Photo courtesy of Alessandro Imbriaco


Our Approach

The Whirlpool Production System (WPS) is the uniform global platform we use to drive manufacturing excellence throughout our 36 plants in 13 countries.

Today we are embedding WCM principles into our WPS, including environmental and energy pillars. These pillars integrate sustainability into our daily operations by guiding all manufacturing processes across our locations globally. In practice, this means that all Whirlpool Corporation employees—from senior leaders to the people on the shop floor—are responsible for identifying and implementing ways to increase resource efficiency through initiatives such as zero waste to landfill, energy-efficiency, and water-efficiency projects.

All of our manufacturing sites around the globe utilize WCM methodology to detect and attack waste and losses, enabling significant improvements in our safety, delivery, quality, environmental, and cost metrics.

OUR GOAL: To become
the benchmark for global manufacturing excellence, deliver best-in-class manufactured products at competitive cost and create a sustainable advantage for our company.

World Class

Whirlpool Corporation uses WCM to maintain the highest standard of manufacturing across our plants. WCM is a process-driven approach that sets one of the global manufacturing industry’s highest standards for integrated management of manufacturing plants and processes.

  • Goal: Zero factory injuries
  • Focus: Develop process improvements to minimize risks and increase the safety of our employees
  • Goal: Zero factory waste
  • Focus: Use innovation and technological upgrades to reuse, repurpose and eliminate waste
  • Goal: Zero defects and breakdowns
  • Focus: Improve daily work in production and processes


Reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG)
Emissions in our Plants

Our consistent efforts to reduce emissions in our plants have shown encouraging results. In 2019, we achieved record low levels of Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions. We are proud of the progress we have made year over year and continue to improve in our plants. In 2019 we set new, more aggressive GHG emissions goals through the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi). We developed a target to reduce GHG emissions from our plants (Scope 1&2) by 50% by 2030 from a 2016 baseline. We will continue to share progress on emissions reductions in future reports.


In 2019, we continued to accelerate progress toward improving energy efficiency in our operations and strengthened our commitment to renewable energy. Seeking continuous improvement in energy consumption in our plants is inherent to our WCM strategy, and the WCM Energy Pillar has been actively pursuing projects toward significant efficiency improvements for our plants. For example, our Mexican sites implemented LED lighting and machine improvements which contributed to a local 15% reduction in energy use for the year. In 2019, we achieved our best rate of emission and energy reductions in over a decade. Since 2015 we have reduced approximately 12% of the energy intensity in our plants. Additionally, since 2015, we have reduced our absolute emissions by over 20% in our plants. We achieved this by investing in efficiency and renewable energy. In fact, Whirlpool Corporation is one of the largest Fortune 500 consumers of on-site wind energy in the United States and we are investing in renewable energy solutions in other countries such as India and China. We plan to continue to explore on-site opportunities and will investigate off-site opportunities as well.

Magnifying the impact of renewable energy

Four North American manufacturing facilities
with nine wind turbines:

source an average of
of electricity
= powering
For each turbine,
Whirlpool Corporation gives one
MEGAWATT Scholarship for STEM
education per year in use

Expanding Use of Renewable Energy Around the World

Four of our North American manufacturing facilities source an average of 20% of their electricity from on-site wind turbines, which are highly efficient generation systems and produce zero GHG emissions. Our total on-site renewable energy program in the U.S. includes nine wind turbines at four plants, with total generation capacity equivalent to powering 3,500 homes.

We magnify the community impact of our renewable energy investments with an accompanying program to support education in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). For each North American turbine, Whirlpool Corporation gives one $5,000 Megawatt Scholarship, which is awarded for each year that the turbine is in operation. These scholarships support students as they pursue two- or four-year college degrees in STEM fields, preparing them for the technologies and industries of the future.

Additionally, we invested in several solar plants in 2019, especially in India, where energy disruptions can often cause production to slow or stop. Our Pune plant sources 1.39 million kWh of electricity from on-site solar panels annually, resulting in an average decrease of 1,144 metric tons of CO2eq in GHG emissions, while our Faridabad plant now sources 0.875 million kWh of electricity annually from on-site solar panels, resulting in an average decrease of 718 metric tons of CO2eq in GHG emissions, which corresponds to the annual consumption of approximately 155 passenger vehicles1.

  1. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Greenhouse Gases Equivalencies Calculator.

Employee Innovation Drives Energy Savings…

Our team is always looking for ways to drive efficiency and save energy by implementing better practices and new technologies. At our Marion, Ohio plant, our employees recognized the company could save on costs and reduce emissions by lowering the temperature of ovens used to dry appliance parts before painting. Employees also implemented a new process that automatically controls oven temperature when in standby mode. As a result, ovens now use 62% less natural gas.

Similarly, our teams in EMEA improved the energy efficiency of the packaging process by adding smart sensors to automate the system. The solution was expanded to the whole assembly process, leading to a reduction of 6,760 kWh each year.

In 2019, Whirlpool Corporation joined the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Plants Program (BPP), as well as the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Green Power Partnership in an effort to help accelerate the adoption of energy-efficient practices. As part of our partnership, we participated in multiple BPP training sessions and hosted a BPP-affiliated research associate from Oak Ridge National Laboratory in our Clyde, Ohio facility to share he opportunity provided by BPP for energy efficiency.

…and Water Efficiency

The environment team in Marion, Ohio developed an innovative way to save 31 million gallons of water each year—enough to fill 46 Olympic-sized swimming pools. The team determined that the largest consumption of water in the plant was part of a rinse process that required 80 gallons of cool water per minute. The team concluded that the water needed for the process could be sourced from an existing chiller rather than using fresh water. The simple change resulted in a 20% decrease in water use for the plant. Later, the team identified another process improvement using overflow water from another stage instead of fresh water, leading to a further reduction in water usage.

At our Cassinetta, Italy plant the team implemented a project to reduce water withdrawal and consumption in the plastics department. To prepare plastic sheets for the foam injection process, liquid runs through a pump at high speed, creating a vacuum effect. The Cassinetta team studied the system and installed a new type of pump—a rotary screw instead of a liquid ring—leading to an annual reduction of 6,000 m3 of water. The new design will be implemented in two additional extruders in 2020.

Our Manaus plant in Brazil celebrated World Environment Day in 2019 with an employee campaign designed to increase awareness of environmental issues. The campaign achieved a 21% increase in the number of improvement suggestions sent in by employees, with 52 ideas implemented in 2019.

Achieving Zero Waste to Landfill1

In 2012, Whirlpool Corporation officially established a zero waste to landfill goal for all of our global manufacturing facilities by 2022. To meet this goal, we are seeking waste management alternatives, such as reducing, reusing, recycling, composting, and, as a last alternative, incinerating. Our journey to zero waste to landfill helped us reach a recycling rate exceeding 96% in 2019, with plants in India, EMEA, and Latin America leading the way. Our recycling rate is best-in-class among global appliance manufacturers. Additionally, eight of our global manufacturing facilities achieved zero waste status, including three in EMEA, two in India, and three in Brazil. These improvements reflect not only robust waste diversion processes, but also increased awareness and sharing of information among Whirlpool Corporation employees.

In 2019, we conducted a zero waste to landfill pilot at our Findlay, Ohio plant, starting with an internal audit of possible recycling opportunities. The findings led to a program to recycle personal protective equipment (PPE) such as earplugs and sleeves that employees are required to wear while working on the factory floor. Through its efforts, the Findlay team was able to divert a significant amount of PPE from landfill within months.

Our Cleveland, Tennessee, and Tulsa, Oklahoma plants performed investigative “dumpster dives” to better understand the waste being sent to landfills. After finding many items made from recyclable cardboard and plastic being thrown away, teams launched an awareness campaign and assigned an employee to help separate recyclable materials, resulting in a significant increase in the recycling rate.

In Mexico, multiple plants reduced over 15 tons of waste each year by replacing plastic packaging for parts with returnable options. Some of the plants also sent organic waste to a compost facility, while our Supsa plant rerouted contaminated materials to a heat recovery process that turns waste into energy. Additionally, all rags and cleaning supplies used in our plastics plant are now sent through a washing process and then reused, and our Ramos plant began an office paper reuse program to reduce administrative waste. Together, these projects led to a 13% reduction in waste to landfill for all Mexico sites.

Many of our EMEA sites continue to move beyond zero waste to landfill to reduce and reuse their waste. At our Wroclaw, Poland site, approximately 60 tons of plastic waste from injection molding, extruders, and thermoforming is sent to recycling each year. Additionally, plastic waste is sent to a plastic grinder, then mixed with raw material to cut down on the need for new plastic for production, leading to 95% of scrapped plastic components being remilled and reused with raw materials. The result: 57 tons of plastic reused each year.

  1. While our current Zero Waste to Landfill target is focused on the waste in our manufacturing sites, we are also seeking improvements in the disposal of end-of-life products.

While several of our facilities in Latin America have achieved and maintained zero waste to landfill since 2015, plants continue to improve waste management procedures by following the WCM principle of 5Rs: Recover, Recycle, Reuse, Reduce, and Refuse. Our teams are encouraged to follow the methodology by rerouting wastes from landfill to recycling or heat recovery. Then, wastes can be reused or reduced and, finally, materials that may become waste are refused, or kept from entering our facilities. Our Latin America plants invested in logistical improvements in 2019 and found new suppliers that helped reduce the amount of waste being incinerated by 90%. Today, only medical waste is sent to incineration, while all other types of waste are reused or recycled.

WCM Principle of 5Rs