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Annual Report 2015 CEO statement Strategic priorities Performance Snapshots Our approach GRI & UNGC

3. Eliminate harmful materials

Progress on our promise

Electrolux will protect people and the environment by managing chemicals carefully and continuing to replace those that cause concern.

The roadmap to 2020   Next steps
Implement a best-in-class global system for improving control of chemicals throughout our complex supply chain and work with suppliers to replace chemicals of concern. ​​ Complete implementation of Eco@web for Asia Pacific, Egypt, Small Appliances and Professional Food Service Equipment.
Raise the bar on chemicals requirements, taking into account new scientific findings. ​​ Annual update of the Electrolux Restricted Materials List.
Eliminate all high-impact greenhouse gases from our products. ​​ Phase-out for foam blowing agents and refrigerants in air conditioning, food preservation and fabric care globally.

​​ On track  

​​ Additional effort is required  

​​ Off track  

​​ Work has not yet begun  

How we measure progress

  1. Level of implementation of Group chemical management tool Eco@web across the organization.
  2. Annual update of the Electrolux Restricted Materials List
  3. Progress on phase-out of high impact greenhouse gases. 

At Electrolux and among our customers and consumers, we see a shift in the way society views chemicals and their impacts on health and the environment.

The Electrolux Chemicals Office is a central function for driving global phase-out of chemicals that may cause concern for customers and consumers or potentially impact the environment. It works across our operations and through our supply chain. As part of implementation, Eco@web, an online database system, collects information from suppliers about chemicals used in our products and components.

We are continually raising the bar on the level of acceptance on the chemicals used in our products, sharing best practice around the world and anticipating legal restrictions.

We’re taking action to replace high-impact greenhouse gases (hydro fluorocarbons or HFCs) with lower impact alternatives. With the rise in sales of air conditioners, it is especially important to ensure prompt replacement of high-impact greenhouse gases, making this ambitious goal crucial to our sustainability agenda.

At Electrolux Australia, phase-out of HFCs in refrigerators was completed ahead of legislation in 2012, and we are in the process of doing the same in new markets such as China and Brazil. In 2014, cyclopentane replaced the HFC blowing agent in a major refrigerator-manufacturing site in the US. Other North American operations will follow suit by 2020. 

In 2005, gases with a high global warming potential accounted for 14% of the total CO2 emissions. The goal, as part of the Climate Target for 2020, is their complete elimination. Some ozone-depleting refrigerants are still used in small amounts in air conditioners and efforts are ongoing to phase out these substances.

The challenges and barriers

  • Driving the phase out of chemicals where it is not supported by regulation.
  • Substituting HFCs in air conditioners, where there are no common industry solutions available and where suppliers play an important role.
  • Replacement of HFCs as a refrigerant in the US, where safety regulation limits the use of alternatives.

Replacing HFCs needs to be driven industry-wide, because solutions are dependent on legislation that enable viable alternatives.

The approach

The Electrolux Global Chemicals Office coordinates and manages chemicals listed on our Restricted Materials List across the Group and among suppliers. Our environmental management process collates data on materials use on a site-by-site basis. Suppliers are required to adhere to our Restricted Materials List and report on their use of the substances of concern. Focusing on high-risk applications and suppliers, hundreds of components are tested every year for chemical compliance at Electrolux laboratories, and by selected approved institutes.