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Eco design

Eco-design policy

Groupe SEB's eco-design policy aims to reduce the environmental footprint of products throughout their life cycle. In 2020, the Group clarified its definition of an eco-designed product. This is a product that must be:

  • sustainable,
  • recyclable,
  • with a third strong environmental asset

Eco-responsible packaging is also strongly recommended.

The criteria of sustainability, recyclability, energy efficiency and integration of alternative materials are explained in a precise manner (quantitative thresholds and / or qualitative characteristics) for each product universe: Small household appliances, Cookware, Kitchen utensils. These rules, formalized in 2020, have been tested with the support of Ernst & Young to ensure their relevance and robustness. They constitute a repository which serves as an operating mode for the teams.


couverture guide ecoconception

Groupe SEB’s eco-design policy aims to reduce the environmental footprint of the Group’s products throughout their life cycle. To move forward with this policy, it is supported by an eco-design guide that clearly incorporates every stage of the life cycle of products and their packaging (extraction of raw materials, manufacturing, transport, use and end of life). It is structured around the Group’s eco-design priorities: energy efficiency, recyclability, reparability, use of recycled materials and bio-sourced polymers, reduction of carbon footprint during transport, replacement of unpopular substances, etc. For each eco-design priority, the guide states the Group’s ambitions and defines performance levels based on measurable criteria. Eco-design is embedded within the product design process and allows project teams to select the appropriate performance level for each new product based on the specifications.


The Group regularly updates its product life cycle (PLC) studies. These significant studies, which measure the various impacts of products on the environment, enable us to focus our research on reducing their ecological footprint. In 2020, 75% of families of products defined as the most significant were covered by a life cycle analysis. A new PLC study was done on blow-brushes and those relating to hair dryers and garment steam brushes were completely reviewed.

In 2016, the Group undertook to establish the environmental profile of each product family through summary fact sheets for internal use. Based on the results of the PLC study, they respond to 3 questions:

  • Which stage of the product life cycle affects climate change the most?
  • What resources are required to manufacture the product and make it work?
  • What ways are there to reduce the impact on the climate and resources?


Over the whole product life cycle, close to three-quarters of the carbon impact comes from their energy consumption during the use phase, which far outstrips the figure for the manufacturing phase (1.3%). Aware of the importance of the energy issue, since 2015 the Group has ramped up its coordination of such initiatives. It is concentrating its efforts on about fifteen priority product families, those with the greater impact on electrical consumption in terms of their individual consumption and the volumes sold. For each one, the Group defined a standard method for calculating consumption and energy efficiency, as well as one or two standard products that will be used as a benchmark for measuring progress.

silence steam eco
  • In the case of kettles, for example, aside from temperature setting functionality, which has already been incorporated, the Group is working on multiple areas of improvement, in particular to help consumers to only heat the amount of water they need.
  • There has also been an emphasis on hairdryers with all new ranges released in 2019 now using the Effiwatts technology: on a like-for-like performance basis appliances consume on average 20% less energy than the benchmark models.
  • In previous years, the Group had already made significant progress on vacuum cleaners: in three years (2014-2017), the Marketing and R&D teams redesigned all the cylinder vacuum cleaner ranges, reducing energy consumption by 70% with no trade-off in terms of cleaning power or noise level.
  • The Group is also encouraging consumers to properly adjust their appliances. For example, in an increasing number of steam generators, the product automatically starts in “eco” mode rather than in standard mode. This initial default setting removes the risk of the consumer using a setting that is potentially more than they need.


Fully aware of the importance of being able to recycle products to limit waste, we assess the potential recyclability of each one of our products according to a harmonized method.

To increase recyclability rates, we are working on several fronts:

  • the priority use of recyclable materials, including metal components and certain plastics such polypropylene
  • a reduction in the number of materials in our products to make sorting easier when recycling
  • the design of simple products that are easy to dismantle.

In 2019, the average potential recyclability rate of the electrical product families designed in the year reached around 80%.


The use of recycled materials

Groupe SEB uses more and more recycled materials in its products. At year-end 2019, for products manufactured in-house, it had already exceeded its target set in 2013 of incorporating 20% recycled materials in new products and packaging by 2020, achieving 35%. The target is now 50% by 2023.

It also made a specific commitment on recycled plastics, with the goal of doubling the annual use in France by 2025 compared to 2017 (subject to any changes in applicable regulations that might impact this strategy). With this in mind, the product design process now incorporates a new stage where the Purchasing and Development teams systematically study the possibility of using recycled plastic in the various parts.


-15% carbon intensity on the energy consumption of our products
- 50% of recycled materials in Group products (including packaging)
- Double the amount of recycled plastic in products manufactured in France (2017 base)