Sweden’s Electrolux today introduced the Better Living Program, a plan to enable better and more sustainable living for consumers around the world through 2030. With bold targets focusing on better eating, better garment care and a better home environment, the initiative widens the scope of Electrolux commitment to sustainability and enables the company and its brands to contribute in a meaningful way on key global challenges.
“At Electrolux we take a lot of pride in the way our appliances have helped shape hundreds of millions of people’s home lives for the better over the past 100 years. At the same time, the way all of us live our lives today also poses a great challenge for a sustainable future. As a global leader in home appliances, Electrolux has a tremendous opportunity to eliminate barriers that are keeping consumers and the industry from making sustainable choices,” said Jonas Samuelson, CEO at Electrolux. “That’s where the Better Living Program comes in: it’s a to-do list which sets the direction for our company on a global level. Everything, from product development to the way we do business and communicate with consumers, will be impacted by this.”
Four new 2030 targets have been defined, aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and integrated with Electrolux overall sustainability strategy:
- Make sustainable eating the preferred choice
- Make clothes last twice as long with half the environmental impact
- Make homes free from harmful allergens and pollutants.
- Make our business circular and climate neutral.
As a first action, the company intends to annually fund the Electrolux Food Foundation until 2030, with an expected total of SEK 100 million. The additional funding will contribute to making sustainable eating the preferred choice as the foundation supports employee and partner initiatives. For example, by 2030 the Food Foundation seeks to offer education for children and culinary training programs for unemployed and professionals to at least 300,000 people, and support millions of people in need through global and local programs and partners.
The Better Living Program will drive and put the spotlight on at least 100 actions which give a significant and direct contribution to its 2030 targets. These actions, which can be within the scope of the company’s regular business as well as run through external partnerships and spearhead initiatives, will be presented continuously on www.electrolux.com/betterlivingprogram.
Widening the scope of sustainability
Launched to coincide with the company’s 100-year anniversary on August 29, the Better Living Program means Electrolux – which has been ranked as an industry sustainability leader by multiple independent organizations – is taking an even more holistic approach to sustainability.
Electrolux sustainability efforts have primarily focused on its operations and supply chain in society (which account for 15% of the company’s climate impact), and the energy consumption from use of products (which accounts for 85%). These remain key focus areas and – with the new target to become circular and climate neutral – Electrolux will maintain a strong approach to manage the company’s direct and indirect environmental impact.
“Now, with the Better Living Program, we’re also committing to drive change in the major usage areas of our products. While more complex to measure, it’s clear that how we all preserve and prepare food or care for our clothes, for example, significantly impacts the environment,” said Henrik Sundström, Head of Sustainability Affairs at Electrolux. “With the targets of the program, we’re strengthening Electrolux ambition to develop solutions that enable sustainable choices in the day-to-day. We also want to engage with consumers on a deeper level to provide inspiration and information.”
This new commitment will be reflected in an updated version of the company’s full sustainability framework, which will be presented later this year together with new targets relating to other relevant sustainability issues, such as an increased use of recycled materials.
Validated by consumer research and science
The relevance of the four 2030 targets within the Better Living Program has been validated by a recent survey – the Better Living Report – which was conducted to explore consumer attitudes and challenges when it comes to sustainable living.
Make sustainable eating the preferred choice
With approximately 30% of global climate emissions coming from production of food and a third of all food produced going to waste, Electrolux will work to enable more consumers to store, cook and eat food in a way that benefits both people and planet. Furthermore, even though the bulk of the food industry emissions come from animal products, only 1 out of 5 consumers see the significance of plant-based food for more sustainable eating according to the report.
Working towards this target, Electrolux will accelerate its leadership in food preservation solutions that help reduce food waste, and develop cooking solutions that increase the ease and attractiveness of sustainable food choices.
Make clothes last twice as long with half the environmental impact
Fashion is another industry with a significant climate impact. Taking care of clothes to extend their life drastically reduces the carbon footprint. However, while 7 out of 10 consumers agree that this is the most important choice for sustainability in this area, only 3 out of 10 wash at lower temperatures or wash less frequently.
Working towards this target, Electrolux will continue to improve fabric care technology to increase the longevity of clothes and to reduce water and energy consumption. The company will also partner with stakeholders such as the clothing and detergent industry, to drive innovation and inspire consumers to adopt more sustainable care habits.
Make homes free from harmful allergens and pollutants
Indoor air pollution can be up to five times higher than outdoor air pollution and is a significant health hazard according to the World Health Organization. But while almost 8 of 10 consumers believe indoor air quality is important, half of these feel they lack the tools to act upon it, the Better Living Report showed.
Working towards this target, Electrolux will accelerate development of sophisticated air and climate solutions that optimize indoor air. Another opportunity is to explore new ownership models that enable more consumers to improve their home environment.
Make our business circular and climate neutral
Sustainability has been an integral part of Electrolux strategy for many years. The new target means committing to zero carbon emissions from Electrolux facilities around the world. It also means striving for circularity in everything we do. To this end, Electrolux will focus on developing circular business models and product designs that improve overall resource efficiency.
Working towards this target, Electrolux will significantly increase its use of renewable energy, for example by installing solar panels throughout its facilities. Exploring opportunities for circularity, the company will also aim to achieve zero waste from factories, and drive a project to develop a fully recycled and recyclable vacuum cleaner.