An inclusive approach

In Thailand, Electrolux employees switched on their enthusiasm for Earth Hour while switching off the lights.

Accountability to consumers, customers, employees, shareholders and others affected by the Group's operations involves sharing experience and addressing concerns. Stakeholder insight also enables Electrolux to better understand its markets and societal trends.

Focus on consumer needs

Consumer insight guides both the business strategy and product development. Trend reports, independent analysis as well as interviews and visits to households throughout the world enable the Group to identify consumer behavior along with how people are affected by societal mega-trends. Electrolux is thereby better able to respond to them in the product offering. As of 2012, Electrolux will begin to measure consumer perception of Electrolux as a sustainable brand through its brand scorecard.

Company outreach is equally important in order to let consumers know what is possible, raising awareness and offering sound, smarter-living choices.

The value chain approach

Electrolux is committed to working in partnerships along the value chain from suppliers to end-consumers to develop sustainable solutions. In fact, this approach is an integral part of the third pillar of the sustainability strategy: Stakeholders and society.

The company hosted a workshop with 40 major Chinese suppliers to introduce them to the strategy and underline the value of efficiency and high labor standards. See more at the case study, Responsible sourcing summit.

Strong relationships with retailers are central to the business model. Electrolux has long-cooperated informally with retailers to promote environmentally-sound appliances and enhance consumer awareness. One reason for the US EPA recognition as 2011 Partner of the Year was Electrolux North America’s partnership with retailers such as Loewe’s, SEARS and Nationwide Marketing Group to raise awareness among consumers on the importance of energy-efficient appliances. The Group has also participated in a customer initiative to track the carbon footprint of appliances.

Growing numbers of retailers are stipulating formal commitments to social and environmental performance standards in their contracts. Retailers periodically request Code of Conduct audits of Electrolux facilities and the Group readily shares audit findings with customers.

Another continued area of partnership is in the area of smart grids. Electrolux entered into partnerships in Europe, Australia and the United States to spearhead applications of the technology intended to optimize residential use of energy and better enable the use of renewable energy in households.

Employee input

Employee contributions are highly valued. The Group's Board of Directors comprises non-executive members, the CEO and, in accordance with Swedish law, three employee representatives and three deputies who provide employee input into company decision-making.

Conducted every 18 months, the Employee Engagement Survey seeks feedback from personnel on the corporate culture and how it lives up to the Electrolux values, team efficiency, and leadership. This is a new generation engagement survey for Electrolux, more closely aligned with the Group's Our Electrolux vision and values program.

The 2010 survey indicated that 80% of survey respondents regarded Electrolux as an organization that acts with integrity. Competence development and fair treatment in rewarding performance were, however, identified as areas requiring improvement. A new survey will be conducted in April, 2012.

Building relationships with unions

Since signing the International Framework Agreement (IFA) with unions in 2010, annual and ad hoc meetings are arranged with employee representatives to review the Group’s Workplace Code of Conduct compliance. In 2011 Electrolux renewed the existing agreement with the European Works Council for another six years.

Shareholder priorities

Dialog with investors and owners, many of whom are pension funds with long-term commitments to Electrolux, is also ongoing. Their primary concerns are that Electrolux understands and acts on emerging issues and that the Group is transparent with regard to long- and short-term risks and opportunities.

Socially responsible investors

Many of the information needs of socially responsible investors (SRI) are reflected in the Group's reporting practices. This includes Sustainable Asset Managers (SAM), managers of the prestigious Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Electrolux has been a member of the DJSI investment community since 1998.

Electrolux has also reported to the Carbon Disclosure Project since its inception. In 2011, Electrolux ranked among the top ten CDP Nordic reporters. A synopsis of the Group’s answers to the CDP questionnaire is published at and is titled Climate Q&A.

Shared agenda

Sustainability Affairs is responsible for Group dialog with internal and external stakeholders on sustainability-related issues such as climate change, producer responsibility for recycling and responsible sourcing. Identification and choice of partners are primarily based on the weight the organizations carry for issues relevant to the Group.

Stakeholders include organizations such as the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Business for Social Responsibility (BSR). Frequency of engagement is issue- and agenda-driven.

Electrolux is active in the harmonization of product performance standards through national and international bodies such as the International Electrotechnical Commission. The Group has also taken active part in BSR working groups such as Beyond Monitoring and Clean Cargo (CCWG). To read more, see the case study Low carbon on the high seas.

At the launch of Vac from the Sea, Electrolux partnered with organizations such as the US-based Algalita and 5Gyres. The campaign was organized locally to engage local NGOs and communities. Electrolux also donated SEK 1.3m to related research. See also the case study, Vac from NZ.

Under the banner of Green Spirit, Electrolux in Italy held a number of events, including Green Spirit Sicily to engage customers and media in sustainability goals. They also held the second edition of Seeds of Sustainability, a convention organized together with WWF and open to a wide range of stakeholder groups – from institutions and media to customers and students.

Additionally, Electrolux spoke at engagements such as the US EPA Partner Meeting, national corporate sustainability networks and at various universities.

Endorsing initiatives

The Group cooperates with other corporations that have similar goals through, e.g., the UN Global Compact (UNGC) and its Nordic network, as well as the national industry organization Confederation of Swedish Enterprise.

Over and above its support of the UNGC's ten principles, Electrolux endorses initiatives such as Caring for Climate, aimed at advancing practical solutions and shaping both public policy and attitudes on climate change.

In 2010, Electrolux signed the UNGC CEO Water Mandate, a public-private initiative designed to assist companies in the development, implementation and disclosure of water policies and practices.

Through the Climate Group, Electrolux was also among the companies that signed a joint declaration of businesses to call on the EU to prepare to increase its greenhouse gas reduction target to 30% to drive low carbon investment in 2011.

Electrolux has been a signatory of the European Appliance Industry Code of Conduct (CECED) since its inception.


Electrolux maintains continuous dialog with representatives from governments and intergovernmental organizations. This is conducted both directly and through membership in appliance industry associations such as the European association CECED and the American Home Appliance Manufacturers Association (AHAM).

Public policy discussions with governmental authorities cover issues such as climate change, energy efficiency, resource efficiency, phasing out of hazardous substances, producer responsibility for recycling and collection of waste, product responsibility and the introduction of government incentives for consumer purchases of energy-efficient appliances.

Integrating insights into business decisions

The Group has developed a materiality process to identify priorities and align the sustainability strategy and annual performance reporting with issues of importance to stakeholders.

Electrolux monitors issues across the entire product life cycle and keeps track of the priorities of key stakeholder groups through dialog, surveys, market intelligence and media reviews. To stay ahead of the trends, Electrolux also applies sustainability management and reporting standards such as ISO and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).

This materiality process was further developed this year. It now includes stakeholder group prioritization, and an analysis of the sustainability impacts on different aspects of the business strategy.

Feedback from stakeholders is compiled, periodically reported to Group Management, and reflected in their decision-making.

Locally driven

Each market and business area is responsible for maintaining dialog with representatives from relevant interest groups. Local operations cooperate and engage with non-governmental organizations such as WWF in Italy, the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, Save the Children and the United Way in the United States and Joy of Life in Sweden.

Stakeholder-engagement platform

In 2011, Future InSight, a dialog platform, was introduced to further engage stakeholders in the sustainability strategy. The platform includes a strategy report, a blog inviting input to the strategy and an employee discussion forum.

Future InSight will form the basis for stakeholder engagement moving forward, feeding into both materiality assessment and strategy development. It will also contribute to the Group’s aim to further intensify its work with stakeholder engagement.