As an independently family-owned company since its establishment in 1899, Miele has long been committed to its owners, employees, customers, suppliers, society and the environment.
Although ‘sustainability’ as we know it now was not a key priority for many in the 1800’s, our commitment to our guiding principle ‘Immer Besser – Forever Better’ means the concept of sustainability has always been inherent in every single aspect of our appliances – which are truly built to last.
Today, we have a specific sustainability strategy based on these values of integrity, a sense of responsibility towards people and the environment, continuity and last but not least, a sense of quality.
This month, Miele takes a deep dive into some of the ways we focus on sustainability and how we are working to continue to grow this area of the business on a daily basis.
Waste, packaging and beyond
When it comes to sustainability, one of the questions we are often asked is – How are you minimising waste? Many Miele products are made predominantly from metal, particularly our washing machines, where 90% of the product is made up of metals and other recyclable raw materials. Across all of our range of appliances, future recyclability is also taken into account from the earliest product development stages. Wherever possible, we aim to reuse materials in an effort to avoid additional waste and if that is not possible, we recycle the material with a local metal recycling organisation.
For every product, we also take into consideration how they will be protected during transportation. To keep your new appliances safe while in transit, we primarily use cardboard, wood and an expanded polystyrene, made from 98% air, all of which are recyclable.
Once packaged up, your favourite Miele appliances, production materials and replacement parts are regularly shipped to more than 100 different countries across the globe.
Given the effects travel can have on the environment, we have set the target of minimising our impacts of transportation on the environment as much as possible. This means that 84% of goods are shipped via sea freight across the globe, 12% by road, 3% by rail and less than 1% by air!
Water and energy consumption
We know how important energy and water efficient appliances are for your home and we pride ourselves on making sure we deliver nothing but the best.
During the development phase of new products, we make sure to take a well-rounded approach, in order to minimise the consumption of energy, water and detergents during the use of a new appliance, without impacting their performance. Considering the energy demand, water consumption and use of chemicals in new appliances, all play an equally important role in their effects on the environment.
For example, every one of our laundry appliances includes special features and innovations to ensure that you can care for your clothing, wallet and the environment while doing your daily washing loads. The TWF 720 is Australia’s only ten-star rated 8kg heat pump tumble dryer* and features a range of much-loved Miele innovations.
Look out for EcoDry, an intelligent interaction between the Miele filter system and the maintenance-free heat exchanger, which minimises energy consumption and drying times for the life of the appliance.
You’ll also come to know Miele’s patented honeycomb drum construction in our washing machines and tumble dryers. The unique design allows clothing items to lift and hover longer in the warm air stream, resulting in more uniform drying in a tumble dryer. While in a washing machine, the honeycomb structure helps your washing load to glide on a thin film of water and to protect them for longer.
Construction of materials
Our range of appliances are designed to be repair-friendly and durable, with every product tested to the equivalent of 20 years of usage under average household use.
During the construction phase, our goal is to minimise the number of different raw materials and avoid the use of composite materials entirely, wherever possible. This ensures that you’re always receiving quality products where the majority of components can be easily recycled at the end of the useful product life.
We also ensure every product is designed to keep emissions such as noise, odours and moisture to a minimum during use.
Miele’s meaningful partnerships
To help you explore your creativity in the kitchen, we frequently partner with like-minded chefs who have an environmentally conscious philosophy.
Miele works with eco-activist Joost Bakker and world-class chef Matt Stone, both of whom have a passion for sustainability and provide a unique experience in their dining offerings.
In the past, Miele has partnered with Joost to help bring his Greenhouse project to life by supplying our innovative and energy efficient appliances to the pop-up design installation. The Greenhouse encouraged patrons to consider a more sustainable lifestyle by showcasing just how easy it is to live a little greener. In 2012, Matt Stone utilised the kitchen set up to prepare dishes at the onsite Greenhouse café.
Matt Stone, one of Australia’s biggest advocates for low-waste food practices, regularly hosts cooking masterclasses across the Miele Experience Centres. These inclusive demonstrations bring together his passion for paddock-to-plate dining and culinary artistry. Watch our Instagram and Facebook pages where he will be stopping by to share his tips and tricks on all things sustainability.
Recreate recipes of your own from Matt Stone here and keep updated with Joost Bakker’s next pop up.
Other ways we are working towards a better future
In Germany, Miele has acquired revolutionary small-scale vertical farm Plantcube from Agrilution. The miniature vertical farm concept is seeing self-contained eco systems find their way into modern households with a set up no bigger than a typical bar refrigerator.
The Plantcube can be installed in the kitchen under the bench or in an island set up, as any normal cabinet would. The intelligent indoor garden allows green thumbs to grow salad leaves, herbs and other delicious vegetables with the self-contained system taking care of watering and nutrients, so all you need to do is harvest your plants.
Watch this space!
Our vision for the future
Sustainable innovation is entrenched in all of our values and initiatives here at Miele Australia and New Zealand, as well as across the globe.
As we continue to work towards being universally recognised as the most sustainable appliance company in the industry, we remain committed to delivering on our promise of premium appliances that stand the test of time, as well as ensuring we care for our employees and the planet in everything we do, from the creation of new innovations to our partnerships with chefs, designers and beyond.
For more information on Miele’s sustainability efforts, click here
*Energyrating.gov.au as at 11th May, 2020