The life cycle assessment – the backbone of Ariel’s sustainability strategy



Just like people, all consumer products have an environmental impact for each stage of their life. A life cycle assessment study analyses the environmental footprint a product makes on the planet across its entire journey, beginning at the sourcing of raw materials to its (usual and inevitable) disposal.

At Ariel, we feel an environmental responsibility to lead with innovation in the area of sustainability and we have been using LCAs for more than two decades to better understand our impact, help us progress on the road to sustainable innovation, and achieve our Ambition 2030 goals.

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What is an LCA?

Life cycle assessment is a scientific methodology designed to help businesses measure and quantify the end-to-end environmental and economic impacts of a product, process, or service, and accounts for:

  • How raw materials were extracted,
  • The consumption of the resources involved in planning or designing the product,
  • Materials and energy used during manufacturing, packaging, and distribution,
  • Impacts from using the product,
  • Waste and pollution created throughout the process and at end-of-life.

Each product and category has an LCA that’s unique to them, yet they all follow the same four stages of the process:

  1. 1. Define the goal and scope of the life cycle analysis
  2. 2. Analyse inventory to get a full picture of all the elements/processes which contribute to the LCA (energy, waste, emissions, and so on)
  3. 3. Assess the impact of the inventory to help us understand the potential effects and damages
  4. 4. Interpret and make informed decisions based on the data.

What is Ariel’s life cycle analysis strategy?

Over recent months, the world and the way we live has drastically changed, inadvertently proving that when we act collectively, our actions can conserve, protect, and even renew our natural environment.

Making smart and sustainable choices is not just an individual responsibility, however. We believe that brands should be at the forefront of sustainability, showing the way to a lower carbon emissions economy and lifestyle. We at Ariel are committed to making a difference, hence our 20+ years-long history of using life cycle assessments to drive positive change in the environment.

As they are steeped in data, informed by internal and external expert thinking and approved by credible and independent third parties, life cycle assessment studies allow us to see which areas of the life cycle are driving the most impact, paving the way for innovative sustainable solutions, such as producing laundry detergents capable of delivering impeccable cleaning even in colder temperatures and focusing on smart chemistry to boost performance whilst reducing environmental footprint.

You can read more about our Ariel Ambition 2030 goals here.

What can you do for the environment?

Ariel’s life cycle analysis found that, on average, 60% of the environmental footprint of laundry comes from the energy used to heat the water*. Consequently, lowering the wash temperature is the single most important thing you can do to reduce your laundry’s environmental impact.

Simply turning down your wash temperature will not only help the environment, but also results in a lower energy bill for your household! And the best thing is, the innovative Ariel All-in-1 PODS® washing capsules gives you the brilliant stain removal you’ve come to expect from Ariel even in cold water washes, thanks to its unique combination of cleaning actives, including proprietary enzymes and cleaning boosters.

Read about the benefits of washing in cold water, pledge your support for a greener future on our dedicated website, and join Ariel’s #washcoldchallenge!

*Simplified LCA breakdown