A Message from Whirlpool Corporation’s Sustainability Lead, Ron Voglewede
Today is Earth Day — and I am excited. I’m excited about the progress we have already made, and the progress that is in the works. Over the course of the next several weeks, Whirlpool Corporation will talk more about our commitment to the environment. That starts with our efforts to reduce and repurpose waste — be it waste energy, water, materials or food — because for the world’s leading kitchen and laundry appliance company, there is just #NoPlaceForWaste.
Modern appliances aren’t the same washers, dryers, dishwashers, ranges or refrigerators that your grandparents used. The average washing machines built today use 80 percent less energy and 44 percent less water than those built almost 30 years ago, and their cleaning capacity has increased by over 50 percent. A majority of our modern refrigerators only use as much energy in a month as a single 60 watt incandescent light bulb.
We deliver home appliances that are made to last and deliver on reducing the time and effort required to do the necessary chores and activities in the home. As the world’s leading kitchen and laundry appliance company, we have tens of millions of appliances in consumer’s homes that were manufactured under one of our brands. Knowing that comes with a unique sense of responsibility, one we embrace and have been dedicated to for over 50 years.
So we know how to build sustainable appliances and we’ve been doing it for years. Now we are marching forward aggressively to tackle even more sustainability issues — like removing materials like styrofoam from our products and replacing it with recyclable materials that aren’t harmful for the environment. Or addressing food waste via the Yummly® app (seriously — search for “leftovers” in the Yummly app sometime if you don’t know what to do with your leftovers!).
It’s not just what you make, but how you make it, that matters. You cannot separate the products you make from the community in which they are built and the world in which they operate. Drive past our plant in Greenville, Ohio, where the iconic KitchenAid stand mixer is assembled, and you will notice the 3 wind turbines nearby. Those turbines directly supply over 40% of the electricity that is needed to run the plant. We have several other wind farms powering our operations — so much so that we are one of the largest users of onsite wind energy in the Fortune 500. If you zoom out from the U.S., we have solar and wind onsite at 12 different facilities around the globe, with additional off site renewables. In addition to not wasting natural resources, we recycle over 96% of our manufacturing waste and twenty-five of our Whirlpool Corporation sites around the world achieved gold level or above for zero waste to landfill last year.
This is why I am excited today. There is still much work to be done, but the progress is real. The appliances we are designing and manufacturing today are better and more sustainable — there is no “but” about it.
In the coming weeks, we have even more news about our commitments to the progress we are making, and we can’t wait to share the news with you
But until then, Happy Earth Day! #NoPlaceForWaste