Production

On the journey to a net zero future, under the UN Climate Change Framework, manufacturers consider the potential environmental benefits of design, the raw materials used and overall manufacturing efficiency. AMDEA Members understand, with their products residing in almost 28 million homes across the UK, that they have a unique responsibility. By vigorously pursuing sustainability goals – setting emissions targets for manufacturing sites or sourcing recyclable materials – they can make significant reductions in global warming.

Eco Design

Sustainability is at the forefront of modern domestic appliance design, aiming to reduce the environmental impact of new appliances, improve their energy efficiency and cut greenhouse gas emissions. AMDEA members spend a large percentage of their R&D budgets on sustainable product development.

Since 2010, energy-consuming products have complied with The Ecodesign for Energy-Related Products Regulations. The sector has consistently sought to exceed the Regulation’s standards which underpin energy conservation and high performance.

In 2021, new energy labels were introduced, prompted by vast improvements in energy saving technology, which had raised most large  appliances to the top of the rating scale. The labels included rescaled ratings and other eco-improvements.

Production materials

To provide sustainable modern living for its customers and to align more closely with the circular economy, the industry has increased the use in appliances of recyclable metals and plastics. In recent years, end-of-life recycling and material recovery has been a regulatory requirement, financed by the industry and driven by the Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations introduced in 2013. The sector historically recycled metal, thanks to its inherent economic value. In the last decade many manufacturers have taken recycling further by upping the use of recyclable, reusable or compostable plastics. Major efforts are under way to use plastics of the same type in an appliance to facilitate recycling. Some manufacturers are also developing ingenious ways to use recycled materials, especially plastics, upcycling an array of waste products to create appliances of the future.

Another major focus for materials is tackling the amount and type of packaging used during transportation. Some manufacturers have achieved 100% recyclable packaging, and all are developing ways of removing polystyrene and other plastics and ensuring these are replaced with recyclable materials.

 

Manufacturing efficiency

AMDEA Members have been prioritising the ‘behind the scenes’ environmental impact of their manufacturing processes for decades. The last 10 years alone has seen an overall 12% reduction in waste, 17% reduction in energy and 61% reduction in water.

Manufacturers have revolutionised their production sites to progressively reduce the impact of their processes. Among other methods, many manufacturers solely use green energy or electricity from sustainable sources, sites are successfully adopting ‘zero waste to landfill’ policies and reusing process water.

 

Industry is consuming less in production

Over the last 10 years alone we have seen the following reductions during the production process

Waste
-12%
Energy
-17%
Water
-61%