Versuni joins APPLiA

Home Appliance Europe, a Brussels-based trade association that provides a “voice for the home appliance industry,” has welcomed Netherlands-based Versuni, previously known as Philips Domestic Appliances, to its ranks.
With this update, Versuni joins 24 direct members and 25 national associations of 24 countries. Founded as Philips Domestic Appliances, Versuni was made independent in September 2021, and rebranded in 2023. Versuni is made up of licensed the Philips consumer brand, along with other brands such as Saeco, Gaggia, Philips Walita, Preethi, L’OR Barista and Senseo.

Versuni’s product portfolio also includes kitchen appliances and floor care, with presence in over 100 countries and 900 patents.

Henk S. de Jong, CEO of Versuni, said that the company is “committed to delivering top notch products and solutions improving daily lives, while caring for the environment,” outlining sustainability as “a core pillar of our business model.”

This makes Versuni a good fit for APPLiA as the trade association has made sustainability and reducing waste one of its key philosophies.

“APPLiA is the perfect vehicle to promote the values and contributions of the sector to the consumers, the economy and the environment alike, creating the conditions for a prosperous, future-proof development,” said de Jong.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome Versuni on board, bringing in a forward-looking vision and expertise that will be crucial catalysts to a successful advocacy strategy enshrining the diversified heritages of all members,” said Paolo Falcioni, APPLiA Director General.

Arcelik CEO Hakan Bulgurlu was named the new President of APPLiA in June 2022, taking over from Dr. Peter H. Göetz, Executive VP of BSH Europe.

AppLiA Europe chip crisis

According to the latest APPLiA Statistical Report, “the number of users of smart appliances expected by 2024 will equal the population of Australia,” highlighted Vilas. With an ever-increasing demand for home appliances comes the challenge of supplying European consumers with the most sustainable, energy-efficient products. Today, accounting for only 10% of the market share in global semiconductors, European companies have already been negatively impacted by the impending shortage, facing alterations in the production processes, supply chains and after-sales services. Moving forward, to reach the set goal of having 20% of the global market share of chips production, Europe must invest in all kinds of chips. This would lay the foundations for more balanced interdependencies, in the efforts to establish Europe as a key player in the entire global value chain.

Consortium on Microplastics Release during Household Washing Processes

Microplastics have become a topic of considerable concern across many industries and sectors. With efforts scaling up at the international level to tackle the problem, the implementation of different regulations across Europe risks hampering the free movement of goods and jeopardising the Single Market. All of which calls for the adoption of a lifecycle-based approach to identify the most cost-effective solution to a global issue.

Concern about the potential impact of microplastics has gathered momentum during the past few years. The number of scientific investigations has increased, along with public interest and pressure on stakeholders. “Understanding the magnitude of the issue is key to ensure an effective solution,” explained Giulia Zilla, APPLiA’s Energy & Environment Policy Manager when interviewed by Radio24 on the role and contribution of the home appliance industry to this global problem. Whilst lengthy discussions are taking place on trying to identify solutions, it is essential to acknowledge the complexity of the issue. In this sense, the deployment of washing machine filters into European homes has been widely identified as a possible mitigation strategy to microfiber emissions. “While filters can contribute to halting the journey of microplastics before they reach the environment, a more comprehensive and long-term solution, reconsidering the very use of plastics, is needed,commented Zilla. Mandating the equipping of all household washing machines with a filter does not seem to represent a conclusive solution to tackle the microplastics issue, as fibres will always find their way into the environment, if present in textile products themselves.

Before setting any legislative requirements on washing machines, a number of technical considerations must be addressed. Among others, the filter can cause clogging of the machine but what is more, the burden of maintenance to keep the machine running would fall on consumers, from cleaning to replacement and disposal, in order to prevent the rinsing off of fibres in the sink. Even in the case of integrated filters, it would be very problematic to deal with the maintenance of the filter itself while ensuring the best performance of the machine.

As a key actor in the discussion, APPLiA is the coordinator of the Consortium on Microplastics Release during Household Washing Processes, bringing together over 20 signatory parties ranging from washing machines, detergent and filter manufacturers, to test institutes and facilities towards a standardised testing methodology assessing microplastics release during household washing cycle. These preliminary but rather concrete steps make clear the industry’s commitment to take part in the discussion and ultimately tackle microplastic pollution in Europe.

Giulia Zilla, APPLiA’s Energy & Environment Policy Manager, was invited to present the contribution of the home appliance sector in tackling the global microplastics challenge in an insightful discussion on Radio24’s Si può fare led by Laura Bettini.

Do you speak Italian? The recording is available at this link.