Going in circles - circular business solutions
Making our business circular requires products and services that improve the use and facilitate the reuse of resources. Electrolux is embracing various innovative new business models to create a more circular business.
Electrolux and the Swedish startup Karma have partnered to produce a connected fridge that allows consumers to buy perfectly edible but close-to-expiring food from supermarkets or restaurants at a discounted price.
Piloted in stores and public spaces in Sweden, the Karma fridge is helping both consumers and the food industry to close the gap on a global problem – it is estimated that one-third of all food produced globally is lost or goes to waste.*
The results of the pilot in 2019 were extremely positive, with future plans for European expansion. With the fridge, 67% more food that was near-expiry date but still perfectly edible reached the tables of consumers.**
Exploring the circle of business
In 2019, Electrolux launched fixed price repair services in Europe. The service gives consumers peace of mind by ensuring no hidden costs to repair and extend the lifetime of their Electrolux products. The service has more than doubled its Net Promotor Score since its launch from 20 to 45 (compared with our previous service offerings).
The award-winning Pure i9 robotic vacuum became available on a pay-per-use subscription trial in Sweden including service and maintenance in the fee. The model ensures that each unit is used to its fullest extent throughout its lifetime.
In China, where it is customary for people to take care of elderly parents who often live far away, Electrolux launched hardware-as-a-service Love+ in 2019. Products are paid for through a subscription and sent directly to the parent’s house. The family pays the fees and can help with certain chores remotely via the Love+ app. Both the Pure i9 robotic vacuum and the Pure A9 air purifier are also leasable, with more products set to be available in the future.
Electrolux partnered with Mila, a US/Chinese start-up that offers connected air purifiers on subscription. The company was started by three dads living in Shanghai who wanted to protect their kids from big city smog.
The latest model – Mila 2.0 – was launched on Kickstarter in 2019 and is set to be soon available globally. It re-imagines the customer experience, from a one-time purchase with relatively large upfront costs to a service model that provides more affordable, accessible and healthy air.
The Group also received funding from Vinnova, Sweden's government agency for innovation, for a field study to test a new leasing concept for municipal housing companies. The concept involves leasing washing machines that are maintained and serviced by Electrolux to optimize their lifetime for landlords with furnished apartments.
Recycled plastic and steel – it gets around
According to the 2019 Circularity Gap Report by Circle Economy , only 9% of the resources used globally are cycled back into the economy after use. The report stresses the need for a circular economy that makes better use of resources to prevent further and accelerated environmental degradation and social inequality.
In 2019, the amount of recycled plastic we used decreased compared with last year – from 7,600 metric tons in 2018 to 6,400 metric tons in 2019. Although this is still over 20 times more recycled plastic than we used in 2011, when we started measuring.
Electrolux has increased the amount of recycled steel from 20% in 2015 to 22% in 2019, which has reduced the average annual carbon emissions per metric ton of steel from 1.82 to 1.79 metric tons of CO2, and the annual CO2 emissions by 17,700 metric tons.
This case story is related to our promise Make better use of resources
** Based on comparative data from a Stockholm supermarket (taking part in the Karma program) over an 11-month period before (2018) and after the fridge was installed (2019).
Electrolux is a leading global appliance company that has shaped living for the better for more than 100 years. We reinvent taste, care and wellbeing experiences for millions of people around the world, always striving to be at the forefront of sustainability in society through our solutions and operations. Under our brands, including Electrolux, AEG and Frigidaire, we sell approximately 60 million household products in approximately 120 markets every year. In 2019 Electrolux had sales of SEK 119 billion and employed 49,000 people around the world.
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