Household appliances in USA: the manufacturers’ commitment towards sustainability


refrigeratorAs reported by AHAM (American association of home appliance manufacturers), the U.S. and Canadian household refrigerator industry has set the goal to voluntarily phase down the use of HFC refrigerants in household refrigerators and freezers after 2024. In order to reach this goal, the industry is seeking the support of government and safety authorities. “This effort – said AHAM in a official note – builds on a history of environmental stewardship that includes significant gains in energy and water efficiency and the phasing out of ozone-depleting substances without losing these efficiency gains. In the past, home appliance manufacturers made environmentally beneficial transitions away from CFCs and HCFCs, refrigerants that are also ozone-depleting substances, to non-ozone-depleting HFCs. These moves were made in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other regulators. HFCs have become a concern, however, since they have a relatively high global warming potential. Recognizing this concern, the industry is already well on the way to transitioning away from the use of HFCs in foam insulation by 2020. The emergence of alternatives with essentially no potential to contribute to global warming will enable the industry to phase out the use of HFCs, given sufficient time to address related safety and engineering impacts on products and factories. Because some of the next generation refrigerants are flammable, a transition will require a cooperative effort of manufacturers, refrigerant suppliers and the safety standards bodies in the U.S. and Canada, as well as the relevant federal safety, environmental and energy agencies in both countries”.

Joseph M. McGuire, president and CEO of AHAM.
Joseph M. McGuire, president and CEO of AHAM.

Besides, the Association, CSA Group and UL Environment have recently announced that AHAM 7003/CSA R7003-16/UL 7003 (Sustainability Standard for Household Clothes Washers) has earned the American National Standard Institute (ANSI) accreditation as an American National Standard and also met the requirements of the Standards Council of Canada (SCC). The Sustainability Standard for Household Clothes Washers serves as an objective and practical measurement tool to assist manufacturers in evaluating the environmental sustainability of home appliances. It is based on a lifecycle approach for identifying the environmental impacts of clothes washers in five key areas: energy, materials, end-of-life, consumables, and manufacturing. “Measuring and comparing the sustainability attributes of home appliances is a priority for consumers, retailers and manufacturers. The AHAM clothes washer standard provides a sound scientific basis for doing this and with the ANSI and SCC designation, reflects a strong consensus of the independent stakeholder community in the U.S. and Canada”, commented Joseph M. McGuire, president and CEO of AHAM.


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