In a recent study, Whirlpool Corporation found consumers want appliances that improve the home and environment.
According to the survey of more than 2,000 people in the UK, half said they value innovations that use less energy (50%) and have a lower carbon footprint (40%), followed by saving money (40%) or time (25%).
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% cent), highlighting the need for sustainable products.
Senior vice president of communications, public affairs and sustainability Pam Klyn said: “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.
“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.”
The company also sees the potential of connected products and believes the benefits are currently untapped.
Whirlpool Corporation’s senior vice president of engineering and innovation Shree Dandekar commented: “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.
“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.
Three-quarters of consumers (74%) are reducing or reusing single use plastics, and over half (54%) want to do this more in the next year, with the same amount wanting to reduce their water consumption.
Almost two thirds (65%) are reducing weekly laundry loads, saving water and energy, and 41% want to decrease this even further.
Ron Voglewede, Whirlpool Corporation’s Global Sustainability Director stated: “It’s encouraging to see people taking action.
“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.”