Global Warming Survey of Appliance Mft & Big Box Dealers EXCLUSIVE

Global Warming Survey of Appliance Manufacturers and Big Box Dealers
The Cash for Appliance Clunkers program has several goals including supporting manufacturers and dealers, jump-starting sales by separating you from your money, and increasing the installed base of efficient appliances to reduce Green House Gas Emissions and combat Global Warming.

We are aware of Whirlpool’s and GE’s positions and initiatives in Global Warming, but what of all the other industry players we wondered. 
This survey hopes to find out if our industry’s main players agree that there is Global Warming, that it is primarily man caused and that reducing green house gasses is a goal.
NOTE: Keep in mind, this is not a survey of actual actions or products, only public statements and claims. Companies with high ratings talk the talk, but may not be walking the walk.

We weighed web sites, mission statements, corporate statements, presidential speeches while making direct contact when required. 

The questions we asked:
A) Your company believes Global Warming is caused primarily by man’s actions?
B) Your company believes in aggressive action to reduce green house gas emissions?

SURVEY:  SUMMARY used a 1 – 10 system to summarize each company’s position based on the information found and provided. 
0 = strongly disagree or no evidence of an opinion   10 = strongly agree.
If any company feels we have erroneously characterized their position, let us know. 
If anyone wishes to add one of the missed industry players send us some information on the player.

                              A         B
AHAM                  10        5
ASKO                   0          n/a
Broan                     0          n/a
Bosch Siemens      10        10
Dacor                     2          3
Electrolux              10        10
Fisher & Paykel      4          2
GE                        10        10
Haier                      0          n/a
LG                         5          5
Miele                      2          0
Samsung               10        10
Sharp                   10        10
Sub-Zero               0          3
Viking                    0          3
Whirlpool              10        10
Sears                     0          0
Home Depot          0          3
Lowes                   0          0

(Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers)
AHAM did respond to EPA’s proposed rules for Climate Change gas reporting, and the response did not seem like an entire copout. 
AHAM’s response to our query:
“AHAM supports reasonable measures to address global warming.  We have a good working relationship with the U.S. EPA, congress and through the Montréal and Kyoto protocol processes on public policies related to the transition from those greenhouse gases used as refrigerants in appliances that have high global warming potential (GWP).  These chemical compounds are HFC’s and were developed as substitutes for cfcs which are ozone depleting compounds.  We worked in a similar cooperative relationship with government on the phase-out of cfcs.
AHAM supported climate change bill that passed the House of Representatives earlier this year because it contained a framework to phase down the use of high GWP compounds on a timetable that allows users of the compounds to transition to low GWP refrigerants.  The legislation also authorizes incentives for users to make this transition.
Appliance efficiency is also very important when it comes to addressing climate change.  The appliance industry has worked with major environmental and energy efficiency groups on public policy agreements to increase appliance efficiency.  These agreements have resulted in appliance efficiency standards that save significant amounts of energy and water and reduce emissions of carbon dioxide from power plants which further helps combat climate change.
Use of smart appliances in concert with smart meters and time of use pricing can also reduce the need for construction of additional peak power plants, further reducing carbon dioxide emissions.  There are important incentives in the house climate bill that would encourage production and sale of such appliances.
AHAM is a member of the
alliance for responsible atmospheric policies (ARAP) which works with government for sound policies related to climate change.  The group recognizes the science of climate change and the man made contributions to the build up of greenhouse gases.  Our industry supports a similar approach by all countries.  We believe climate change is an issue that should be addressed at the national and international levels.”
AA COMMENT: AHAM needs to thread the beliefs of its members, yet AHAM has fully accepted Global Warming, and claims to be making significant contributions to the battle. What does ARAP’s “responsible atmospheric policies” actually mean? Dunno.
No mention of CO2, global warming / climate change on either domestic or international websites.   The ASKO 2008 Environmental Report, which is not linked on the US site, also includes no information on CO2 or global warming.
AA COMMENT: A driving, unifying marketing strategy of efficiency, yet not a word on climate.
Broan’s ecoForward program mentions clean interior and exterior air, and domestic manufacturing but makes no mention of CO2 or Global Warming / Climate Change.
AA COMMENT:   What is the problem with companies based in Wisconsin?
CEO Gutberlet August 2008
“Private households are already the second largest consumer of energy worldwide and the third largest emitter of carbon dioxide. Household appliances are responsible for approximately half of domestic electricity consumption. And the trend is strongly upward as demand in the newly industrializing countries rises.”
"Our appliances on sale across Europe, in virtually every product category, are superior to the rest of the market in terms of their energy efficiency and their impact on the climate.”
“Better and more comprehensive consumer advice and information from manufacturers, the retail trade and politicians. "Energy-saving is not a short-lived fad, but a genuinely long-term megatrend", said Dr. Gutberlet. "We are on the threshold of a major economic shift – perhaps even of a ‘third industrial revolution’. We at BSH are determined to actively contribute towards making the necessary changes."

What we stand for:
“As the world’s third-largest home appliance manufacturer, BSH is well aware of the vital role it is able and indeed obliged to play in climate protection and responsible globalization. The advance of climate change is a compelling argument in favor of exploiting all the energy-saving potential at our disposal.”

AA COMMENT: There is no question of BSH’s commitment to reducing green house gasses by personal involvement of the CEO in spreading the message.  Bravo.
In the Green August 2009: Environmental Stewardship
“This commitment includes reducing the energy demands of the company’s operations, maximizing the efficiency of products and implementing sustainable business practices, because working to reduce one’s carbon footprint to lessen the impact on the environment and improve social well-being should be the responsibility of all, not just a select few.”
AA COMMENT: Even though they were not able to respond to our queries they weren’t dinged, in acknowledgment of all the good loot we’ve received over the years at KBIS.   Still, they’ve done only a wee bit better than Viking and Sub-Zero, and far less than is acceptable.  Dacor found the bare minimum line, and then did a little less.
Climate Change
“With our biggest environmental impacts occurring during the product use phase, by far our greatest potential to reduce CO2 is to sell energy-lean products”
“Tackling climate change is a responsibility Electrolux takes seriously. It is an issue that also presents opportunities.……. Our target to reduce energy use is also a win-win investment: less CO2 in the atmosphere and operational savings for Electrolux.”
“On behalf of Electrolux, Hans Stråberg, President and CEO, is one of 358 corporate leaders that have endorsed Caring for Climate; a UN Global Compact-orchestrated series of initiatives worldwide that demonstrate business leadership on climate change. It is intended to spark engagement among business and government alike to create an effective climate strategy. Not only does it advance practical solutions, it is intended to help shape policy as well as public attitudes.”
AA COMMENT: Electrolux is all over this, and strongly supporting the fight.  But they’ve gone one step further to reducing global warming, by making sure all their factory CO2 is spilled down in Mexico way. Yahhh for us…or U.S.
The web site lists energy saving tips, but Fisher & Paykel never discusses CO2 or Global Warming. In fact, the only reference we found on any F&P document was in the 2006 Annual report. The reference reads as more of a market driven rationalization.
“With the continuing focus on global warming and the effects it has on our climate and lifestyles, our desire to manufacture ecofriendly products has become an even more
important d
river for our design teams.”
AA COMMENT: Softer, lamer support, one is not likely to find. This was a surprise for us considering F&P’s efficiency strategy. We do know that U.S. President Mike Goadby personally agrees in man caused global warming….so we figure they got that going for them.
“GE is participating in a major initiative urging the U.S. government to quickly enact strong legislation to significantly reduce greenhouse emissions. The formation of the United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), illustrates the commitment of GE and other founding U.S.-based businesses and leading non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to address the challenge of climate change. The other participants include: Alcoa, BP America, Caterpillar, Duke Energy, DuPont, FPL Group, Lehman Brothers, PG&E, PNM Resources, Environmental Defense, Natural Resources Defense Council, Pew Center on Global Climate Change and World Resources Institute.”
David Slump, General Manager, Global Marketing, said, "GE supports development of market-based programs to slow, eventually stop, and ultimately reverse, the growth of greenhouse gases (GHG)."
AA COMMENT: Unlike the rest of these slugs, GE has a strategy to make money no matter what happens including building condos in caves. GE makes gas turbines and wind turbines and steam turbines and jet turbines and nuclear reactors. That all said, it’s good to see the one time largest company in the world so strongly supporting, hmm, we meant fighting warming….or some such thing
No opinion, no position, nothing. Boring
….worldwide-we feel an equal urgency toward social responsibility and taking an active role in the push to reduce greenhouse emissions and tackle the environmental damage already incurred. Toward this end, LG Electronics is implementing various strategies to and technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at our factories. We’re also working to minimize the indirect greenhouse gases emitted from LG products by continuing to increase the energy-efficiency of our products.
AA COMMENT: Sure there might have been a little “confusion” in their Energy Star testing, but they do give great document. We have lowered their scores a bit based on their climate change document having no discoverable linkage to the LG site itself. It was only found via Google.
Short reference to climate change, but no reference to CO2. They got nothing. Also did not respond to our queries.
AA COMMENT: German company without a global warming mission statement? Now we’ve seen everything.
Surprise. Samsung did their homework and came to the party with a full buffet. Very impressive.
Well done, deep thought. 
No mention of climate change, global warming on any page or on any press release, anywhere, which is a bit vexing since refrigeration is the fount of all evil, appliance-wise.
In the micro-site dedicated to Sub-Zero and Wolf’s commitment to green, we found only this: “By building our appliances domestically, we drastically reduce our company’s carbon footprint.”
AA COMMENT: By far Sub-Zero’s lack of any mention of warming was our most surprising and disappointing discovery. They built this massive green crunchy site, Greenkitchens, but ducked the entire subject. Not only don’t they walk the walk, they don’t talk the talk. I guess there’s something to be said for this breath taking honesty.
Sub-Zero refused to respond to our many queries for this story, and now we may know why.
Response to query
“Viking does not have an official corporate position regarding global warming; however, we currently do and will continue to do many things within our production facilities and in the manufacture of our products to make as small an environmental impact as possible. We intend to develop an official policy on global warming in the near future.
Yes, we should all be working toward reducing the CO2 released into the atmosphere. At Viking we are already working toward meeting the 2014 Energy Standards and will continue to work toward reducing the energy usage for all our appliances, whether mandated by law or not.
Please note that Viking is not currently a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, nor have we been a member for many years.”
AA COMMENT: Viking has, we believe, consciously avoided any mention of CO2 or Global Warming on any document, or even on their “Commitment to the Planet” mission statement…….which we must admit is quite a trick of the public relation arts.
In the late direct response (above) Viking has NOT YET confirmed warming, but has confirmed the goal of reducing CO2 emissions. There is no reason to reduce CO2 emissions unless it’s to combat Global Warming. Viking joins Dacor and Sub-Zero in various levels of internal conflict in their answers.
Response to query
“     For decades, Whirlpool Corporation has played a leading role in the development of high-performance appliances that help conserve the earth’s resources and allow homeowners to use resources more efficiently. We continually strive to understand and manage the environmental effects of our business, not only by creating new and innovative products that consume less energy and water, but also by improving our processes and using materials that minimize the impact on the planet.
      In 2003, Whirlpool became the first appliance manufacturer to announce a global greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction target. We assumed responsibility not only for direct emissions, but also for the much larger emissions associated with the use of our products. Whirlpool improving the energy-efficiency of our products by just 1 percent is the equivalent of an approximate 150 percent improvement in our manufacturing facility-related emissions. Our current target, increased in 2007, is a 6.6 percent reduction by 2012.
   In addition, Whirlpool Corporation was one of 13 founding members of the Business Environment Leadership Council, an advisory group to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. In 2007, we joined a small number of companies on the Respect Table – a forum for corporate leaders to address common challenges and find common solutions for a more sustainable world. Together with two European non-profit organizations, the Respect Table is organizing a project to promote a new international agreement on Climate Change in 2009, to replace the Kyoto protocol, which ends in 2012.”
Whirlpool resigned from US Chamber of Commerce, over 1 year ago, though Whirlpool did not suggest that the reason it resigned was the Chamber’s position on global warming
AA COMMENT Whirlpool has made green house gas reduction, and efficiency the centerpiece of all its work. Job 1 if you will.
No answer to our queries, and nothing of interest in Sears documents or website.
Not much going on. No discussion of CO2 that we can find. HD also pushed back when shareholders tried to get them to disclose efficiency measure.
Does not claim fighting carbon as a goal other than to stay ahead of public opinion. Does publish a Carbon Disclosure Report…….but otherwise, nothing.
“We are working on reducing fuel consumption across the supply chain, saving energy in all of our facilities and reducing waste that goes into landfills.”

4 Responses to Global Warming Survey of Appliance Mft & Big Box Dealers EXCLUSIVE

  1. I’m surprised that there has not been a flurry of discussions on the validity of the global warming debate in light of the recent hacked emails from the East Anglia University Climate Research Unit.

    All of the data that suggested or supported the contention of a castastrophic warming of the earth is in serious doubt. Researchers have stated in their emails that the data was "altered" to maintain the argument for global warming and the need to take draconian measures to stop / reverse the "trend" of warming.

    The leaks emails and documents are of a magnitude akin to finding that the Roman CatholicVatican withheld evidence that the Hebrew / Latin / King James / New Testament Bibles are an elaborate hoax.

    What gives?

    Why the roaring silence?

    • Hi John,
      It is not uncommon for those with terminal illnesses to grab onto any thread of hope, whether it’s laetril treatment centers in Mexico, crystals, images of Jesus on toast, potions, chicken blood, or other hogwash to pull them from the rising quicksand.  Death is such a uncomprehendable drawing of the curtain, that mankind has expended a signficant portion of our species’ time on earth explaining what comes next.  The good news:  there is no data for what comes next, so at least the death explaining industry is protected from the Chinese.

      I read your complaint, but I didn’t see any evidence that you understood what the issue was.
      You indicated:  "All of the data that suggested or supported the contention of a castastrophic warming of the earth is in serious doubt."
      That both isn’t true of the data from East Anglica, nor is the East Anglica data the only data set supporting man-caused climate change.

      Sure scientists don’t always play well with others…….which is why they become scientists to begin with. 
      One scientists said this about the emails:

      More interesting is what is not contained in the emails. There is no evidence of any worldwide conspiracy, no mention of George Soros nefariously funding climate research, no grand plan to ‘get rid of the MWP’, no admission that global warming is a hoax, no evidence of the falsifying of data, and no ‘marching orders’ from our socialist/communist/vegetarian overlords. The truly paranoid will put this down to the hackers also being in on the plot though.

      The problem discussed in the emails is one of tree ring data "diverging" from the measured temperature data in the last 20 – 50 years, and that the scientists substituted actual temperature data for the last couple decades for a data set that started with tree ring derived temperature data.  It could have been some sort of science crime to hide what is actually going on, but the problem with the naysayers position is that what happened was good science.
      Warming weather makes trees grow more.  Cold less.  In the last 2- 3 decades, trees have stopped growing more even though measured temperature has risen.  I had guessed that the problem was caused by global dimming, the reduction of solar energy on the Earth’s surface caused by pollution and high flying jet aircraft.  I was partly correct.  The Christian Science Monitor has a great explanation of all the issues which cause tree ring growth to diverge from temperature.
      I also like this BBC report discussing ways to improve how scientists work together.
      Happy to debate when you’re ready to debate.

    • It would be nice if the Mook’ster and Bermuda B agreed with us on warming.  That would be Peachy, but really not necessary.  Other than the recession in the short term, the drive for efficiency is the biggest story in our industry, and will be still in 6 months.  Already changes in efficiency regulations, product design, energy testing verification, consumer behaviour and purchasing are Locked In.  They’re locked in. 

      Does it matter why they’re locked in?  GE and Whirlpool and others say it does, and the story you decided to comment on analyzed the official public statements answering "Why it does?" from those companies.

      Sounds like a story on the white goods industry.

      We miss you already so we will leave a high efficiency, low wattage LED light on for you, for when you get back.

Leave a reply

Skip to toolbar