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A Conversation with Pam Klyn

With our ESG strategy so closely linked to our values, it’s become a way of working that is truly part of every employee’s job.”

Pam Klyn
Executive Vice President,
Corporate Relations and Sustainability

Q What accomplishments are you most excited to share in Whirlpool’s 2023 Sustainability Report?

There are so many positive things happening across our business, and I’m especially proud of the different ways we are thinking about and acting on climate change solutions. Once again Whirlpool achieved record year-over-year greenhouse gas emissions reductions — reducing scopes 1 and 2 market-based emissions by ~25% in just one year — an incredible accomplishment made possible by both significant investments in renewable energy and hundreds of energy-efficiency projects across our operations.

We are also approaching the conclusion of a multi-year project with Habitat for Humanity, called BuildBetter with Whirlpool — a program to build 250 climate-resilient, energy-efficient homes throughout the U.S. for populations who are in need of safe, affordable housing. This program focuses on building units that are better able to withstand the increasing impacts of climate disasters and are equipped with energy- and cost-efficient appliances, demonstrating climate resiliency does not have to mean high cost. This is another key initiative as part of our long-standing relationship with Habitat.

Q How does Whirlpool Corporation’s leadership team embed the environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy throughout the organization?

With our ESG strategy so closely linked to our values, it’s become a way of working that is truly part of every employee’s job. Our CEO and Executive Committee set our strategic priorities for ESG throughout the organization and sponsor ESG Councils consisting of regional business leaders. Our ESG Task Force operates under guidance from the Councils and includes representatives from more than 20 functions. The Task Force plans, communicates and reports on key ESG priorities, and each of the functions is accountable for allocating resources and measuring progress relative to our targets.

Q Expectations of companies related to ESG matters continue to evolve. What challenges do you foresee Whirlpool facing in light of our changing external environment?

Like many other makers of consumer goods, the largest source of our emissions is those generated by our products when they are in use. Reducing these emissions is both a steep challenge and an exciting opportunity. It’s one we are tackling through our Design for Sustainability program, which connects product sustainability directly with our business goals by designing and building high-performance products.

The other side of the equation is consumer education about choosing more efficient products — and using existing products more efficiently. For example, we know that today’s dishwashers use significantly less water and energy than those used a generation ago. Using a dishwasher saves over three times the water and energy of hand washing, saving our consumers up to 2,500 gallons of water per day. If we can communicate benefits like these to consumers, we believe we’ll not only reduce our scope 3 emissions — we’ll also help our consumers save money on their utility bills.

Q As you look to 2024 and beyond, where do you see the greatest areas of opportunity?

Throughout our long history, the right partnerships at the right time have made all the difference. As we look to the future, I see opportunities for us to partner at each consumer touchpoint when it comes to the circularity of our products. We’re already doing this successfully in multiple parts of the world, like the U.K. and India, where we engage with consumers to extend the life of their appliances after purchase. We hope to scale these efforts and others in the areas of service, repair, end-of-life collection and more.

If my background as an engineer has taught me anything, it’s the importance of asking questions. We know we’re not at an end state, so we’ll continue learning, problem-solving and asking what more we can do to advance our goals.