Arçelik CEO Hakan Bulgurlu delivers a call to action to appliance manufacturers at IFA 2022.
Arçelik CEO delivers dire sustainability message to appliance makers at IFA Berlin
By Alan Wolf, YSN
Arçelik, the Turkish conglomerate whose appliance portfolio includes the Beko and Blomberg brands, has long been an outspoken environmental advocate.
But as extreme climate conditions continue to mount, the company’s CEO, Hakan Bulgurlu, returned to this month’s IFA Berlin — the world’s largest appliance and CE trade show — to implore the white-goods industry to up its ecological game.
According to a report in Dealerscope, an industry journal whose parent company produces IFA, Bulgurlu advised appliance manufacturers in a keynote address that they can play an important role in reducing climate change by creating more energy efficient products. Presently, air conditioners, refrigerators, electric motors and lighting consume 40% of the planet’s power, he said, and the number of cooling devices worldwide, including ACs, refrigerators and freezers, is expected to grow from 3.6 billion units today to 14 billion by 2050, although the world can barely handle their current energy requirements.
To slow the advent of melting glaciers, weather-related disasters and species extinctions, “We have to get to a net zero future,” Bulgurlu said. “We have to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees by the end of the century.”
Bulgurlu lauded the U.S. for passing the Inflation Reduction Act, which he described as the biggest and most impactful climate bill to date. Nevertheless, he warned attendees “to not expect governments and politicians” to help reach that 1.5-degree goal. “You have to do it. We have to do it. This is our responsibility, so I’m doing everything I can.”
Among those efforts is Arçelik’s development of “SaveWater” technology, introduced at IFA within Beko’s upcoming dishwasher and laundry lines. Dishwashers employing the new system store last-cycle rinse water for the next wash cycle, a savings of 2.6 liters of water per load, he said, while the ultra-efficient laundry pairs save up to 5.2 liters of water per load.
On a corporate level, Arçelik has employed new and more efficient production techniques that saved some 2.17 million cubic meters of water over the past dozen years — equivalent to the daily consumption of 2.7 million Turkish households. In addition, the company replaced expanded polystyrene (EPS) in products and packaging with 324 tons of 100% recycled and recyclable cardboard and 40 tons of molded pulp in 2021, while on the global front, it launched a partnership this year with Water.org to fund water access projects and sanitation solutions in Kenya, he said.
“Our planet is in a state of climate emergency,” Bulgurlu warned. “Humanity stands at a crossroads. It’s time to step up to the challenge. The reward for our collective climate action will be our security as a viable industry, operating in stable markets where people are free to grow their businesses, their families and their communities without the risk of climate catastrophe.”