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Inside cities, there are homes: sustainability starts there

Paolo Falcioni, APPLiA Europe’s Director General, was invited to share the experience of the home appliance industry at the third UN Science Policy Business Forum on the Environment, a high-level panel convened by UNEP on “Rethinking Cities: Bringing Nature to the Urban Environment''.

How can sustainable lifestyles and the commitment to resource efficiency ensure that home appliances contribute to a sustainable urban environment? Paolo Falcioni, APPLiA Europe’s Director General, was invited to share the experience of the home appliance industry at the third UN Science Policy Business Forum on the Environment, a high-level panel convened by UNEP on “Rethinking Cities: Bringing Nature to the Urban Environment''.

“Each of us can make the difference,” opened Paolo Falcioni. “Take the case of dishwashers. A dishwasher uses around a tenth of the water and half of the energy that hand-washing would require, instead,” he continued, “and this brings us to the need to use the already available technologies” Despite the relevant achievements, data show that around 55% of households in Europe do not hold a dishwasher. And, most importantly, a significant gap exists in the penetration rate between countries across Europe. “We need to work to bridge existing disparities and this is where innovative business models, such as the Papillon Project and Smartloop, bring in their added value in improving our sustainability score,” explained Mr Falcioni. 

Circularity also goes in parallel with the topic of sustainability. Moving towards a circular economy would deliver benefits such as reducing pressure on the environment, improving the efficient use of raw materials, stimulating innovation and boosting economic growth, providing this way a service to the entire society. “As a sector, our aim is to pursue circularity at all stages for all our products,” commented Paolo Falcioni. Indeed, a circular model entails responsible production and consumption patterns. Citizens and the environment will benefit from products that are increasingly more durable, reusable, repairable, recyclable, and energy-efficient.

Within this framework, multi-level and cross-sectoral cooperation is key to drive a more sustainable transformation of cities across Europe and ultimately deploy a more integrated and inclusive solution for all.