Following another year of COVID-19 and sustainability challenges, a new Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE: WHR) study shows that consumers really want innovations that improve their lives at home. With the world’s largest consumer electronics event kicking off this week, many new stylish and high-tech gadgets will be revealed to the world. However, the study of more than 2,000 people in the UK showed they truly value innovations that use less energy (50 percent) and have a lower carbon footprint (40 per cent), followed by saving money (40 per cent) or time (25 per cent).
When thinking specifically about home appliances, the results showed, cost and brand aside, consumers say the most important feature is energy and water efficiency (55 per cent), highlighting the need for sustainable products that don’t compromise on size or capacity.
“At Whirlpool Corporation our approach to innovation brings people what they want and need to improve their lives, both at home and for the environment,” said Pam Klyn, Sr. Vice President of Communications, Public Affairs and Sustainability. “For example, a lot of companies are designing products that connect many different ’things’ in the home, but they aren’t all meaningful to consumers’ everyday lives. We visualise a home ecosystem with a conscience, a mix of smart home appliances and emerging technologies, that deliver energy, cost and time savings.”
With a Whirlpool Corporation appliance on average in every UK home, the company sees the potential of connected products, but with only a small number of smart features enabled, the benefits are currently untapped.
“When we talk about smart appliances, it’s not just about connecting different appliances to each other or to phones and home assistants, it’s about creating useful ecosystems that connect with utilities and other services to make consumers’ lives run more smoothly and have less environmental impact,” said Shree Dandekar, Whirlpool Corporation’s sr. vice president of Engineering and Innovation. “For instance, smart washers and dryers, as well as dishwashers, can be set to run in non-peak hours to save on electric costs while delivering the product performance consumers depend upon from Whirlpool.”
The study found that in addition to choosing sustainable products, consumers are prepared to change their behaviour to reduce their environmental impact, supporting what trend expert Erica Orange calls ’enviralmentalism’, where people channel their genuine concerns about the environment into action. Three-quarters of consumers (74 per cent) are reducing or reusing single use plastics, and over half (54 per cent) want to do this more in the next year, with the same amount wanting to reduce their water consumption. Almost two thirds (65 per cent) are reducing weekly laundry loads, saving water and energy, and 41 per cent want to decrease this even further.
“It’s encouraging to see people taking action,” said Ron Voglewede, Whirlpool Corporation’s Global Sustainability Director. “Our appliances sit at the heart of homes, and when thinking about society’s biggest challenges, we have an opportunity to play a unique role. From increasing the quantities of recycled or recyclable materials in our products, to working with sustainable suppliers and sending less waste to landfill. Innovating in this way has been part of our DNA for more than 110 years.”
This purposeful approach has led to developments like updates over the internet to connected appliances in consumers’ homes to add new functionality like an air-frying feature for convection ovens. Whirlpool brand’s 6TH SENSE® technology, which uses intelligent sensors to adapt the washing time and temperature according to the size and type of load, is helping consumers reduce their carbon footprint and lower their bills. Another innovation making life better is the company’s true ventless heat pump dryer, with the highest efficiency rating in Whirlpool Corp’s Europe, Middle East and Africa region.
Whirlpool Corporation also takes an innovative approach to its social impact initiatives, called House + Home, with the company placing energy-efficient appliances in homes through its long-standing partnerships with Habitat for Humanity International.
- A new Whirlpool Corporation study has shown that consumers want innovations that improve their lives at home
About Whirlpool Corporation
Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE: WHR) is committed to being the best global kitchen and laundry company, in constant pursuit of improving life at home. In an increasingly digital world, the company is driving purposeful innovation to meet the evolving needs of consumers through its iconic brand portfolio, including Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Maytag, Consul, Brastemp, Amana, Bauknecht, JennAir, Indesit and Yummly. In 2020, the company reported approximately $19 billion in annual sales, 78,000 employees and 57 manufacturing and technology research centers. Additional information about the company can be found at WhirlpoolCorp.com.
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5th January 2022
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