Three years of data in The Truth About Laundry report, shows 35 million households have turned down wash temperatures for potential saving of nearly 1 million tons of CO2 equivalent emissions.
Today the results of the longest and largest study of its kind into laundry behaviors across Europe have been published by leading global appliance company Electrolux Group. The study reveals long established behaviors are changing at pace, in favor of the environment, as consumers seek to save energy costs:
- 35m European households have turned to washing at 30°C since 2020; over 14m of which have switched in the past 12 months.
- The turn to 30°C is likely to have saved over 952,000 tons of CO2 equivalent*.
- 44% of households are now mainly washing their clothes at 30°C or below, compared to 35% three years ago.
- Majority of Europe will be 30°C laundry zone by 2025 if trend continues.
- 86% of all households have tried to reduce energy usage in the past twelve months and over half (56%) have specifically changed the way they launder.
Current energy crisis is accelerating change
While the study shows habits have been changing for the good of the planet over the past few years, it is the current energy crisis that is helping to accelerate change. These changes include 43% now washing full loads more, 31% wearing clothes more often between washes, 29% laundering more at night and 30% now using Eco-settings. Many of them for the first time.
Concerns over energy it seems is never too far from the consumer’s mind with 83% of adults thinking more about the energy they are consuming when using appliances than ever before. 58% also say that “energy efficiency” will be a key consideration when they buy their next appliance.
“The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded that urgent climate action can secure a livable future for all but that the window for positive action is closing fast,” comments Sarah Schaefer, VP Sustainability Europe, Electrolux Group. “Our latest research, which has reviewed data from the past three years, shows consumers are changing their behaviors positively, which should give everyone hope that together we can help tackle climate change. But a lot more is needed from us all if we are to succeed.”
Five steps to change
Electrolux Group is recommending five small steps everyone can take which, together, can make a big difference to the planet:
- Make 30°C the new 40°C. As often as possible. 52% of Europe is still mainly washing at 40°C and above.
- Pick more energy efficient appliances. They reduce energy usage and are more resource efficient which can be kinder to the planet. They can also help to reduce household energy costs over time.
- Skip a wash, refresh instead. 62% of Europeans say “getting rid of odors” is the main reason they wash their clothes and nearly a quarter of adults (23%) have also consistently reported the main reason they wash clothes is because they like to wear freshly laundered clothes. New technology though means consumers can refresh clothes by steaming them and also tackle odors by automatically adding a fragrance to the wash. Other great benefits of steam, of course, are it saves water compared to a full wash and, for those short on time, it reduces wrinkles and the need to iron.
- Unlock appliance potential. One effortless way consumers can look to reduce costs and lessen environmental impact is by exploring the settings on their appliances more. 22% of adults have reported never reading their appliance’s instructions and the average number of settings people use is 3. It means there are a lot of technological advancements not being taken advantage of.
- Start small, wash full. 43% of Europeans are now washing full loads more often due to concerns over energy costs. Checking your load is full before washing it is a small and fairly easy step to take which can reduce the use of resources and costs.
“The positive changes we are witnessing in laundry are many,” continues Schaefer. “Millions of people across Europe making small changes which are adding up to big differences. That’s the journey we are on and the more people who join, the better chance we have for creating the liveable future we all want.”
*Calculation is based upon: total number of households which have turned to 30°C from 40°C in Europe since 2020 is 35,015,308 (i.e. 10% of 350,153,081, the total number of households) multiplied by an annual CO2-eq saving of up to 27.2kg per household per year, divided by 1000, to arrive at 952,416 tons of CO2-eq likely to have been saved. A household saving up to 27.2kg of CO2-eq per year from turning down the wash temperature from 40°C to 30°C, is based upon decreasing washing temperature from Cotton 40°C cycle to Cotton 30°C cycle, using powder detergent, 8Kg FL WM delivers ~ 25% less impact on Global Warming Potential (GWP) of use phase. In real terms it reduces CO2 equivalent from 1436Kg CO2-eq to 1164 Kg CO2-eq over ten years or up to 27.2Kg of CO2-eq every year per household, based on one household having an average of one washing machine. Click here for more information: Electrolux The Truth About Laundry 2021.
NOTES TO EDITORS
The Truth About Laundry report
The Truth About Laundry, the Resource Efficiency Edition 2023 is the third consecutive study by leading global appliance company, Electrolux Group. Each year it studies the responses from up to 14,000 adults across Europe as well as analyzing 1.4m actual wash cycle data collected from its connected appliances. In 2020, it shared insights into laundry behavior during the pandemic and published new scientific research which pinpointed the CO2 equivalent saving from turning wash temperature down from 30°C to 40°C. In 2021 it continued to monitor key behaviors while also sharing insights into consumer understanding of microplastics in clothes and what can be done to reduce their release into the planet’s waterways.
About the most recent research
The research findings are based on quantitative data collected from 14,000 adults across fourteen European markets. OnePoll, a survey-led market research company, managed the research in collaboration with Electrolux Group and its partners. The survey was fielded between 20th December 2022 to 16th January 2023 with data collected from the general population in the following countries: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and, the UK.
The data were weighted for each country to ensure accurate representation by age, marital status, income/social class, ethnicity, and region. For a statistic of 50% the margin of error for sampling on a sample of 1,000 respondents is ±3.1%. For smaller or larger statistics, the margin of error will decrease and falls to 1.9% for a statistic of 10% or 90%. This is based on all countries having 1,000 respondents per market. This margin of error is small making the data highly reliable.
For further information, please contact Electrolux Press Hotline, +46 8 657 65 07.