On Friday, the keynote opened up with David Ruetz, Senior Vice President of IFA Berlin 2022, saying how he had missed everyone after being apart for three years and how glad he is that they had a good start [to the tradeshow]. He mentioned that connectivity, smart homes, and sustainability are the three big trends of IFA this year. Ruetz said sustainability was the biggest trend out of the ones listed. He goes on to explain that “Companies are working hard to make sure that devices are being manufactured in a way that is sustainable and more products that help consumers to live a healthy and sustainable lifestyle [are being made].” On the topic of sustainability, the main speaker for the keynote was introduced, Hakan Bulgurlu, CEO of Arcelik. Hakan Bulgurlu is known for climbing up Mount Everest to raise awareness of climate change risks.
Hakan started by listing what people should do to reduce their amount of energy consumption. “Turn off your air conditioners in this blistering heat. Like the French would say, wash only parts of your body when you shower or shower with cold water, unplug your appliances when you’re not using them, don’t drive, ride a bicycle.” He emphasized how we need more people to participate in sustainable practices because the damage caused could be problematic for future generations.
Multiple companies have made sustainability an important part of their business practices and this could set a good example for consumers to be conscious of their waste as well. He pointed out that in the world there are about 3.6 billion cooling devices (air conditioners, refrigerators, freezers) and by 2050 that number will go up to 14 billion. He goes on to explain that the world right now can barely handle the amount of energy used by the 3.6 billion we have today.
He pointed out how the glaciers are melting, more weather-related disasters are happening, and more species are dying out because their home environment is no longer livable.”We have to get to a net zero future. We had to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees by the end of the century. And do not expect your governments and politicians to do this either. You have to do it. We have to do it. This is our responsibility. So I’m doing everything I can.” Bulgurlu said.
Bulgurlu went on by encouraging companies to create more energy-efficient appliances to help fight climate change. “Energy efficiency is the only quick solution if we utilize fully that we can get to this 1.5-degree future.”
He pointed out that the role of appliances is far bigger than anyone can imagine and that AC, refrigeration, electric motors, and lighting, consume 40% of all power in the world. “If there is a cleaner technology available, it should be mandatory that all of us use it.” He highlighted how the appliance company, Beko, has created sustainable washing machines that use less water. He wanted to make sure that companies see that sustainable products can be achieved and they should strive for eco-friendly products.
Bulgurlu talked about the US passing the “Inflation Reduction Act” and how it’s the biggest climate bill that’s ever been before. “They [the US] changed the description of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere, from emissions to pollution. You may not think that’s a big change, but it’s a huge change by making it pollution. They have reduced the ability of courts to overturn the reduction in methane filtration requirements. Changing the description, really made a lasting policy change.” He compared it to Europe’s Green Deal, but said “ Europe still now looks tiny compared to what the Biden administration has achieved.”
He ended his speech by asking the audience to think about which they would prefer: a poor planet and rich people or a rich planet and rich people.