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Leading in water-efficient operations and calling for action

Electrolux constantly works to make its operations as water efficient as possible with a focus on water scarce areas of the world and calls for others to follow its lead. 

As a signatory of the UN's CEO Water Mandate, Electrolux reports its progress annually. In 2021, Electrolux improved its overall water efficiency by more than 43% compared with 2015. Particularly good progress on water efficiency was made at factories in water scarce regions.

Calling for action on water 

As part of its participation in World Water Week 2021, Electrolux published a joint statement together with WWF and Swedish multinational companies to encourage global action on water-related issues. 

"Our statement was in response to the worsening global water crisis that made headlines around the world in 2021 with serious water shortages and floods," says Tomas Dahlman, Director Global Energy, Group Sustainability Affairs. "The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) recent climate report also highlights how human emissions are causing increasingly severe water-related issues."

Electrolux statement calls for other companies to join us in taking the following three steps: 

1) Raise awareness – use the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) Water Risk Assessment to analyze the water risks throughout their value chain. This includes focusing on local conditions and how they may be affected by future climate scenarios. 

2) Act – set targets and develop a strategy for more responsible water use throughout the value chain. Water targets should be science-based and adapted to local conditions – to optimize a company’s resource use. 

3) Collaborate – partnering with a wide range of stakeholders is essential, including investors and decision makers in other companies. Collaboration is particularly important in geographic risk areas where responsible water use initiatives will be increasingly required for successful business.


Electrolux walks the talk on water 

"We have followed these three steps to promote efficient water use in our own operations for several years," says Dahlman. "Our work with water efficiency in manufacturing is driven by our long-term collaboration with the WWF and has been guided by the WWF Water Risk Assessment since 2014."  

In 2021, Electrolux used the WWF Water Risk Assessment to formulate context-based water targets that consider the local water situation and challenges for each of its sites. Going forward, Electrolux aims to continue to improve its water efficiency and create more closed-loop systems in its operations. 

"Our plants recycle process water, and some are already closed loop in terms of reusing process water and we are currently investigating opportunities in several other facilities," says Dahlman. "We also use harvested rainwater in manufacturing processes, such as in Thailand, Brazil and Australia."

Additionally, Electrolux works closely with internal stakeholders through the Electrolux Green Spirt program, which involves sharing water management best practice, monthly reporting on water performance indicators and conducting water mapping.

Leadership on water issues 

In 2021, Electrolux was one of a small number of 3,000 companies that were included in the Water "A list" of the global non-profit CDP. It was the second year in a row that Electrolux secured a place on the CDP Water "A list" and is recognition of the company's ongoing work to tackle water security.

"Between 2015 and 2020, our overall water efficiency in operations improved by more than 40%, with particularly good progress at our factories in water scarce regions," says Dahlman. "But we still have work to do and we will continuously improve our water efficiency around the world in the years to come." 

Over the years, an ambitious approach to sustainability has guided Electrolux to deliver appliances that allow consumers to save water and energy in their everyday lives. For instance, with our steam programs it’s possible to refresh garments without the need to run a complete washing cycle, which means saving more than 40 liters of water compared to a delicates program wash. An added bonus is that it will make ironing easier, or even unnecessary. In dishwashers, QuickSelect indicates to the consumer how they can save water and energy.

Read more in our For the Better 2030 Goal: Be climate neutral and drive clean and resource-efficient operations