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First Sustainability Standard for Household Refrigeration Appliances Developed
Jun 28, 2012
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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 U.S. 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 M. McGuire, president of 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 task force 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."

"The notion of product safety as we know it is evolving and expanding. Increasingly, consumers are concerned about the lifecycle-based environmental impacts of the products they buy and use in their homes. Appliances are no exception," said Sara Greenstein, president of UL Environment, a business unit of UL. "We applaud the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers for taking a leadership role and working together to develop this important sustainability standard. We are confident that it will help pave the way for greener, more sustainable home appliances to enter the marketplace and meet the needs of environmentally conscious consumers."

Throughout the standards development process, a cross-section of stakeholders, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Environment Canada, The Sustainability Consortium, Consumer's Union, and retailers such as Sears, Best Buy, and Lowe's, and environmental groups including the Carbon Disclosure Project were engaged to ensure that the standard is credible and compatible with existing government and retailer initiatives. PE INTERNATIONAL and Five Winds Strategic Consulting served as a project manager for this project.

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