Beginning with the establishment of an office of environmental control nearly 40 years ago, Whirlpool Corporation
(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20040202/DETU004LOGO ) A Dynamic Approach to Energy Conservation
Whirlpool Corporation supports the idea that energy efficiency and conservation must be seen in a more holistic and dynamic way than in the past and is developing new applications that will use energy in new and effective ways, beyond just replacing one device with a newer, more efficient one. A large and disproportionate percentage of global emissions is associated with electricity generation required during peak use periods. Whirlpool Corporation's message to policymakers in Copenhagen is that the achievement of their goal of global emission reductions can be significantly accelerated through integrating smart, energy efficient appliances on a smart electricity grid. Smart appliances shift the paradigm for appliances from being passive devices that drive emissions associated with electricity generation to active parts of the electricity infrastructure, which can be drawn upon for energy storage and optimization of the grid to its greenest energy generation sources.
"We believe that the smart grid is the next opportunity for systemic energy conservation - and ultimately, emission reductions - and that smart appliances connected to the grid are an ideal complement to renewable sources of energy like wind and solar power, which are inherently variable in supply," said Jeff M. Fettig, chairman and chief executive officer, Whirlpool Corporation. "Smart appliances connected to the smart grid enhance the value of renewable generation sources. Given proper incentives and control over their smart products, consumers will play a key role in reducing peak demand, while lowering costs and creating more environmentally friendly power generation."
Requirements: Public-Private Partnerships and Open Standard
Whirlpool has stated that the success of the smart grid is dependent on public-private partnerships and the adoption of an open, global standard by the end of 2010 for transmitting and receiving signals from a home appliance. "The open, global standard needs to be consumer-friendly and independent of specific hardware. We look forward to working with all parties and to being a source of information and expertise on the role that the smart grid can play," said Fettig.
Consumer Choice and Ease of Use
Also critical, the company says, is how consumers will engage with the smart grid. "Consumers must be able to choose when they want their smart appliances to participate in the smart grid, and when they might want to opt out," said Bracken Darrell, president, Whirlpool Europe. "The offer of financial incentives - through time of use pricing - will be the single biggest driver for consumers to change their energy consumption habits. The beauty of the smart appliances we are developing today is that they will empower consumers to provide the significant benefits to the system without compromising the core performance of the products."
The Smart Green Grid Initiative at Copenhagen
Whirlpool Corporation is one of the leading members of the Smart Green Grid Initiative (SGGI), a UN-approved participating organization in the United Nations Climate Change Conference. Together with other members of the initiative - industry representatives, grid operators and energy suppliers - Whirlpool will stress the importance of collaboration between the industry, regulators, non-government organizations and other private and institutional stakeholders to drive climate change mitigation.
Leadership on Climate Change Mitigation
Whirlpool is one of the earliest founding members of the Business Environment Leadership Council (BELC), an advisory group to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. The Center conducts studies and international educational programs on the issue of global climate change. Whirlpool agrees with the Council's opinion and the views of most scientists that enough is known about the science and environmental impacts of climate change to take actions to address the consequences.
As a member of the board of directors of the Alliance to Save Energy, a coalition of prominent business, government, environmental, and consumer leaders promoting the efficient and clean use of energy worldwide to benefit consumers, the environment, the economy, and national security, Whirlpool Corporation has a long-established track record of promoting energy efficiency and sustainability efforts. These include the company's 2003 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target in accordance with the Kyoto protocol - which the company raised to an even higher target in 2007 - and its recent announcement at the Paris Energy Efficiency Global Forum to make all its appliances Smart Grid compatible by 2015.
In 2007 Whirlpool joined the Respect Table - a forum for corporate leaders to address common challenges and find common solutions for a more sustainable world. The Respect Table has together with Globe Europe and the Club of Madrid organized the set of conferences called the "Road to Copenhagen," which have contributed to the UNFCCC process.
Tom Catania, vice president, government relations, Whirlpool Corporation, will represent Whirlpool at the conference, actively taking part in the discussions and speaking as part of the Smart Green Grid Initiative.
For more information about the United Nations 15th Conference of the Parties in Copenhagen, please visit: http://en.cop15.dk/
About Whirlpool Corporation
Whirlpool Corporation recently was named one of the 500 greenest big companies in America by Newsweek magazine, one of FORTUNE's "Most Admired Companies," one of the "100 Best Corporate Citizens" by Chief Responsibility Officer magazine, one of the "Top 50 U.S. companies for Social Responsibility" by the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship and Reputation Institute, and one of the "Top 50 Most Respected U.S. Companies" by the Reputation Institute and Forbes.com.
Whirlpool Corporation is the world's leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, with annual sales of approximately $19 billion in 2008, approximately 70,000 employees, and 67 manufacturing and technology research centers around the world. The company markets Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Brastemp, Consul, Bauknecht and other major brand names to consumers in nearly every country around the world. Additional information about the company can be found at http://www.whirlpoolcorp.com/.
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