Protagonist household appliances astride sustainability and innovation

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Paolo Lioy, president of APPLiA Italia

Wide-ranging sustainability and energy saving: these are the key issues for the Italian market of household appliances. The confirmation comes from the proceedings of the meeting organized in Rome last July 18th by APPLiA Italia, which grouped in a single debate representatives of institutions, of the industrial chain and of trade associations. And sector industry plays a more and more protagonist role towards this direction, through both the process and product technological innovation and suggesting the promotion of a collective commitment on a national scale for the target achievement.
The core of the debate, which together with the president of APPLiA Italia Paolo Lioy, was attended by Paolo Arrigoni (president GSE), Ilaria Bertini (director of ENEA Energy Efficiency Unit Department), Carlo De Masi, (national president Adiconsum), Marco Osnato (president of Chamber of Deputies Finance Committee), Davide Rossi (director of Aires- Italian Association of specialized household appliance retailers), Edi Snaidero (president EFIC- European Furniture Industries Confederation) and Luca Squeri (member of the Chamber of Deputies Productive Activities Commission), were the efficiency, the innovation and the energy saving in Italians’ houses.
In a Country where – according to ENEA data – appliances’ average life exceeds 12 years, for an electricity consumption that alone makes up 58% of costs in the bill, the replacement of obsolete appliances appears as a strategic course, because state-of-the-art appliances provided with new energy label consume 60-70% less than the products dating back to 10 years ago. This has resulted from a first response, at the opening of the proceedings, by Alberto Gusmeroli (president of Chamber of Deputies Productive Activities Commission), first signatory of a law proposal that aims at speeding up the upgrade of the installed fleet of household appliances to promote the efficiency and the energy saving, together with the correct disposal of WEEE.
Not only electric energy. The sustainability in the household appliance sector concerns also the responsible use of resources, water included; for instance, with technological solutions that allow the optimization of the detergent use and improve the food conservation performances. Without forgetting the circular economy. By adopting the principle of circularity before it became a law obligation and voluntarily establishing collective systems for the collection of the products to be replaced, today, through the correct delivery and treatment, APPLiA Italia member companies can recover and put back into the manufacturing cycle over 95% of the materials that make up their products.
The next step, as highlighted by the event, concerns the promotion of an aware culture in the household appliance sector, with the development of correct information about the benefits that appliances can offer and, at the same time, with the will of staking on targeted and efficacious support measures on a domestic scale. A fruitful dialogue, based on precise analyses of costs and benefits will be indispensable, according to APPLiA Italia, to start structural initiatives that bring advantages in the long term, in order to evaluate possible activities that are at the same time popular and environment-friendly, without neglecting the industrial aspect.
“As representatives of industry – Paolo Lioy, president APPLiA Italia states -, we propose solutions that have simplified the life of all of us and, simultaneously, have notably decreased energy consumptions. We believe that few other products are so diffused and have brought such significant efficiency improvements like our household appliances. However, we are convinced that there is still an enormous potential to be exploited, from which our Country and all of its citizens can fully benefit. We are confident in the start of a positive boost that, through the renovation of the old appliances equipping Italians’ houses, leads to a significant reduction of energy consumptions, to a decrease of bills for families, to the recovery of old products and to the support of a domestic industry that aims at the manufacturing of high-quality products”.
Numbers define the importance of household appliances in the industrial survey. Among the symbols of the Made in Italy on a global scale, the sector achieves an overall turnover of over 19 billion Euros, of which 12 of export, with over 145,000 direct and indirect workers, for 22 million appliances manufactured every year in Italy. Since 2009 to nowadays, the 17.5% increment has been scored in the number of appliances and components produced in Italy, with the 19.3% export rise. Italy, APPLiA reminds, is the second primary exporter of household appliances in Europe for value and the fifth in the world; concerning the production of professional equipment, it ranks at the top on a European and world scale and it is the second primary European manufacturer of household appliances in terms of turnover.