Supporting Our Communities
Whirlpool Corporation has been committed to maintaining strong, lasting connections in the communities in which we do business for 111 years. Most of our operations are located in small towns, and we embrace our responsibility to support these communities. We use a global collective impact model that centers around improving life at home, and our giving priorities focus on the areas of House+Home to create diverse, thriving communities. We are proud to work with our employees, their families and our communities to help everyone have a house to dream in—one that’s part of a resilient, flourishing and sustainable community that they feel proud to call home.
- In the past 23 years, Whirlpool Corp. has donated more than $136 million to Habitat and donated over 212,800 products globally to Habitat for Humanity families in the U.S., EMEA, Asia and Latin America.
- In our 23 years working together, Whirlpool Corp. and Habitat have served nearly 1 million people around the world.
- 143 out of 250 climate-resilient and energy-efficient builds are complete or in progress through Habitat’s BuildBetter with Whirlpool initiative.
- Maytag brand has placed refrigerators at Boys & Girls Clubs in cities such as Los Angeles, New York, Detroit and Grand Rapids impacting over 1,500 Club kids per day nationwide.
- The 2022 United Way campaign raised $4.5 million from employee giving and a Whirlpool Foundation match for education, income, health and basic needs.
- In collaboration with Consulado da Mulher, we provided support to 38,000 socially vulnerable women and their families over the last 20 years.
Improving life in our communities through House+Home
Our strategic approach to supporting our communities includes our House and Home initiatives.
Our Community Goals
- Expand our work with Habitat for Humanity to double the number of people served by 2025.
- Build more than 250 climate-resilient and energy-efficient homes through the Habitat for Humanity BuildBetter with Whirlpool initiative by 2024 to establish best-in-class energy building practices.
- Install 500 Feel Good Fridges in the U.S. by 2025.
Our House initiatives focus on ensuring everyone can have a place to live that is comfortable and nurturing, where families can make healthy choices to build their best life. It starts with decent and affordable housing, which is the foundation of a stable life and bright future. It includes having the courage to be inclusive, removing bias and focusing on leveling the playing field for everyone.
Our Home initiatives focus on developing resilient, vibrant communities through education and neighborhood development in the places where we do business. Stable neighborhoods offer the employment and quality of life amenities that are the bedrock of inclusive communities. That’s why together with local businesses, government and nonprofits we invest in initiatives that support educating people at all steps in the journey of life, where they unlock their potential and make a positive difference—playing an important role in improving life at home.
House initiatives: Habitat for Humanity®
Our commitment to improving life at Home defines why we are ensuring our relationship with Habitat for Humanity International has been a priority for over 23 years. Around the world, 1.6 billion people live in substandard housing with 1 in 10 people worldwide living in distressed and underserved communities where there are systemic cycles of below liveable wage jobs, substandard education and instability, inadequate transportation and racial inequality.
Since 1999, Whirlpool Corp. has donated over $136 million to Habitat for Humanity globally, installed over 212,800 appliances in new homes across the U.S. and Canada, EMEA and Latin America and engaged thousands of employee volunteers in building new homes for first-time homeowners and their families, which has collectively impacted nearly 1 million people around the world.
Driving global change with Habitat for Humanity in 2022
Habitat for Humanity Ukraine and Poland
The pursuit of improving life at home comes to life during challenging times. The war in Ukraine has forced nearly 8 million people1 to flee their homes and travel to neighboring countries, resulting in a massive need for emergency and long-term shelter. While the Whirlpool Crisis Management Teams worked around the clock to meet the critical financial, psychological, medical, legal and transportation needs of our colleagues, our employees rose to the occasion, driving a response across multiple fronts:
- The Whirlpool Foundation matched disaster relief contributions of approximately $70,000 made by employees and retirees to aid the effort as our EMEA colleagues supported Ukrainian families in Hungary, Poland, Romania, Moldova and Slovakia.
- Our EMEA employees worked with Habitat for Humanity to provide assistance to displaced families, which included providing housing vouchers with area hotels and distributing power banks. As rebuilding began throughout the region, the Habitat Empty Spaces program allowed for the conversion of dormitories and other empty, underutilized spaces into housing for refugees.
- Employees from the company’s Łódź, Wrocław and Radomsko locations donated 75 appliances (refrigerators, washing machines and dryers) to the Polish Red Cross in support of their first-aid centers, and delivered 100 refrigerators to the Hungarian-Ukrainian border, where the U.S. State Department assisted refugees coming from Ukraine. Together with the Red Cross, temporary laundry stations for refugees in Poland, Hungary and Romania were created.
- Alongside Habitat for Humanity Poland, 15 Whirlpool Corp. employees from every Polish site joined as one and traveled to Gliwice to paint and renovate homes in the area, removing old and damaged furniture and readying them for Ukrainian refugees.
- Located in Eastern Slovakia, Dobšiná is a small city with a large Roma population. Slovakia has one of the largest Roma communities in Europe, but the population suffers from a high risk of poverty and social exclusion. The situation is particularly difficult for young Roma women and children, who often encounter school segregation and discriminatory practices. In 2022, employee volunteers from Whirlpool Corp. in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity Slovakia renovated and revitalized the Detstvo deťom Community Center to help empower Roma women and young girls for a better future.
Habitat for Humanity in Brazil collaborates with Consulado da Mulher
A collaboration between Habitat for Humanity and Consulado focused on increasing the protection of vulnerable groups in relation to COVID-19 through emergency repairs in homes and eliminating precarious conditions that increase the risk of transmission of COVID-19. In addition, the project renovated the facilities of a community center for the use of community members. The project also included an entrepreneurship course administered by the Consulado da Mulher Institute for 18 women assisted with improvements to their homes.
- 187 people directly impacted
- 71 housing improvements
- One Children and Adolescents Center repaired
BuildBetter with Whirlpool
Habitat for Humanity’s BuildBetter with Whirlpool aims to help deliver an approximate 15% increase in energy efficiency compared to homes built to current government code. Ultimately, 250 resilient, energy-efficient homes will be completed, and findings from the initiative will be used to create resources that can be scaled and implemented across the U.S.
At the end of year three, a formal evaluation of post-occupancy energy use and performance measurement of BuildBetter with Whirlpool homes will be conducted by Habitat for Humanity in partnership with Auburn University Rural Studio®. The study will collect data from homeowners, including a homeowner survey on energy use habits and utility data collection at the monthly aggregate level. The results, which will be published in 2025, will be compared to non-BuildBetter with Whirlpool Habitat homes and to national Residential Energy Consumption data.
The results are expected to show that Whirlpool Corp.’s investment in affordable, climate-resilient housing helps protect the planet and passes on energy-reduction cost savings to homeowners who need it most.
Home: Our North America region initiatives
Feel Good Fridge
According to Feeding America, one in eight children experiences food insecurity.2 Whirlpool Corp. is committed to connecting communities, schools and nonprofit organizations across the U.S. to provide better access and food quality to those in need, with a strong emphasis on communities that are underserved and underresourced.
In 2022, our sales organization expanded on our effort with Feeding America to create a second life for refurbished refrigerators by placing them in local organizations around the country and filling them with food that can be accessed by those in need. Whirlpool Corp. donated over 300 refrigerators in Los Angeles, Greater Dallas, Atlanta, West Michigan and Houston. Our employees volunteer to deliver the food to the Feel Good Fridges, directly serving and impacting these communities.
Further, in collaboration with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, our Maytag brand is also working at a national level to alleviate food insecurity in communities in need across the country. Since 2021, Maytag brand has donated over 40 refrigerators and grants to fill them with healthy food at Boys & Girls Clubs in Los Angeles, New York, Detroit and Grand Rapids, benefitting over 1,500 Club kids per day.
Care Counts laundry program by Whirlpool brand
As part of its effort to lower absenteeism rates among elementary school students, the Care Counts laundry program by Whirlpool brand continues to provide critical access to clean clothes through donation of washers and dryers to selected schools across the U.S with high percentages of absenteeism rates. Entering its eighth year, the laundry program has impacted 144 schools across 37 states.
Over the years, the program has contributed to decreases in chronic absenteeism and increases in attendance rates, grades and engagement levels among participating at-risk students. In the most recent data3 from the 2021-2022 school year, Whirlpool brand discovered:
- 84% of participating high-risk elementary school students4 enrolled in the program were reported by teachers to feel connected to their school
- Nearly 70% of participating high-risk elementary school students increased their attendance by an average of 12 more days over the previous academic year.
- Nearly 60% of participating high-risk elementary school students decreased their level of chronic absenteeism while in the Care Counts laundry program.
Building a healthy trail and community
After a pandemic hiatus, there was a desire to enable more ways to keep our employees and community healthy. At our global headquarters in Benton Harbor, Michigan, we decided to create a mountain bike trail on our campus for use by our employees and the entire community. Lakeview Trail opened in the summer of 2022 as part of a larger network of planned trails to create an impact for a healthy community connection throughout Southwest Michigan.
The 5-mile mountain bike trail was created with six focus areas in mind: Community, Health, Transportation, Property Value, Accessibility and Inclusion and Economy. Phase two will begin in 2023 and will offer more than two miles of additional trails along the bluff on Lake Michigan, continuing toward the city of St. Joseph, Michigan.
"This project will enhance our community by giving Township residents more ways to get outside and enjoy the natural beauty of our area, as well as increase the value of homes along the trail.”
Benton Charter Township Supervisor
The Lakeview Trail is a portion of a larger trail system in and around Southwest Michigan. Future phases will connect these trails, encouraging employees and other members of the community to use bicycles to commute to work, local businesses and local amenities , thereby reducing the overall carbon footprint from automobile traffic.
“It is an honor to take on the leadership role at United Way Worldwide. Whirlpool Corporation is a global company made up of small towns and communities where our employees and consumers live and work. I have witnessed United Way's ability to mobilize care in these communities and have a genuine impact on people's lives, especially during these turbulent times. I look forward to helping the organization continue its important mission.
Whirlpool CEO and United Way Worldwide Board of Trustees Chair
United Way brings people together to help build strong communities where everyone thrives. The organization is the world’s largest privately funded charity, serving 95% of U.S. communities and 37 countries and territories, and its humanitarian aid supports 48 million people every year.5
Whirlpool Corp. Chairman and CEO, Marc Bitzer has served on the United Way Worldwide Board since 2018. In June 2022, he was appointed the Worldwide Board of Trustees Chair. As Board Chair, Bitzer provides leadership to the organization as they work to elevate equitable solutions around the globe that promote equal access to financial stability, educational opportunities and good health through community-driven solutions.
Whirlpool Corporation Community Charity Golf Event
The 2022 Whirlpool Corporation Community Charity Golf Event (WCCGE) was hosted on six golf courses, raising $2.2M for local charities with a focus on youth education. The WCCGE began as a way to help our headquarters’ local Boys & Girls Club with some of their costs and increase their programming. It then expanded to raising money to build the Boys & Girls Clubs Teen and Youth Centers in Benton Harbor, with additional support for the Benton Harbor First Tee program, local school foundations and other youth education-related activities such as FIRST Robotics and Junior Achievement.
Instituto Consulado da
1,159 People Benefited Directly
2,050 People Benefited Indirectly
250% Income Increase
1 Impact metrics for the year-ended December 31, 2022.
Since its inception in 2004 by Whirlpool Corporation’s then Chairman and CEO Jeff Fettig, the event has raised over $26 million. Since retirement, Fettig continues to lead this local event each year.
Home: Latin American region initiatives
Consulado da Mulher
Since 2002, Whirlpool Corp. through the Consul brand has supported women entrepreneurs with Instituto Consulado da Mulher, which works to improve and empower the lives of socially vulnerable women, eradicate poverty and promote gender equality in Brazil. For 20 years, Consulado da Mulher has been involved in social transformation by encouraging female entrepreneurship and income generation for women, benefiting more than 38,000 people across the country.
The Consulado da Mulher Institute has been expanding collaborations with other organizations that add skills and resources to achieve common social objectives:
- In 2022, Consulado began a collaboration with Engie Brasil Energia, through the Mulheres do Nosso Bairro Notice (Women of Our Neighborhood Notice). With this public notice, three social organizations operating in vulnerable regions of the country were trained to multiply their entrepreneurial education methodology; 81 women completed the training, 20 were selected, and each of them received the donation of two Consul appliances to boost their small businesses. The collaboration worked so well that we plan to replicate it in 2023.
- Together with Univille, University of Joinville, Consulado da Mulher Institute carried out a project aimed at building brand and visual identity for female entrepreneurs in Manaus and Joinville. The activities are led by students of the university's design course, under supervision of educators. Each entrepreneur received support for six months, during which time students communicate with them, study the business, gather the necessary information and develop customized visual communication packages for each small business. Twelve entrepreneurs were benefited in 2022.
Robótica nas Escolas:
990 people directly impacted
2,970 people indirectly impacted
175 prototypes presented at the Digital Robotics Fair
Robótica nas Escolas (Robotics in Schools)
The robotics program took place in virtual format, in the cities of: Joinville, Manaus and Rio Claro. Creativity was encouraged through the reuse of materials and contact with electronic circuits, proposing local solutions to the community, while stimulating the students' perception of a social problem, the issue of waste. The final prototypes were presented at the Digital Robotics Fair and judged by professionals in the waste industry.
Home: EMEA region initiatives
First® Lego® League Tournament UK
Beginning in 2020, the first Lego League Tournament was established as a global science and technology challenge for students aged 9 to 16. The tournament has seen more than 310,000 young people (in 38,800 teams) from across 100 countries, all of whom come together to develop their STEM skills. Through our new regional tournament and sponsorship, Whirlpool Corp. has been able to fund more than 10 teams from local schools to participate. In its third year, the IET FIRST® LEGO® League Whirlpool Peterborough tournament took place with primary school students from across Peterborough and Huntingdon competing virtually.
Social Fridges launched in Poland during 2022 to provide access and eliminate food waste
Making strides to reduce food waste by donating surplus food rather than throwing it away, the community fridge initiative was developed to help those in need. The community of Wroclaw recognized the need for such a program, realizing that there are literally tons of food thrown away every day. Together with the Youth Integration Center, refrigerators were placed at the marketplace in the city center of Radomsko. Those who have surplus food are welcomed to share it by putting it in the community refrigerator for those in need.
Home: Asia region initiatives
Skill Development Program
The Skill Development Program trains youth across India in the fields of retail and technical training, including classroom training and on-the-job training. The Skill Development Program was assessed by an independent agency and highlighted the key areas of improvement in their report. Based on the report, we created specific key performance indicators with Corporate Social Responsibility implementation partners in the Skill Development program for building greater impact of the program.
Highlights from the program assessment include:
- Candidates came from across 59 cities in India
- The counseling team and teaching staff were rated higher than those of other companies in a similar program
- More than 80% of the candidates belong to underprivileged segments of society and were satisfied with the program
- Placement of the candidates was not only within Whirlpool Corp., but also outside the company
Community Development Program
Whirlpool India undertakes initiatives in the local communities of its manufacturing plants through implementation partners under the Community Development Program. During 2022, as part of the program that focuses on improving the level of education in the local community, we reached out to approximately 8,500 children and 1,700 mothers in the local communities of Faridabad, one of our plant locations. We endeavor to improve the learning levels of children in first to eighth grade in more than five local communities in Faridabad through innovative teaching-learning methods.
In Pune, Whirlpool India has worked toward improving the health and sanitation of the local communities, not only during the pandemic, but continuing on as well. More than 5,000 beneficiaries in and around Ranjangaon have benefited through various training and awareness sessions for vulnerable sections in local villages and by training the local Accredited Social Health Activist workers.
4 High-risk elementary school students are defined as elementary students at risk of missing 10% or more days of school during a reporting period.