The global market for household appliances is growing. Meeting this demand without a corresponding increase in environmental impact requires more effective use of resources such as raw materials, water and energy.
Electrolux influences people’s daily life across the world. Efforts are constantly made to be more resource efficient and become a more safe and ethical company.
As a global company, Electrolux affects millions of people — customers, suppliers and local communities. Electrolux strives to create a positive impact by collaborating to meet local needs and promote improvements.
Electrolux offers several ranges of resource-efficient products. In 2016, these products represented 20% of products sold and 28% of gross profit. One example is a new series of washing machines under the AEG brand with new technology, that makes washing gentler to clothes and reduces energy consumption further.
Materials used in household appliances comprise primarily steel, plastic and electronic components. One of the ways of contributing to greater resource efficiency is to increase the usage of recycled materials and support initiatives for recycling of products. In 2016, Electrolux used over 22% more recycled plastics than in 2015.
Consumers should be reassured that Electrolux has a robust approach to choosing materials for its products, protecting human health and the environment. Electrolux continues to implement a common process for chemical management. New scientific findings and stakeholder requirements are used to regularly update the restricted materials list.
Electrolux has a responsibility for every employee and an effective health and safety program is a top priority. The Group’s global incident rate (TCIR) was 0.6 in 2016, see page 35. Since 2005, the incident rate has been reduced by 83%. The estimated cost reduction was more than SEK 300m in 2016, compared with 2005, based on historical data.
Efficient use of resources reduces environmental impact and has benefits in terms of cost savings. The Green Spirit program, a part of the Electrolux Manufacturing System, has the objective to continuously reduce energy and water consumption. In 2015, Electrolux set a 2020-target to improve energy efficiency by 20% compared to 2015. In addition, a new climate target was established this year: by 2020 half of the energy should come from renewable sources. In 2016, Electrolux reduced the energy consumption by 4% and the CO2 emissions by 89,000 tonnes compared to 2015.
Across the world, Electrolux operations are based on a shared foundation: respect, diversity, integrity, ethics, safety and the environment. The Group has a global ethics program encompassing both training and a whistle-blowing system – the Electrolux Ethics Helpline. In 2015, a new group wide training program for the Code of Conduct was launched, and by the end of 2016 12,000 employees had participated in on-line training program.
As a global company, Electrolux can contribute to a faster transfer of technology to new growing markets. Resource-efficient solutions improve the lives of people and keep the environmental impact low. The new refrigeration range launched in Australia under the Westinghouse brand is an example of a global platform for energy-efficient products intended for the mass market.
Through the Group’s global reach and local presence, there are opportunities to make a positive difference, benefiting the local communities, Electrolux employees and the business. In 2016, the Group set up the Electrolux Food Foundation, and entered into the “Feed the Planet” partnership with the World Association of Chefs’ Societies (Worldchefs) and the world’s largest student organization AIESEC, in order to develop and promote Electrolux employees’ initiatives in the area of sustainability and food.
Regardless of where the Group’s products and components are manufactured, it is done with respect for people and the environment. As part of our responsible sourcing efforts, Electrolux carried out 471 supplier audits in 2016, and 223 staff members from 189 suppliers received training in the Electrolux Code of Conduct and other relevant sustainability issues. Launched in 2016, a supplier on-line program in five languages increases reach and training opportunities.