No navel-gazing here

News And Views

News & Views

IFA
  • 16 September 2019
  • Lauren Quilty

IFA 2019

Last week, 3 Monkeys Zeno showed up at the world's leading trade show for consumer electronics and home appliances: IFA.

IFA is a space for technology companies to show off the latest innovations and developments their engineers and product teams have been squirreling away on over the past year; from emerging technologies to the latest trends impacting the industry.

Last week, 3 Monkeys Zeno showed up at the world's leading trade show for consumer electronics and home appliances: IFA.

IFA is a space for technology companies to show off the latest innovations and developments their engineers and product teams have been squirreling away on over the past year; from emerging technologies to the latest trends impacting the industry.

And we saw it all. From 5G smartphones, to Smart Mirrors (yes, that’s a thing apparently) and therapeutic robot cushions (kid you not), IFA is an event to embrace the weird and wonderful technological innovations.

But amongst all of the product launches the most impressive launch for me, wasn’t a launch at all, it was a keynote from Hakan Bulgurlu, CEO of a global appliances brand called Arçelik.

In his keynote, Hakan chose to talk about an issue which is affecting us all worldwide: plastic pollution.

Sustainability used to be seen as a “nice to have”, maybe a paragraph added to an annual report, but today sustainability is a way of life and a business model. We are living in an era of ‘climate catastrophe’, said Bulgurli, and responsible brands need to fall in line to make a positive change.

Every single minute two million plastic bags and one million water bottles are consumed – staggeringly 90% of these are not recycled and find their way into land fill or our oceans. These figures prove plastic pollution is not just the latest thing we have to think about, but an issue escalating at a frightening pace.

In a global survey of 30,000 people, 62% of respondents said they would prefer buying from a more expensive brand or product that does the right thing by the environment. There is clearly consumer appetite and willing to make purchase choices which inspire a positive change, regardless of however big or small. If there is consumer appetite then of course there is a business and stakeholder incentive, too.

Now it might seem hypocritical for an appliances brand to speak so passionately about plastic waste, but Arçelik shared what they are doing to reduce their environmental impact. From Solar Fridges (providing countries off the grid with solar powered refrigerators to store food, vaccines and medicines), to appliances made from biodegradable plastic and recovered fishing nets, Arçelik has proven small measures can be taken to dramatically reduce landfill and rethink our relationship with plastic.

What was inspiring about this keynote was the call to action Arçelik served its audience. Arçelik used its platform at IFA to inspire change, inviting its competitors to further its technology, recognising that it is only when its competitors come on board that real change can happen. So the industry can excel together and serve the greater good. By doing so, the latest sustainability innovations can become more mass produced, bringing down costs, so choosing to shop sustainability doesn’t break the bank.

Now that’s what you call a brand with purpose, bravo Arçelik.