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Waste Management

Our Zero Waste to Landfill (ZWtL) approach to waste management, in alignment with our We Care management system, represents a best-in-class approach to diverting waste away from permanent landfill. We first set the goal to reach ZWtL in 2012, and since then we have been on a journey to invest in plant efficiency, waste reduction, recycling and other efforts to eliminate waste and contribute to a circular economy.

Beginning in 2023, we are implementing a new global procedure for waste management that will further elevate practices within our operations. This will help us reach the more stringent “Strong Gold” goal we have set for ourselves of 97% diversion from landfill (above ZWtL Gold status level, which requires a minimum of 95% diversion from landfill). Our other goal is to reduce hazardous waste generation intensity by 1% year-over-year.

~30,000 tons of waste diverted from
permanent landfills through
ZWtL program since 2016

Partnering to Manage Waste

It takes everyone’s participation to reduce the amount of scrap and waste we generate in our facilities. To maintain our ZWtL status, many functions work hand in hand, including Environment, Health and Safety (EHS), Logistics, Industrial Engineering and Procurement. Our waste brokers and waste vendors are crucial in helping us develop alternatives for waste reduction, reuse and recycling. We also heavily rely on our employees’ participation. To improve awareness and promote proper waste separation, teams at our manufacturing sites deliver regular training and conduct periodic inspections on the shop floor. We also place visual reminders, make waste bins readily available, provide feedback and training when it’s needed and recognize employees for their efforts to improve waste sorting.

Waste Management Goals

Reach ZWtL Gold or Platinum level
(95% to 100%
diversion rate)

at all of our manufacturing sites.

Achieve at least 97% diversion rate in all ZWtL Gold level sites.

Reduce hazardous waste generation intensity by 1% year-over-year.

In late 2022, we added two new manufacturing sites to Whirlpool operations — one at the InSinkErator headquarters in Racine, Wisconsin, and a washing machine production site in Fátima, Argentina. We are proud to report that within one year of Whirlpool Corporation’s acquisition, both facilities have achieved ZWtL Gold level status, with the Argentina site even crossing the line to strong Gold in November 2023. This was achieved through a combination of projects, including the development of new suppliers for composting of canteen waste and for external treatment and subsequent point-source discharge of aqueous paint/solvents and oily water.

We have also made additional improvement in our already self-certified Gold Status sites: two sites have moved from Gold to Strong Gold, and two sites have moved from Strong Gold to Platinum. This was achieved mainly through internal logistics improvement and team training to improve waste segregation, as well as increased use of reusable containers.

Innovating to Mitigate Hazardous Material

Due to risks naturally associated with hazardous waste handling and disposal, we have set a new Hazardous Waste Intensity key performance indicator (KPI) (hazardous waste generated per major appliance produced) to focus on hazardous waste reduction, and this year our performance has improved by 23%. Whirlpool continually looks for the most efficient technologies to be used in our manufacturing operations and upgrades to our processes. Some of the hazardous waste reduction was achieved through implementation of chemical bulk storage for reduction of smaller chemical containers, reduction of leakages and spillages, and better segregation of hazardous and non-hazardous wastes.