With its “2019 Sustainability Report”, Miele provides detailed insights into its understanding of what sustainable corporate guidance is, taking on board environmental aspects along with a sense of responsibility towards employees, topics relating to the supply chain, through to involvement in society. This publication outlines 15 overarching strategic sustainability targets, from Miele’s environmental performance and stakeholder dialogue tailored to individual target audiences through to consumer-friendly digitalisation. The company reached important results in terms of sustainability: for example 99% of all washing machines – the company explains – achieve the top A+++ energy efficiency rating, even overperforming by as much as 50%. Besides, the new dishwashers from the G 6000 EcoFlex series surpass the required value for a top A+++ energy efficiency rating by between 10% and 20%. In late 2017, Miele received the coveted German Federal Eco Design Award for these models and their excellent energy efficiency, which is achieved through the use of an integrated heat storage system. In the commercial sector, Miele launched the Performance Plus model range during the period under review. These heavy-duty washing machines use around 20% less water and 30% less energy than their predecessors. This is achieved through a specially developed technical design in combination with a new wash process. Another achieved result is SingleWash. This wash cycle is Miele’s response to a well-known phenomenon: in everyday use, washing machines are often run with only very small loads, a practice which costs unnecessary resources. With SingleWash, water consumption is precisely tailored to greatly reduced load volumes. This also automatically results in lower energy consumption. “Just how significant reductions in consumption during the usage phase are becomes immediately apparent when one considers how many hours and years washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators and the like are in operation – the company said -. More than three-quarters of total energy consumption for a domestic appliance from product engineering through to disposal are attributable to the usage phase at the point of installation. So what impact does this have on the environment? To provide an answer to this question, Miele undertook a sample calculation during the reporting period to ascertain to what extent emissions are caused by direct electricity consumption during the use of Miele appliances. The outcome: in the usage phase of domestic appliances, emissions of several millions tonnes of CO2 accrued. By comparison, emissions at production plants, although not negligible, are considerably lower. Use in domestic households therefore offers the greatest opportunities to improve efficiency – all the more so if the above-average life expectancy of Miele appliances is factored into the equation. As a result, a reduction in consumption will continue to be at the focus of Miele’s climate strategy. In future, emissions during use will also be included in the company’s climate balance. The goal of corporate climate policy is clear: Miele supports the two-degree target of international climate politics, and aims to be carbon-neutral by 2050 at the latest. To this end, the aim is to continue to increase energy efficiency in production and reduce specific energy consumption. Miele’s 12 production plants are already pursuing their own schemes which subscribe to the overriding goals of Miele’s sustainability strategy. These also include projects to promote a circular economy. The company has therefore instigated various measures to reuse materials from old Miele machines, for example in the form of cast-iron counterweights or as granulates for plastic parts”.