Environmental life cycle assessment study of replacement and refurbishment options for domestic washing machines.
This report is a summary document that outlines the main findings of the work.
Key conclusions of the work were:
In general, replacing a machine is only likely to deliver environmental savings if the new model is a highly energy-efficient machine.
Refurbishment of existing machines can be environmentally preferable to replacement in a number of cases.
Where there are key resource constraints, for example in areas where water supply is a concern, we acknowledge that upgrading to a new model may be prioritised to reduce water consumption.
This study assumed that consumers would use a new or refurbished machine in the same manner that they used the old one. If purchasing a new machine results in the consumer using a lower impact wash programme (e.g. 30°C or lower) then this could result in more environmental benefits than modelled here.
A full ISO14040-compliant peer-reviewed LCA is available on request. If you would like a copy of the full report please email us.