Critical Materials Management (CMM) to Drive Whirlpool Corporation’s Product Transparency and Traceability

Feb 3, 2017 1:00 PM ET

Whirlpool Corporation is a long-time global leader in delivering quality products with a prominent focus on promoting healthy living and environmental responsibility. While the global material regulatory environment is continuously expanding, Whirlpool is committed to comply with all applicable laws and is taking serious strides to proactively implement processes and systems to promote social responsibility.

Critical Materials Management (CMM) is a key program where Whirlpool Global Sustainability (WGS) is driving the concept of “Design for Compliance” — making compliance related activities a key priority to achieve 90% full material transparency on all new parts of Whirlpool Corporation appliances by 2020 goals. The program introduces new processes and capabilities that enable proactive tracking, collection and assessment of every chemical composition of our products globally. In addition, CMM fosters a new level of transparency and collaboration between Whirlpool Corporation and its suppliers, thereby enabling efficient, accurate and timely response to the ever-changing regulatory landscape. CMM strategy will not only provide Whirlpool the ability to manage materials for regulations, but also to understand material risk, material alternatives and provide full transparency of material content with only one request to the supply base.

Moreover, 90% transparency of materials content in our product will provide significant benefits to Whirlpool Corporation including reduced eco-fees, eliminated fines, and meeting trade customer requirements related to sustainability.

To facilitate the CMM business processes, a major third party global solution was implemented to support and automate the data collection, storage and reporting needs of the company. Functioning as a bill-ofmaterial analysis solution, software solution aids in assessing part compliance, risk and cost beginning early in the innovation process — truly making CMM a “Design for Compliance” process — and continuing throughout the product lifecycle. The software solution complements the existing design and works cohesively with other supply chain data management systems including SAP. The solutions help reduce risk, provide robustness, and attain higher efficiency and flexibility.

The software solution enables standardization and automation of processes related to tracking, collection, and management of compliance data associated with parts procured from suppliers. Functioning as a single source for all compliance data, software solution will facilitate easy and quick retrieval of all relevant data (report generation) associated with any compliance (e.g., RoHS, REACH, Food Contact, etc.).

This first appeared in Whirlpool Corporation's 2015 Sustainability Report, the full version of which is available HERE. Look forward to more individual highlights from the report within the next several months via 3BL Media.