Delivering on EcoVision sustainability commitments

Sustainability plays an important role at Consumer Lifestyle, with the main focus on optimizing the sustainability performance of our products and operations. Green Products, which meet or exceed our minimum requirements in the area of energy consumption, packaging and/or substances of concern, accounted for 55% of total sales in 2014. All Green Products with rechargeable batteries exceed the stringent California energy efficiency standard. And over 60% of total sales are PVC- and/or BFR-free products (excluding power cords).

In 2014 we continued to increase the use of recycled materials in our products. Over 625 tons of recycled plastics were used in vacuum cleaners, irons and coffee machines. We also launched the new SENSEO® Up, of which the plastic parts consist of 13% recycled material. In our operations we continue to use more energy from renewable sources, with the ultimate aim of having CO2-neutral production sites. In 2014, 68% of the electricity used in factories came from renewable sources and 80% of the industrial waste was recycled.­

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Green Products offer a significant environmental improvement in one or more Green Focal Areas: Energy efficiency, Packaging, Hazardous substances, Weight, Recycling and disposal and Lifetime reliability. The life cycle approach is used to determine a product’s overall environmental improvement. It calculates the environmental impact of a product over its total life cycle (raw materials, manufacturing, product use and disposal).

Green Products need to prove leadership in at least one Green Focal Area compared to industry standards, which is defined by a sector specific peer group. This is done either by outperforming reference products (which can be a competitor or predecessor product in the particular product family) by at least 10%, outperforming product specific eco-requirements or by being awarded with a recognized eco-performance label. Because of different product portfolios, sectors have specified additional criteria for Green Products, including product specific minimum requirements where relevant.

CO2-equivalent or carbon dioxide equivalent is a quantity that describes, for a given mixture and amount of greenhouse gas, the amount of CO2 that would have the same global warming potential (GWP), when measured over a specified timescale (generally 100 years).