Appliance maker’s commitment to sustainable innovation on display with waste-reducing home products and virtual tour of its research laboratory, ReNEWW House
Starting today at the Sustainable Brands 2017 conference in Detroit, Whirlpool Corporation is celebrating its 47-year leadership in sustainability and product excellence. The company will be showcasing the waste-reducing benefits of the latest products from WLabs, the innovation incubator of Whirlpool Corporation, as well as providing a virtual look into its living research laboratory, ReNEWW House.
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“Finding solutions to today’s sustainability issues isn’t just an environmental concern — it’s smart business,” said Ron Voglewede, Global Sustainability Director of Whirlpool Corporation. “At Whirlpool, we’re constantly adopting a consumer-facing approach to look for innovative solutions that will help our customers live more sustainable lives. We’re thrilled to showcase the innovation and research that allows us to solve real-world issues.”
The Whirlpool Corporation booth experience will feature the following highlights:
- ReNEWW House Virtual Tour: booth visitors will have the chance to virtually experience ReNEWW House, a living research laboratory spearheaded by Whirlpool Corporation and Purdue University to explore innovations that will shape the future of sustainable living and improve quality of life. The home allows Whirlpool Corporation to collaborate with Purdue researchers to accelerate the development of next-generation ultra-high efficiency appliances. The collaboration has demonstrated that existing technologies can be used to achieve net-zero energy and water consumption. The end goal is to create a model that allows the home to work for people, rather than people working for their home.
- ReNEWW House Research Collaboration: Whirlpool Corporation will also today announce new collaborations that will elevate the ReNEWW House experience by enabling researchers to explore sustainable solutions across all areas of the home.
- Collaborations with Ford and BTCPower will allow ReNEWW House to explore how vehicles and the home can interact as a cohesive ecosystem. Ford will be supplying a new Focus Electric with all-new DC fast charge capability that can be charged using a BTCPower DC Fast Charger, connecting to the home via smart connection.
- Through collaborations with P&G and other leading companies, Whirlpool Corporation will further ramp up its research in addressing waste.
- The Latest Innovations from WLabs: The recent debut of WLabs, Whirlpool Corporation’s innovation incubator, is allowing the company to engineer innovations outside of its core business. At Sustainable Brands, WLabs of Whirlpool Corporation will be showcasing two new products.
- Zera™ Food Recycler: Engineered to tackle the pressing issue of food waste, Zera™ Food Recycler can convert one week’s worth of the average U.S. family’s food waste into homemade fertilizer within 24 hours, helping reduce the amount of food waste that ends up in landfills. The Zera™ Food Recycler, which was launched at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in 2017, was inspired by an insight that an average family in the United States produces over 400 pounds of food waste every year. This food waste accounts for an estimated 20 percent of America’s landfill waste. Upon its debut at CES, the Zera™ Food Recycler received Best of Innovation Awards Honoree in the Eco-Design and Sustainable Technologies category and Innovation Awards Honoree in the Tech For A Better World and Home Appliances categories.
- Vessi™ Beer Fermentor and Dispenser system: Also on display from WLabs will be the Vessi™ Beer Fermentor and Dispenser system, which — launched in 2016 — ferments, carbonates and dispenses home-brewed beer in as little as seven days. The at-home process can reduce bottle and can waste, and many brew enthusiasts work with fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
“It is imperative that product designers and engineers today take into consideration real-world sustainability challenges,” said Jennifer Bonuso, Senior Director of CPG & WLabs for Whirlpool Corporation. “We’ve taken this approach to heart at WLabs. The ZeraTM Food Recycler is just one example of how product innovation can improve consumers’ lives while simultaneously helping them to live more sustainably.”
Further demonstrating its commitment to purposeful, sustainable innovation that delivers on unmet consumer needs, Whirlpool Corporation will also be sponsoring the Sustainable Brands Innovation Open, which encourages entrepreneurs and inventors to think outside the box when finding solutions to today’s environmental challenges. Colette Matthews, Director of Global Innovation for Whirlpool Corporation, will be among the judges for the competition.
Whirlpool Corporation’s involvement in Sustainable Brands is one part of the company’s larger commitment to sustainability. On the consumer product side, Whirlpool Corporation engineers its products to be more energy efficient than ever before — for example, the refrigerators it makes today use less energy than a 60-watt incandescent light bulb. This commitment to sustainability is also integrated into supply chain and operations, where the company is incorporating wind energy to power its manufacturing facilities. With a zero waste-to-landfill goal for all of its global manufacturing facilities by 2022, Whirlpool Corporation continues to work to minimize its impact on the environment.
Attendees at Sustainable Brands can learn more about the ReNEWW House, the Zera™ Food Recycler, the Vessi™ Beer Fermentor and Dispenser, and other innovations at booth 709.
 Based on estimated 3.5 kg weekly household food waste for average U.S. family
 Based on USDA information. https://www.usda.gov/oce/foodwaste/faqs.htm
 Brew times will vary. Based on a light blonde ale beer at 3.3% ABV and use of clarification agent.
 Based on U.S. DOE refrigerator testing data and 60 Watt light bulb used 24 hours/day.