Yvonne Orgill

Yvonne Orgill was appointed chief executive of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association (BMA) in 2006. She sits on many forums with the UK Government and the European Commission and regularly attends meetings to represent the UK bathroom industry. Yvonne is also the new CEO of the Unified Water Label

We all have a responsibility to use water wisely

Posted 30th May 2018

Amongst the biggest challenges in our troubled world will be how we plan to manage our dwindling resources. For the sake of our future generations, we have to take care of what we have got. The old saying, “waste not, want not” is now more important than it has ever been and we, all players in the bathroom and kitchen industry, have a responsibility to heed its premise and act sustainably.

The recent report from the Environment Agency highlighted this issue with its first major report on water resources in England. The report stated that climate change and demand from a growing population are the biggest pressures on the availability of water and without action to increase supply, reduce demand and cut down on wastage, many areas in England could see significant supply deficits by 2050.

As an industry we must no longer pay lip service to the idea that we should be saving water and energy. This is a clear reminder of the real danger of a severe drought if we do not change our habits.

Over 60% of water used in the domestic environment is associated with the bathroom and although toilet flush has significantly reduced over the last 50 years, from 13 litres and more to less than 4/2.6 litres dual flush due to innovation and technology, consumers must be encouraged to change their behaviour and replace old water guzzling products with the latest more efficient products.

Whilst all households pay for their water, it is seen as a cheap commodity. If we had to pay the same rate per litre for water as we do for fuel, the average person would be paying £168 per day for their water.

This is something that the industry does take very seriously, but we are only part of the solution, which is why water conservation and The Water Label is one of the BMA’s most important campaigns. The independent and entirely voluntary Water Labelling Scheme was developed by manufacturers in the UK bathroom industry. It is now firmly established across Europe and beyond under the guidance of the European Bathroom Forum. It encompasses 139 major bathroom brands and supports a database which exceeds 10,900 live and current products across 34 nations.

A new website has recently been launched designed to inform and educate the consumer about the benefits of The Water Label, providing them with greater knowledge to make informed choices.

The Water Label Scheme provides consumers with easy access to a database of bathroom products that meet the required high water and energy saving industry standards. The scheme provides a credible, recognisable label and the informative website educates the consumer about the benefits of The Water Label, providing them with greater knowledge.

For example, you can now buy a shower that delivers the performance and feel of a 25 litre shower using much less water, around 13 litres per minute. Greater awareness of the label will help consumers identify these products and make informed choices. Today’s savvy consumers are actively seeking this information as they move more and more to ‘greener’ ways.

Manufacturers, interior designers, merchants, retailers and installers are pivotal in ensuring consumers have the correct information, we all have a moral obligation to play our part. As the independent voice of the bathroom industry, we at the BMA are working to help both consumers and installers become more aware of water issues and the water saving products currently available on the market.

We cannot live without water. It’s important that we all play a part in conserving our water supply and use it wisely. We invite everyone to take up this cause and start making a difference – please join the initiative today!

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