Earth Innovation Forum: Each of us has a role to play in a Circular Society

On September 5th, APPLiA's Director General, Paolo Falcioni presented how innovative solutions coming from the home appliance sector could provide an answer in moving towards sustainable societies. 

“We should not only think of a Circular economy, we must think of a Circular society. The challenge ahead of us is not only an economical challenge, but a societal challenge.”

This was the one message the Director General of APPLiA, Paolo Falcioni wished the participants in the High-level International Environment Conference “Earth Innovation Forum” held in Talinn, Estonia, to bring home.

It has now been almost a year since the Circular Society initiative was launched, aiming at raising awareness about sustainable consumer behaviour and moreover, showcasing some of the most sustainable projects worldwide. While a lot of efforts to achieve circularity have been invested by many actors, including the creative minds of home appliance engineers, “there is something to do for the society”, Falcioni said.

Recent findings of the Material Flows study, commissioned to the United Nations University, show that from the 6Mt of material placed on market, 5 Mt is generated as waste. Being capable of tracing only 4 Mt of appliances, today, 3.5 Mt actually turn into secondary material.

Speaking about one of “the least utilised products”, the dishwasher, Falcioni pointed out that using a dishwasher instead of doing the dishes by hand could save up to 10 times more water (#Dishwasher4All) and drastically lower people’s energy bills. “If policy was conducive to increase the penetration of the dishwasher, there is no need for making the dishwasher marginally better, what in Brussels jargon means to introduce ecodesign performances. When comparing dishwasher use with washing the dishes by hand, we have an obvious result: everybody should deserve one”, APPLiA’s Director General explained.

Being at the Earth Innovation Forum, Paolo Falcioni could not leave on a side the latest innovative type of products the sector is manufacturing for Europeans’ homes. With smart appliances being able to match the supply of a variable energy source, such as renewables, with the necessary variable being demand, Falcioni described the link between the two as the “hot spot for home appliances”.

 Smart solutions allow consumers not only to add more comfort and connectivity to their daily lives, but also to choose a more sustainable way of living.