Saturday, October 1, 2022

Sustainability is at the heart of appliance innovation for this progressive brand

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(Image credit: Future)

On day 3 of our time at IFA 2022 (opens in new tab) we took front row seats to the keynote by Hakan Bulgurlu, CEO of Arçelik. The room was pretty full and we were looking forward to hearing the vision for solving some of the most pressing challenges facing humanity, along with a new water-efficient innovation which were all ears for.

Arçelik is the leading global household appliance manufacturer and parent company of 12 brands, including Beko and Grundig. You may have seen some of the best coffee makers (opens in new tab) and best vacuum cleaners (opens in new tab) in the UK are by Beko, as well as large appliances, and Grundig are paving the way for sustainable innovation in Europe with the personal care and household appliance categories.

It became clear very early on in the presentation that the parent company are driving sustainability in their product innovations and manufacturing. Heavy stats were shared such as 40% of the global electricity is used by electric motors, air conditioners, refrigeration and lighting, which is a lot of energy to be used by our everyday appliances.

(Image credit: Future)The new innovation which was launched, but not yet available to buy, is the Beko SaveWater line of appliances which includes a dishwasher and washing machine / tumble dryer duo. 

The dishwasher consumes only 6.9 liters of water to wash a full load water efficiently, when compared to Beko dishwashers with the same energy level and capacity, but without SaveWater technology. The feature saves water from the last rinse phase in the dishwashing cycle, storing it hygienically and safely in the machine’s specially designed water tank so it can be re-used in the beginning of the next wash, helping to save households 2.6 liters of water with every wash using the Eco program.

This reusing of water is a theme in the washing machine and tumble dryer duo, too. The tumble dryer works in conjunction with compatible Beko washing machines, where water collected during the drying cycle is fed directly into the washing machine to be used in the next washing cycle. Up to 5.2 liters of water will be collected during each drying cycle, safely storing this to supply the washing machine with water. 

It really is ingenious. This was unlike any other innovation which we had seen at IFA 2022 and we were so impressed that we awarded it the Best Large Appliance category in the TechRadar IFA Awards (opens in new tab).

(Image credit: Future)After the keynote, we spent a little time at the Grundig stand. The brand aims to inspire everyday action in pursuit of a better future with products that promote sustainability without compromising quality in line with its motto “It starts at home”. There was a lot of brown color, peppered with green, used in the displays which immediately gave us a sense that we were in touch with nature.

They had a new range to mix in to some of the best robot vacuum (opens in new tab) cleaners category: the VCR 6270 and VCR 7230. These were the very first robot vacuum cleaners by Grundig, with the only difference between the two being that the 7230 was self emptying. We would have loved to have been able to offer to review one of these floor cleaning appliances but, unfortunately, as with the hair dryer we saw (opens in new tab), it isn’t available to review or buy in the UK.

This was the same with the Grundig VCC 7170 Eco. It’s a canister vacuum cleaner which may not look like anything particularly special but, 52% of the plastic used in the design has been recycled. This is something which was really refreshing to see and is a design consideration that we would like to see more of.

(Image credit: Future)The future of sustainability for Arçelik There is a clear strategy for the Arçelik team, and that is to be more sustainable in everything that they do. It’s recognized that sustainability is more important than ever. Consumers are looking for brands that they feel they can trust and that reassure them.

Arçelik have long adapted sustainability as a business model, and have put it at the heart of everything they do. For instance, by 2050 they aim to achieve net-zero emissions in all operations through green investments in renewable energy; they are going to increase the amount of recycled plastic content to 40%, and bio-based content to 5%, in all their products; and the brand is going to reduce energy consumption and water withdrawal per product by 45% in manufacturing (compared to the 2015 base year).

We caught up with Ragip Balcıoğlu, Chief Commercial Officer at Arçelik, who echoed these plans and how being more sustainable will sync with the cost of living crisis we are all facing.

We are innovating internally about how to be much more cost efficient and therefore not passing on the whole burden onto consumers, especially in these current times.
Your energy bills are going to be much higher because of working form home, the need for replacing appliance is going to continue to exist.
On one side you want to save the planet, and on the other there is the urgency to switch from an old appliance to a new to get a more energy saving appliance.
Our moto is to push the need for energy saving appliances, whilst making the products more accessible.

Ragip Balcıoğlu, Chief Commercial OfficMaking the energy-saving, sustainable products more accessible to consumers (you, our readers) is a core focus for Arçelik. They invested €93 million ($92.5 million / £80.4 million / $AU 135.9 million) into research and development in 2021 and will continue to listen to their consumers, and address the needs of the planet, in their future innovations.

IFA 2022 is Europe’s biggest tech show, and TechRadar is in Berlin to bring you all the breaking news and announcements, plus our hands-on first impressions of the new TVs, wearables, audio devices and other gadgets on show. 

 Jennifer Oksien is TechRadar’s Homes Editor. Jennifer (Jenny) has over a decade of experience as a digital product writer specialising in appliances, smart tech and mattresses for some of the UKs leading retailers and magazine titles such as Real Homes, Ideal Home and Livingetc. Generally, you’ll find her watching the latest Netflix series, digging around in the garden or attempting to make a cake that is edible. 

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