Fisher & Paykel has long been committed to environmentally conscious operations as a business, and to creating new products that increasingly limit the impact on the environment's natural resources.
New Zealand's clean, green reputation has formed part of our philosophy for decades. Today we strive to emphasise sustainability in everything we do, from comprehensive recycling programs in New Zealand and abroad, to continual energy and water consumption reduction efforts both in manufacturing and new product design.
Reducing the Impact
Fisher & Paykel aims to meet the highest industry standards with our appliances achieving top ranking results with Energy Star and WELS water ratings. Over the past thirty years our appliance energy and water usage has decreased across all our appliances.
The most dramatic result in energy use is from the highest-consuming large appliance in the house, the refrigerator, which has reduced energy consumption on average by over 60 percent. Water use by our dishwashers and clothes washers has also decreased, with these appliances now using around 55 percent and 80 percent less water on average respectively.
Last year we announced our world-leading, revolutionary refrigerator compressor design that is up to 35 percent more energy efficient than conventional compressors and further reduces the consumption of the most energy-hungry appliance in the home. The compressor is now in trial and will be entering the market in the next couple of years. We continued our environmental improvements in 2012, this time in the laundry with our unique Direct Drive motor technology providing eco-friendly engineering and design innovation behind our new suite of washing machines.
When we developed Direct Drive motor technology 20 years ago, the focus was on delivering higher performance and reliability in our washing machines at a lower cost to the consumer. Today, the Direct Drive motor technology continues to evolve and play a powerful role, enabling new efficiencies across the upgraded SmartDrive™ washing machine range. Consumers can now select machines based on their household's unique needs, be it excellent water and energy efficiency or optimal clothes care for a longer-wearing wardrobe, all due to technology developments at the core.
In addition to the development of efficient technologies, sustainable manufacturing is key. We're interested in more than just a sticker on a product; we have committed ourselves to consider the environment in every step of a product's life cycle. Our designers avoid construction techniques that combine incompatible materials in a way that cannot be easily separated for recycling and we also put identification marks (to International Standards) on plastic mouldings showing which raw materials they are made of.
We have always had a philosophy of avoiding the incorporation of scarce resources into our products wherever possible. Currently we are changing grades of ABS to ones that give off much less styrene monomers during processing and we have also set ourselves a goal of eliminating brominated fire retardants in plastics.
All our factories operate On-line manufacturing. This results in less waste and less inventory. Within our factories, we have eliminated our production paint shops which inefficiently painted large empty white boxes with high solvent wet paint. All packaging received by our factories is either reused or recycled, which eliminates waste and reduces the amount of packaging that is dumped into landfill.
Cleaner production methods
Our component to circuit board assembly process has eliminated the use of CFC's in cleaning (and avoided the use of HCFC's). In addition, we are trialing VOC-free fluxes for this circuit board assembly.
The Wider Picture
The products that we design and manufacture will always be cornerstones within our sustainability approach. However, reducing the impact on the environment goes far beyond making more efficient products. Fisher & Paykel has been committed to environmentally responsible processes, right across its operations, long before the words sustainability and global warming became commonplace.
The company's philosophy is not only evident in its end products, but is carried through all aspects of the organisation. Fisher & Paykel and its people take an active role in government lobbying and are involved in writing industry standards. Our company's experts were also involved in the Montreal delegation that worked on CFC riddance and played a key part in developing the Ozone Protection Bill.
Many of Fisher & Paykel's printed communications are printed to care for the environment. In 2008-2009, Fisher & Paykel have reduced C02 emissions by almost 32,000 kg by printing green.
What to do with appliances at the end of their life is also a big consideration, and Fisher & Paykel has worked hard to create a leading appliance recycling program in New Zealand.
Fisher & Paykel appreciates that the environmental impact of an appliance continues long after it leaves the factory gate. Taking responsibility for our products throughout their life cycle, we opened our appliance recycling operation in New Zealand nearly two decades ago. Through this initiative, Fisher & Paykel is able to save around 25,000 appliances from landfill each year and enable the re-use of bulk materials. Over the past 17 years, this means Fisher & Paykel has recycled approximately 325,000 appliances and saved around 20,000 tonnes from landfill through free recycling initiatives.
Alongside appliance recycling, we launched a local program for operational appliances ten years or older in partnership with the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA).
Called 'Take Back', this initiative offered free collection of working but unwanted refrigerators and freezers in New Zealand's main centres. As well as recycling these products, we reported back to EECA, calculating the amount of energy saved from the appliance's decommissioning and replacement with a more efficient, modern model. 'Take Back' delivered a total estimated energy savings of 394MWh/y, or enough energy to power around 200 homes over a year.
Across the globe our people are similarly committed to reducing our environmental footprint through aggressive waste reduction and energy reduction targets. We are successfully meeting our own high targets in each country we are located and comply with the strict emissions rules specific to each country.
Our goal is to continually reduce our emissions and apply the principle of reduce, re-use and re-cycle all of our process waste in all markets in which we operate.