Sustainability standards move ahead in home appliances

The sustainability standards for refrigerators, announced recently by the Association for Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), are the result of cooperative work by UL Environment, CSA Group and the AHAM taskforce consisting of industry experts.

The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), CSA Group, and UL Environment announced the release of AHAM 7001-2012/CSA SPE- 7001-12/UL 7001, Sustainability Standard for Household Refrigeration Appliances, the first voluntary sustainability standard for home appliances. This new standard is the first in a family of product sustainability standards under development by AHAM, CSA Group and UL Environment intended for use by manufacturers, governments, retailers and others to identify environmentally preferable products. The standard is based on a lifecycle approach for identifying the environmental impacts of refrigeration products in five key areas: energy, materials, end-of-life, performance, and manufacturing.

This standard will serve as an objective and practical measurement tool to assist refrigeration manufacturers in evaluating the environmental sustainability of home appliances. The three organizations next will form consensus committees to move the standard through the United States and Canadian accredited standards process, following the requirements of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Standards Council of Canada (SCC), respectively.

“The AHAM-CSA-UL collaboration represents vast experience in appliance design, manufacture and use, standards development and product lifecycle analysis. Coupled with the critical stakeholder input, we believe this standard and others that will follow represent a strong commitment to sustainability and provide workable tools for appliance purchasers to compare the environmental attributes of appliances,” explained Joseph McGuire, president of the AHAM.

“CSA Group is committed to developing standards for evaluating and communicating environmental information for products and services that help advance environmental performance and consumer knowledge,” said Bonnie Rose, president, Standards, CSA Group. “Working together on the taskforce for sustainability of household refrigeration appliances, we have jointly developed the first of many new product standards that look at the environmental impact of products across their full life cycle.”