Sustainable Industry

The industry is part of the solution to overcome the water crisis

State-of-the-art household appliances and solutions that reduce environmental impacts are some of the innovations

Water occupies 70% of the earth’s surface, but only 1% of it can be used for human consumption. In order to reduce waste, technological innovation has to be part of our home. The industry has invested in the manufacturing of equipment and solutions that help to reduce the environmental impacts of ordinary daily activities.

“There is great concern with water being used rationally, and the industry, increasingly mindful, is concerned with the production of equipment that uses as little water as possible. Consumers can now be more efficient in terms of using this resource”, said Gesner Oliveira, professor and coordinator of the Center for Studies, Infrastructure and Environmental Solutions at Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV).

Home appliancesEcodesign, a segment that aims to produce items that strive for sustainability, is being developed by industries since the 1990s, and has already achieved considerable results.

Current models of washing machines, for example, use half the volume of water that the old models used 15 years ago. Dishwashers, in addition to its convenience, use six times less water than washing the dishes in the sink – 16 liters of water per wash cycle, while doing it manually requires 96 liters per wash.

In the bathroom, which accounts for more than half of the water used in households, industry innovations were essential to reduce the use of water. Self-closing faucets have reduced water use by 77% in the last decade. Showers – one of the biggest villains of water consumption in homes –, use 79% less water than they did one decade ago, thanks to flow regulators developed by the industry. Toilets have virtually halved the volume of water in the last 20 years – from 12 liters per day to 6.8 liters.

Production – Sustainable evolution has also affected how the industry produces materials and equipment that will be used in our homes. “There has been a significant improvement in the efficiency of water use by the industry, which has designed its production process to reduce the volumes used”, explained Gesner.

The production of concentrated liquid soap, for example, uses 40% less water than that of traditional liquid soap – having the same cleansing performance. In a single year, consumers who prefer concentrated soap spend 12.6 million liters less water, enough to fill five Olympic-sized swimming pools.