What to Look for
Because microwaves cook faster than ovens and stoves they can be a very energy efficient way to cook some food, especially if reheating leftovers. It is good to choose one which will last and recycle your old one properly as electronic waste can have huge detrimental impacts on the environment. Unfortunately, microwaves don’t come with an energy star label so finding more efficient ones can be tricky. We also recommend keeping your microwave clean as dirty ones cook slower making them less energy efficient. You can find a DIY natural cleaner here.
The brand: having won the German sustainability award in 2014, Miele have often strived to put sustainability at the core of what they do. Their 2019 sustainability report has clearly been thought through as they align with scientific targets of keeping temperatures below 2°C and consider not only their manufacturing emissions, but also the scope three emissions from the usage stage of their products. The company is working towards carbon neutrality by 2050.
The product: whilst definitely more expensive, Miele microwaves are built to last which is always an environmental benefit. Their range consists of one free-standing microwave costing £599 and five built-in microwaves ranging from £749-£1,149. Most of their microwaves come with automatic programmes in which you input the programme and weight and the appliance will cook it for the right amount of time. This saves energy wasted on cooking food for too long. They provide a 2-year warranty on all their appliances.
The brand: AEG are part of the Electrolux group who reported a 75% reduction in absolute CO2 emissions from operations since 2005 in their 2019 sustainability report. They are aiming for climate neutral operations (scope 1 and 2 emissions) by 2030 and for a climate neutral value chain (all activities involved in bringing a valuable product to market e.g. logistics, marketing, HR) by 2050. They acknowledge that product energy use (scope 3) is responsible for over 80% of their climate impact and are therefore working to improve product efficiency. One way they are doing this is through eliminating use of hydro fluorocarbons (potentially harmful refrigerants) and are finding alternative refrigerants with less Global Warming Potential. Their nine promises include improving product performance and efficiency, making better use of resources, eliminating harmful materials, creating solutions for healthy and sustainable living for more people and improving supply chain sustainability. In 2019 their products used 20 times more recycled plastic than in 2011.
The product: AEG only sell integrated microwaves but are a much cheaper option which don’t compromise on style. Their microwaves range from £369-£619.99. They feature an automatic defrost option based on food type and weight as well as three ‘favourite’ functions which can be used of soften butter, melt chocolate or make a mug cake. They offer a 2-year warranty on all appliances and we love that for a small fee they will recycle your old microwave. The fee pays for the safe transportation of the product, the actual recycling cost are footed by the manufacturer.
The brand: Beko is part of Arçelik, who have some inspiring sustainability goals. They are aiming to reduce energy consumption per product by 45%, increase their waste recycling rate to 99% in global operations and reduce water withdrawal per product by 45%, all by 2030, from their 2015 baseline. They also want to increase recycled plastic content in products to 40% by 2030.
The product: Beko offer the widest range of both free-standing and built-in microwaves, ranging from £65 for a 700W compact microwave to £319. The built-in ones come with a 2-year guarantee. These are a great choice if you are looking for a free-standing microwave or have a smaller budget.
We try our best to research and find the best environmentally-friendly companies to recommend here. However, if you have any suggestions that we might not know of, or disagree with any of our recommendations, please get in contact: firstname.lastname@example.org .We always want to learn more about the companies with the potential to save our future.