Sustainability has become an increasingly important topic for consumers when out shopping for new home appliances. While most major companies have begun adopting ways to make their products more environmentally friendly, Beko has been leading the pack for several years. Beko’s primary goal is to create sustainable appliances that make the planet a better, healthier place for everyone to live. The company has been consistently recognized for its mission, earning Good Housekeeping’s Sustainable Innovation Award and Energy Star’s Sustained Excellence Award multiple times. Dealerscope recently sat down with Justin Reinke, vice president of marketing at Beko, to discuss the company’s approach to sustainability, some of its initiatives and products, and what its plans are for the future of the home appliance market.
Dealerscope: To start off, can you talk about Beko’s approach to sustainability?
Justin Reinke: Beko is a subsidiary of Arçelik, which is one of the top global appliance companies. Arçelik starts almost everything with sustainability. It’s really a core part of the DNA of the company, which is then translated to Beko in the U.S. … As Arçelik thinks about sustainability, we start to talk about net zero quite a bit. Our factories have been net zero since 2019 – and that’s a global number. We are pushing to have our whole value chain be at net zero by 2050. And then there’s things like the CEO of the whole company climbed Mount Everest to raise awareness about global warming. From a product standpoint, we talk about the brand as healthy living. We want to empower our customers to live healthily while understanding that they can only do that on a healthy planet. So, it’s really about enabling customers to live healthy lives on a healthy planet.
When we think about a lot of the products that we bring to market, we want those products to really live up to both of those pieces. For instance, one of the biggest products that we’re launching this year is a line of refrigerators. (They) feature something called Harvest Fresh, which helps to preserve your food for up to 30 days … It also helps eliminate, or at least reduce, food waste, which is a huge contributor to global warming. So, (sustainability) goes across the company from a corporate kind of value chain manufacturing standpoint, all the way to the products that we produce.
Dealerscope: Are there any other products, or features of certain products, that you would like to highlight?
Justin Reinke: I mean, it goes across all of them. So, there’s the refrigeration example that I gave you. We also have a line of laundry products that have a feature we call RecycledTub. It’s a front load washing machine. The wash tub is actually made from 60 recycled plastic bottles. If you add up how many of those we’ve produced over the years, it adds up to around 114 million bottles that aren’t ending up in landfills or the ocean … We’re introducing a new model with a closed loop heat pump that can save up to 50% of the energy that’s used by conventional dryers … We also have a dishwasher line with a product called CornerIntense. It actually has a spray arm that works on two axes. It covers all four corners of the dishwasher and actually sprays in a square pattern instead of a round pattern. It actually uses 50% less water and a third less energy than the EPA requires. So, all up and down the line, we’re supporting that sustainability, healthy living, healthy planet mission.
Dealerscope: Why is sustainability something that Beko has really decided to focus on?
Justin Reinke: I think it goes back to the DNA of the whole company. We really believe as a company … that doing the right thing for the planet is the way to ensure we’re leaving things better off for future generations. You’ll hear the leadership talk about how we really feel it’s a responsibility of ours not just to produce washing machines, refrigerators, dishwashers, things like that, but to actually do those in a responsible way. Going forward, that just means whatever residents in whatever home, they need to be able to produce as much or more power onsite as they give off. We’re partnering with a guy in Santa Monica to help build this house that’s like a case study example of what you could do with the net zero home, because we really think that is one of the things that people are starting to talk about more.
Dealerscope: What are some of the other initiatives the company is undertaking to showcase its dedication to sustainability?
Justin Reinke: From a global standpoint, we partner with a group called Water.org, which operates in Kenya. Here in the U.S., it’s more about the products that we bring to market and the partnerships that we have. We have a group that we pull together called our Healthy Kitchen Council, which is a group of 12 design experts, nutritionists, influencers and people like that, that we work with to help understand healthy food and things like that.
Dealerscope: What do you think puts Beko above its competitors?
Justin Reinke: This is an interesting one, because if you really believe that we all have some responsibility to do what we can to help the planet and help future generations, it’s actually good for everybody that Whirlpool, Samsung, and whoever else is doing things around sustainability. So, it’s not like I’m going to say, “God, you know … I wish they wouldn’t do anything.” We’re glad everybody’s doing something. But a lot of the things that they’re announcing they’re going to do in 2030 are things we did five years ago. We’re just ahead of them. I think the reason we’re ahead of them is because it’s core to who we are as a company. It’s not an afterthought for us. It’s really a part of what we do.
Dealerscope: What are some of the things Beko is doing that work towards continuing its mission of sustainability?
Justin Reinke: I already mentioned the fact that all of our factories are at a net zero carbon footprint since 2019. That’s a big one. We’re also taking on initiatives looking at recycled packaging. When you get an appliance delivered to your house, there’s a lot of styrofoam still included. We have things that we’re working on to eliminate a lot of that going forward.
Dealerscope: What do you think the future of the home appliance market looks like in regard to sustainability?
Justin Reinke: I think it moves from a “nice to have” to a “must have.” There’s a group of consumers out there that are becoming a larger and larger group all the time. If you ask the general population if they care about the environment, their answer is going to be yes. Right? But if we ask a certain segment of people that really care about health and healthy living on a healthy planet, they make their purchase decisions based on that. I think the future here is more about the consumer and what they value and what they make their purchase decisions based on. I think they’ll look more and more across all industries, not just appliances, for those purpose-driven brands that really line up to what their values are.
Dealerscope: What role do you see Beko playing in that future?
Justin Reinke: I hope the answer is a leadership role. I hope Beko becomes the appliance of choice for those people that care about healthy living and a healthy planet. We’ve been in the U.S. for about six years. We’ve got full distribution now across the whole country. We’ve got a full suite of products that deliver on that promise … I hope not too long from now, we’re a household name for everybody that cares about these things that we’re talking about. The competitive person in me wants to win and grow our business and say we’re doing so much better than everybody else but … I want everybody to do a lot in terms of sustainability because it helps the world, it helps everybody. We’re happy to lead, but I hope everybody else is following close behind us.