Our Planet

Our vision to create a better everyday life goes beyond home furni- shing. We want our business to have a positive impact on the world – from the communities where we source our materials; to the way our products enable our customers to live a more sustainable life at home. By sharing what we do, and speaking up for what we believe in, we can be part of a positive change in society.

HOMWO wants to have a positive impact on people and the planet. That’s why we’re going all-in on things that really matter, from switching our entire lighting range to energy-efficient LED to sourcing all of the cotton we use in our products from more sustainable sources.

Sustainable World

A sustainable world that provides a great quality of life for many people, respects human rights and protects the environment is possible. We can provide for themselves and their families. We can utilise the massive potential of renewable energy, we can develop exciting new products and services that help people live more sustainable life at home. We can transform waste into resources, and protect our forest, farmland, seas and rivers for future generations. We can help people to lift of poverty by provi- ding good places to work throughout our value chain and contribute to creating a faier and more equal society for many people. HOMWO can be small, but significant, force in helping to create this more sustainable world.

Saving from HOME

Energy savings, exciting new designs, better light quality, lower environmental impact and a 20-year lifespan; new LED lighting is so much better than old incandescent lighting. So, we’ve switched our entire lighting range to LEDs. This really does mean everything, from bright and accurate kitchen lighting through to warm and cosy bedroom lighting. And don’t worry; we have a LED bulb for all your existing light fittings. Welcome to the new revolution in lighting. Welcome to the brighter world of LED.

LED bulbs are great for the planet. They use up to 85% less energy than incandescent bulbs and last up to 20 years. That is why we decided to go all-in and switch our entire ligh- ting range to LED. But back then, LED technology was considered expensive and it did not offer the different colours of light – from warm to cool – that our customers wanted.

Saving from HOME

There are simple changes you can make that can lower your energy bills even further, like using steamer inserts when you cook or washing your clothes in cold water and hanging them out to dry.

All these small actions add up!

Replacing a refrigerator or freezer with a new, energy-efficient model saves money and energy. A new fridge that has been “A++ rated” in Europe can use 40% less energy than a A- or B-class fridge. But you shouldn’t have to pay more to save energy. So we made our entire range of fridges and freezers A+ and A++ rated in Europe, and sell them at low prices so more people can afford them.

What’s the magic behind induction technology? It’s basically a magnetic field technology that only heats the pan – not the hob or surrounding air – so only a small amount of heat is wasted. Two litres of water can be brought to boil in just five minutes on an induction hob, while it takes as much as 10 minutes on a glass-ceramic hob. You’ll be seeing a lot more induction hobs from us in the future!

There are lots of simple ways to save energy at home and a couple of them only require a trip to the store. Since many homes lose heat through the floors, rugs are the best in low-cost, quick fix energy solutions.

You can save energy and regulate indoor temperatures by using texti- les to insulate your windows. Cur- tains block the hot sun in summer and help keep the heat inside during winter!

Saving water

Experts say that less than three per cent of the water on Earth is fresh water. We can all contribute to conserving this precious, shared resource. That’s why we offer kitchen and bathroom taps that reduce water consumption over 30%, and we have improved the water efficiency of many of our dishwashers and washing machines.

Precious Water

Water is a precious, and in many parts of the world, scarce resource. We want to find new, simple ways to enable our customers to conserve it. Many of our products are designed to save water. Our entire kitchen taps feature a pressure compensating aerator that restricts the flow of water, to reduce water use by up to 40%.

Store

We tend to eat what we see. As soon as you get home from the grocery store, put cereal, pasta and other dry goods in see-through or marked containers for easy-to-find menu ideas.

Preserve

A trip to the farmer’s market can easily turn into preserves for the year.

Cook and save

Leftovers are great but who wants to eat spicy black bean soup five nights in a row? Make weekly dinner menus and store leftovers in the freezer for lunch another day.

Materials caring

For a long time we have been making more from less; it’s part of our heritage. We’re also busy turning waste into resources, sourcing food and materials in a responsible way and protecting natural resources. And because we want to become energy independent, we’re making the switch to renewable energy.

Many of our products are made of wood and cotton – beautiful, natural and renewable materials. We want to make sure these materials are grown and harvested in ways that are good for people and the planet.

Good wood

We’re big fans of wood. It’s a living material that lends durability and warmth, ages beautifully and is both renewable and recyclable. That’s why we’re working hard to protect and conserve this important natural resource.

Wood is one of our most important materials and it’s used in many of our products. We continually look for ways to get the most out of the wood we use by designing our products to minimise the amount of material needed and increasing the efficiency of manufacturing.

Bamboo

Bamboo has more than a thousand species, grows mostly in the tropics and can be up to 30 metres tall. Strong and lightweight, bamboo can be used to create a hardwood effect. It grows faster than wood and does not need farming.

Working with forestry standards

Our requirements for all wood used in our products – which include a ban on wood that has been illegally harvested – from sources involved in forest-related social conflicts, or from high conservation value forests. All suppliers must comply with the standard before they can start deliveries and we use audits to check compliance.

Using wood from more sustainable sources

The volume of wood from more sustainable sources – recycled wood and wood from forests certified by the FSC – increased from 32% in 2014 to 41% in 2015.

Sourcing palm oil responsibly

We’re committed to making sure that the palm oil we use in our products is grown and processed in a responsible and sustainable way. By the end of 2015, our goal is to source 100% certified segregated sustainable palm oil.

COTTON

Cotton is one of our most important raw materials. You’ll find it in many HOMWO products, from sofas and cushions to bed sheets and mattresses. Although we love working with cotton, we were uncomfortable with the fact that growing cotton in the conventional way is often harmful to the environment and the people involved.

When grown conventionally, cotton farming uses large amounts of chemicals and water. This practice often leads to significant health risks to farmers, soil erosion and water scarcity. It also leads to higher costs, and since most cotton is grown on small farms in developing countries, many farmers struggle to make a profit.

ECO-EFFICIENT STORES

The eco-efficient store concept is one of HOMWO’s most visible and ambitious sustainability commitments. The store is the most prominent feature of the HOMWO business model, serving as the place where our customers are intro- duced to the style propositions offered by each of our products.

Eco-efficiency is now one of the primary considerations in all of HOMWO’s store design.

Efficiency: A store’s eco-efficiency is not strictly measured in terms of in-store environmental metrics, but also by addressing the fact that the store is in constant contact with its surroundings. This dialogue must also be as sustainable as possible.

Motion sensors: The use of motion sensors in storage areas allows our stores to automatically dim lighting intensity by 80% when nobody is present. Similar sensors are installed in areas with lower footfall such as bathrooms, internal corridors and areas reserved for staff.

Air conditioning: All eco-efficient stores are equipped with the most efficient climate control systems available. Sequenced powering up of energy systems prevents consumption peaks and zoning of climate control systems allows for automatic adjustment of thermostats in response to the varying occupancy and exposure to sunlight experienced by different areas of the store.

Light pollution: In order to reduce night-time light pollution, our eco-efficient stores’ lighting systems are programmed to reduce lighting output by over 50% outside store opening hours. HOMWO also prevents the unnecessary use of lighting when illuminating its store facades and shop windows wherever possible.

Air curtains: Electronically-regulated air curtains help to prevent the entry of cooler or hotter air from outside, underpinning annual energy savings of up to 15%.

Centralised control systems: Configured to enable the real-time monitoring and control of in-store energy consumption to reduce usage without undermining the customer experience.

Led lighting: Product-centred lighting system cou- pled with decorative use of LED lighting: The led (light-emitting diode) has an average life expectancy that is four times greater than that of an ordinary bulb.

Speed-controlled escalators: Speed controlled escalators – which start working at a faster rate when the system detects a user’s presence, thus using energy efficiently.

Task-specific lighting:

Lighting is programmed according to the requirements of the specific tasks to be performed in-store over the course of the day. During cleaning and loading/unloading work, lighting is cut by 66%. For cash desk closing operations, store lighting is dimmed and the lighting circuit is focused on the cash desks.

Shop window lighting:

The operational hours and intensity of shop window backlighting are analysed on a store-by-store basis according to the store’s location and the climate and light conditions in the vicinity.

Air-conditioning control:

The stores are equipped with a centralised climate control system that regulates temperatures and air quality and monitors the timing settings for cooling/heating of the store. This system allows for automatic adjustment of thermostats in response to the varying occupancy and exposure to sunlight experienced by different areas of the store.

Employee education:

To ensure the new HOMWO stores operate as efficiently as intended, utilising all their innovative eco-efficiency capabilities as effectively as possible, all store personnel receive dedicated training on the proper use of the systems along with broader environmental-awareness training.