Whirlpool Corp. says it will increase the company’s commitment to environmentally sound business practices by reducing total greenhouse gas emissions by 6.6 percent by 2012.

The company reports that it will make these voluntary reductions while increasing production 17 percent.

The output of this reduction is equivalent to approximately 4.47 million acres of trees, an area larger than the size of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined, officials said.

In 2003, Whirlpool reports that it became the first appliance manufacturer to announce a global greenhouse gas reduction target, with a goal of reducing emissions by 3 percent from 1998 levels by 2008, while at the same time increasing production by 40 percent.

Whirlpool Chairman and CEO Jeff Fettig announced the increased reductions plan in his keynote address at the Energy Efficiency Global Forum & Exposition last year in Washington, D.C.

The conference is the Alliance to Save Energy’s first global forum, bringing together world leaders to forge new partnerships and develop strategies on energy efficiency.

“Whirlpool is committed to environmentally sound business practices, and we are leading by example,” said Fettig. “But we also know that the greatest differences are achieved not on our own, but through cooperation and close collaboration with others. And that includes working with industry, policymakers and other stakeholders to create more choices and better solutions that benefit us all.”