By Claire Reilly

Grand Designs Live kicked off today, with European appliance brand Miele hosting a launch event to showcase its range of home appliances. Built in to the large expo stand were a range of appliances, including induction cooktops, rangehoods, refrigerators and Miele’s new Supertronic washing machine and dryer.

Aside from the appliances on display, Miele was also showing off its green credentials, with one wall of the Miele Kitchen Theatre featuring a “herb wall” by environmental designer and installation artist Joost Bakker.

Responsible for the Greenhouse restaurant that popped up for a stint in Sydney last year (showcasing a range of eco-friendly technologies and recycling initiatives), Bakker was talking up the importance of environmentally-focused design in house building and renovation.

The idea behind Greenhouse, according to Bakker was creating a building and a business that generated as little waste as possible.

“I’m interested in working on products that are completely recyclable,” said Bakker. “My goal isn’t to get to 90 per cent recyclable. The goal is to be 100 per cent recyclable. If your goal is zero waste then it inspires others too.”

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Follow on Twitter also spoke to national projects manager of Miele, Simon Balzer, who discussed the initiatives the company is taking in terms of sustainability and environmentally-conscious manufacturing and design.

“We used recycled metal from the production of our washing machines, for example, as counterweights in washing machines,” said Balzer. “We don’t use concrete – concrete is a pretty nasty product as we all know. So that’s one thing we do.

“We also use solar panels on all of our factories. We have centralised transport systems for the eight factories we have in Germany, and we try and use rail instead of trucking transport to minimise our CO2 emissions as well.”

Bakker also emphasised the long life span of Miele products, saying that an appliance that needs replacing less often is naturally kinder to the environment.

“And the reason why Miele and I have hooked up is because they want to make it even better,” added Bakker. “They want to get the recyclability up to 100 per cent as well, being able to reuse materials and look at different ways of doing things.”

Green advocate Joost Bakker and Miele national projects manager Simon Balzer, in front of a very impressive wall of herbs at Grand Designs Live.