Taking care of the environment
Bringing into play its sustainability vision, Whirlpool has several initiatives to reduce the environmental impact of its products and processes. Get to know the key ones:
The Integrated Management System (SGI) exists since 1994, and encompasses management of quality, environment, health and safety. For this, it employs as basis the norms ISO 9001 (quality), ISO 14001 (environment), and OHSAS 18001 (safety and health at work).
Its key goals are:
• To cater for the requirements of the consumers;
• To develop products with lower environmental impacts;
• To comply with Whirlpool's Global Standards for Health, Safety and Environment;
• To preserve natural resources, prevent pollution in soil, water and air, restrict and monitor the use of hazardous substances;
• To continuously improve the working environment;
• To develop actions of education and training for the SGI.
All of the company's units are certified by (SGI) and by norms ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001. Apart from this, through its Joinville unit, Whirlpool is the first domestic appliances manufacturer in the East to be recommended by Bureau Veritas Certification (BVC) by the international norm IECQ – QC 080000 HSPM. This certification attests the procedures for management of substances that are hazardous towards the environment.
Whirlpool Latin America has a corporate SSMA manager, who takes care of matters related to Health, Safety and Environment, including the adoption of the corporation's global standards for such areas. Apart from that, each unit has its own structure to reinforce such care on local basis.
Brastemp Viva! Program
It picks up and recycles packages of the company's products that are sold directly. It acts in the Greater Sao Paulo Metro Area, Santos (SP) region, and Recife (PE).
In seven years, it has gathered over 167 tones of packages. Only in 2009, it was 57 tones, or 58% of the packages sold under the direct sales system. For 2010, the goal is to reach 60%.
Refrigerators Exchange Program
Performed by the distributors of electricity, according to a resolution from ANEEL (National Agency of Electrical Power), this initiative replaces older refrigerators by more efficient models in terms of power consumption (A Class under Procel).
In partnership with distributors, Whirlpool recycles refrigerators coming from all regions of the country at its Recycling Center in Joinville (SC), which recovers up to 90% of materials. Since 2005, this Unit has already recycled about 2,130 tones of residues, and recovered over 1.8 thousand kilograms of CFC and HCFC gases. In 2009 alone, the number of recycled refrigerators increased by 34% against 2008. 838 tones of residues, and 779 kilograms of CFC and HCFC gases were recovered during the year.
Brastemp Water Purifiers
This is a signature service, which guarantees pure water to consumers, and contributes with the environment. This is because Whirlpool is responsible for maintaining, replacing, dismantling and dispatching the purifier's components for recycling. Apart from this, the service saves in plastics utilization and in transportation of the supply system through water containers.
Over 98 tones of metals and plastics from purifiers were recycled by Whirlpool Latin America during 2009. It is worth highlighting that between 97% and 99% of these products can be recycled.
During 2009, Whirlpool Latin America has invested more than R$ 5 million in projects to protect the environment. The value is 70% higher than that invested in 2008, and 167% higher than that of 2007.
In that same year, its consumption of diesel oil dropped 12.5%, and use of GLP gas dropped 12%. Results were obtained under a scenario of accelerated production, owing to the reduction in IPI taxes for the domestic appliances sector.
Reduction in water consumption and in the use of the products is also a permanent goal of the company. 100% of the portfolio of washing machines launched by Whirlpool is labeled as A Class by Procel, which measures the efficiency in power and water consumption. Apart from this, for more than 5 years we recycle the water consumed for tests of the laundry in Rio Claro, which amounts to 10 thousand m³ in closed circuit.
Reduction in Materials
Whirlpool works to reduce the volume and the impact of its manufacturing materials, mainly steel, aluminum, copper, cardboard paper and plastics. Its washing machines are formed by 80% of polypropylene, which is a highly recyclable plastic, while refrigerators are made with 90% of recyclable materials.
The company was the first in the domestic appliances sector to cater for the requirements of a European Guideline that establishes more rigid controls on the use of hazardous substances.
Gas Emissions Control
In 2009, Whirlpool produced its first inventory of carbon emissions. The document was prepared based on the Brazilian version of the GHG Protocol, the most used methodology in the world to calculate emissions of greenhouse effect gases (GEE).
Companies for the Weather
Whirlpool Latin America has adhered to the platform of Companies for the Weather (EPC), launched in 2009 by the Center of Studies in Sustainability of the Getulio Vargas Foundation (GVCes). The objective is to call the attention of the society to the issues of weather changes, and to aid in establishing regulations on this issue. As a signatory of EPC, it commits to publish its carbon emissions inventory on yearly basis.
The Law that created the National Policy for Solid Residues (PNRS) was sanctioned by the Brazilian President on August 2nd, 2010. Whirlpool took part in preparing the project, through the National Association of Manufacturers of Electro-Electronic Products (Eletros).
The policy creates proper measures for the final disposal of residues and rejects, preventing its discarding into rivers or under open skies, for instance. According to the project, environmentally hazardous objects shall be recovered by means of reverse logistics. The proposal, defended by Whirlpool and by the corporate sector, is such that consumers shall dispose of older products using the resellers, during the delivery of their new products. Likewise, the industry shall retrieve the devices gathered by the retailers, and take charge of dismantling them, at recycling centers.