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2021 Sustainability


Energy Management

As we accelerate our commitment to a sustainable operation, the efficient use and sourcing of our energy is key to lowering our emissions and impacts on our communities. Our World Class Manufacturing (WCM) efforts have accelerated, and we are now achieving beyond our targets in emissions reductions and energy and water intensity, while we continue to structurally invest in deep energy retrofitting in our plants. We are also leading the way in siting renewable energy in areas where our consumers use our products and maximizing our on-site use of wind and solar. Our growth strategy will be one that challenges our emissions goals, but our progress here will ensure that these lower-impact products are produced in lower-impact plants.


(gigajoules) 2018 2019 2020 2021
Energy from Renewable Sources 113,895 127,023
Total Energy 8,060,536 7,851,315 7,144,184 7,467,571

Our governance process and project management of our Net Zero commitment is done with regional targets, with site level plans and projects to reach our global goals. In 2021, the project team in the North America Region (NAR) identified over 380 improvement ideas and is converting these into high-value projects. One of them is an LED lighting retrofit project that, when implemented at our Cleveland, Tennessee, manufacturing site, will result in a reduction of over 2,000 metric tons of CO2eq emissions per year. The site has also implemented a pilot program to switch to the use of hydrogen fuel cells to power 100% of its tuggers and will expand to forklifts as well. Hydrogen fuel cell technology offers a safe, low-carbon alternative to fossil fuel and reduces the downtime and maintenance costs associated with battery-powered vehicles. Additional building conditioning systems across plants and offices with upgraded efficient data centers resulted in annual savings of over 4,000 metric tons of CO2eq emissions and over $800,000 in utility costs.

We established a new milestone in our use of renewable energy as our first virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) became operational in 2021. The VPPA is expected to cover approximately 50% of our electricity consumption at U.S. plants and help reduce our overall global carbon footprint in operations by nearly 16%. Additionally, in 2021 we contracted a second VPPA covering the remaining 50% of our electricity consumption, which will become operational in December of 2022. In the U.K., all of our facilities are now 100% powered by renewable electricity generated by wind and hydro assets. We are focusing our efforts on expanding VPPAs, on-site renewables, green energy procurement and leveraging a price of carbon to assess and prioritize the projects in line with our climate impact analysis that gives us confidence we are implementing the best return on investment, while meeting our goals.

ReNEWW House

On the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, Whirlpool Corporation’s ReNEWW (Retrofitted Net Zero Energy, Water and Waste) House continues to develop our talent and innovation pipelines, driving ecosystem advancement across our products and the home.

The ReNEWW house embodies the aspirational vision for the project: To bring an existing, 1928 construction home into the future by converting it into a Net Zero energy, water and waste home while charting that path for others who wish to follow. By considering full home ecosystems and establishing links between previously unconnected appliances, we identify new opportunities for energy efficiency and new ways to give back to homeowners. The goal is to create homes that are regenerative for customers and spark interactions that embed sustainable living.

As high-performance building envelopes systems improve, new challenges of filtering and maintaining air quality in the home emerge. The pandemic further brought these challenges into focus as air circulation and filtration were primary concerns for everyone. ReNEWW is driving insights into the challenges of maintaining indoor air quality in well-sealed, highly efficient homes and serves as a testbed for how this may be accomplished.

ReNEWW also serves as a focal point for our long-term collaboration with the world class researchers and students at Purdue University, such as Dr. Andrew Whelton. Utilizing ReNEWW’s network of plumbing sensors, Dr. Whelton’s team continues to assess how home plumbing impacts water quality after leaving the city supply.

In 2017, engineers at the ReNEWW House installed a Biowall that uses plants to filter the indoor air supply of the ReNEWW House. This technology drives toward the interaction between indoor air quality and air tightness of homes. In 2021, the Biowall research continued at the ReNEWW house with improvements to their design and control systems.

Whirlpool Corporation engineers have continued their support of the research home next door to ReNEWW, the “DC House.” Here, Purdue resident researchers are seeking to convert all in-home electrical power from alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC), thus increasing in-home energy efficiency. Traditional homes operate on AC circuitry, but are composed of devices, appliances and electronics which require a conversion to DC power. Each of these conversions incur energy losses, which restricts energy availability and efficiency, and leads to higher costs. In addition, alternative energy sources naturally produce DC power, and thus suffer multiple conversion losses in order to be used within an AC system.