environmental and health standards. Two of the most well-known eco-labels for home cleaning products are Safer Choice and EWG Verified.

The Safer Choice label, administered by the EPA, indicates that a product contains only ingredients that the EPA has deemed safer for human health and the environment. To earn the Safer Choice label, products must disclose all ingredients and avoid chemicals of concern like carcinogens and reproductive toxins. They also must demonstrate that the product performs as well as conventional products. Popular brands like Method, Mrs. Meyer’s, and Seventh Generation have attained Safer Choice certifications for many of their products.

The EWG (Environmental Working Group) also thoroughly evaluates ingredients in home cleaning products and awards its EWG Verified mark to those meeting stringent criteria. EWG scientists and toxicologists screen for potential health hazards and prohibit chemicals linked to cancer, allergies, or reproductive toxicity. Only transparent companies that fully disclose ingredients can qualify. EWG Verified products must also deliver their advertised effectiveness. Top green brands like Honest Company, Attitude, and Cleancult carry EWG’s seal of approval.

Eco-labels help consumers easily identify more sustainable options when shopping for home cleaning products. Reliable certifications like Safer Choice and EWG Verified indicate products made with safer, gentler ingredients that get the job done.

Company Initiatives

Many major cleaning product manufacturers have implemented sustainability programs and set ambitious goals to reduce their environmental footprint. Here are some standout company initiatives in the home cleaning industry:

Seventh Generation – This pioneering green cleaning brand aims to become carbon neutral by 2030. It runs all operations on 100% renewable electricity, uses post-consumer recycled plastic in packaging, and formulates products with plant-based, biodegradable ingredients.

Method – Acquired by SC Johnson in 2017, Method emphasizes stylish and effective plant-based formulas. Its manufacturing facilities operate on renewable energy, and it utilizes recyclable plastic packaging. Method has also partnered with Plastic Bank to collect ocean-bound plastic waste.

Ecover – Based in Belgium and owned by SC Johnson, Ecover has an extensive zero waste program. Its factory generates renewable biogas from production waste to power operations. Ecover was also the first company to introduce 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles.

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day – This leading green cleaning brand runs its manufacturing facilities on 100% wind power. It uses plant-derived, biodegradable ingredients and post-consumer recycled plastic in packaging. Mrs. Meyer’s also supports TerraCycle recycling programs.

Earth Friendly Products – With solar panels at facilities and a company-wide zero waste program, Earth Friendly Products aims for carbon neutrality by 2023. It makes effective plant-based formulas and recyclable packaging. The company also offers transparency through its ingredients glossary.

P&G – The consumer goods giant recently announced plans to cut virgin plastic use in half and increase recycled plastic content. For its home care brands like Dawn and Cascade, P&G is exploring new eco-friendly packaging and formulas as part of its Ambition 2030 sustainability goals.


The home cleaning products industry has made great strides in adopting more sustainable practices, but there is still room for improvement. Companies are increasingly moving towards more eco-friendly ingredients, reducing excess packaging, and implementing programs to conserve water and energy. Many are also taking steps to educate consumers and promote third-party eco-labels and certifications.

Looking ahead, we can expect to see even more focus on sustainability in this market. Key trends will likely include:

  • Continued reductions in plastic packaging as companies switch to recycled and renewable materials. More cleaning product refill systems will also emerge.
  • Greater use of plant-based ingredients and bio-based chemicals rather than petroleum-derived compounds. Expect more cleaning formulas focused on gentleness.
  • Expanded renewable energy initiatives, like solar and wind power at manufacturing facilities. More companies will target zero-waste operations.
  • Supply chain oversight and transparency around issues like labor practices and ingredient sourcing. This allows brands to better monitor sustainability.
  • Innovative efforts to save water during manufacturing through closed-loop systems and water recycling technology.
  • Ongoing industry collaboration to establish sustainability standards, goals, and best practices.

The market for eco-friendly home cleaning products will keep growing as consumers, companies, and regulators demand greener options with lower footprints. Brands that lean into sustainability can gain an edge with environmentally aware shoppers. While progress has been made, there are still many opportunities ahead for cleaning brands to operate and innovate sustainably.

Artículo anterior
Siguiente post

Deja un comentario