What to Look For
There is such a huge choice when it comes to white goods like washing machines that the market can seem very daunting. There are a few things to look out for when purchasing the machine to ensure it is eco-friendlier. Firstly, try to choose a machine with a good energy efficiency rating. As of March 2021, the energy labels on products has changed. On the new scale, anything rated above 'C' is great. We recommend not buying washer-dryers as they are nearly always less energy efficient. Instead, skip the tumble dryer altogether and hang your clothes out to dry! Secondly, look for machines with the right drum size for your household as underfilling the machine will make it less efficient. Third, ensure it has cool and quick wash settings to avoid washing at higher temperatures or for longer than needed, as this will use more electricity. Finally, make sure it will have a long life. As most of a washing machine’s carbon footprint occurs during manufacture, we recommend you spend a little more on a machine that will last longer.
Below are some of the top suppliers for washing machines currently on the market.
The Brand: Grundig 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. This can be seen in their washing machines which often contain drums made out of recycled plastic bottles. The parent company has created the world’s first built-in synthetic microfibre filtration system which can remove up to 90% of microplastics from waste water. In the fight against climate change, they are prepared to share this technology with any competitors wishing to use it.
The Product: What we love about Grundig is they show that sustainability doesn’t have to be super expensive. If you’re on a budget we recommend the GWN38430 8kg Washing Machine, usually available for £330. This machine provides an economical wash in 28 minutes, the automatic water level reduction for smaller loads reducing your water consumption and an inverter eco motor which is more energy efficient and quieter. Promising to last the test of time with a 10-year guarantee.
The Brand: LG have one of the more ambitious targets to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. They will do this though halving their carbon emissions in the production stage compared to 2017 and then offset the remaining carbon through external carbon reduction. Some of their other targets include: achieve a 95% waste recycling rate at production sites by 2030; collect and treat a total of 4.5 million tons of electronic waste from 2006 to 2030; Use 100% RMAP (Responsible Minerals Assurance Process) conforming smelters by 2021.
The Product: LG offer a large range of washing machines, the majority of which are rated "A" or "B" on the new energy labels. They offer very smart technology such as their AI DD which will detect the weight of your load and softness of fabric to automatically select an optimized washing pattern to protect your clothes. You can even connect your phone to your washing machine using their ThinQ technology to check how long the cycle has left and view your energy consumption. With machines ranging from around £370 - £1,200 they offer something for everyone, including some of the best quiet machines.
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, ranging from £600 - £2,500, Miele washing machines are known to last. They may even end up being more economical in the long run than having to replace a cheaper washing machine every 3-5 years. Miele claim their washing machines are designed and tested to last 20 years. Moreover, all their machines are rated "B" and above on the new energy labels. With some of their machines featuring SingleWash, a quick and economical way to wash single items. Their PowerWash technology allows appliances to wash up to 40% more economically than is required for the highest energy rating, and thanks to Spin&Spray, small loads can be washed with very low water level and savings on heating energy.
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.