Electrolux’s has worked to meet a ‘hero’ target of a 50% reduction in carbon emissions by 2020 compared with 2005 levels by improving its energy efficiency through an energy management system, and also tackling water and product efficiency.

Electrolux reduced its carbon emissions by 22% by the end of 2014 against a 2005 baseline. It estimates that in reaching its 50% target it will save 25 million tonnes in emissions.

Rising standards

The group has created its own energy management system called Green Spirit which evaluates each Electrolux site on performance against energy management criteria, with standards being raised annually.

Green Spirit’s main focus in 2014 was working towards an energy reduction target of 15% by 2015 on 2011 levels. An overall reduction of 3.4% was achieved in 2014.

Electrolux said that improved energy efficiency across its production is saving it more than £29m in energy costs annually, and results in 200,000 tonnes lower carbon dioxide emissions compared to 2005.

Green Spirit’s long-term target is to reduce energy consumption by more than 50% by 2020.

Climate Disclosure Leadership

Electrolux has made significant progress on water efficiency, setting a reduction target for water use of 20% by 2014, using 2010 as a baseline. This was achieved two years ahead of schedule, and by 2014 the saving was more than 40%.

The Group’s work on improving its sustainability credentials has been recognised by it being included in the Climate Disclosure Leadership Index, and 94% of its factories achieving ISO14001 certification.

Looking forward

Despite having yet to set targets for waste or product efficiency, Electrolux say that these are key areas of focus going forward.

“The biggest and most important [area] for us is product efficiency–cutting down the energy and water our products use during their lifetime,” Electrolux president and chief executive officer Keith McLoughlin said. “Material efficiency is also big–using less non-renewable resources, recycling, reclaiming, and not throwing stuff out, because on the planet there is no ‘out'”.

“Going forward we’ll put more emphasis on leaner, wiser use of materials as part of the shift towards a circular economy and we’re already exploring recycling in major appliances. A key challenge is working with others to source recycled materials of the right quality, price and volume.”

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Lucinda Dann

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