The Bathroom Manufacturers Association recently conducted some research asking Brits what they really think about making their homes more sustainable. Here BMA chief executive Tom Reynolds shares the findings, and outlines the stumbling blocks holding people back from making necessary change.
"The national targets to cut carbon emissions and create a low carbon economy will change every sector in the UK in the coming decades. Our homes use 35% of the UK's total energy usage and emit 20% of carbon dioxide emissions, so we know net zero simply will not happen without a housing overhaul.
"In July, a nationally representative sample of over 2,000 people were surveyed by Opinium, a leading national polling agency, on the subject of sustainability and their homes. The results made for sobering reading – they showed that only one-in-10 Brits think their home is as sustainable as it can be. This drops to just 8% of those who rent from private landlords. And amongst homeowners, just 40% have done building work to make their home more sustainable.
"However, perhaps even more concerning, the report showed that just 42% of Brits plan to do any further work to improve sustainability, with 58% saying they have no plans to do so. Amongst those who say their home is not as sustainable as possible, the biggest barrier seems to be cost, with 77% saying it has factored into their thinking, including 54% who say it was a significant factor. Other major barriers include the disruption caused, and not knowing where to start. And most shockingly of all, more than half said sustainability is just not important to them.
"At BMA, we are focussed on sustainability in the bathroom sector and beyond, as this is one of our strategic priorities as an association. Our members are making changes to create the bathrooms of the future, delivering on water and energy efficiency, but the results of this research are stark. The public need to recognise the significance of greening our homes.
"We know the UK has some of the most energy inefficient housing in Europe, and to drive change we need incentivisation and a clear national retrofit plan of unprecedented scale. Bathroom manufacturers are making significant gains in terms of the environment, and BMA launched the 2021 Sustainability Awards to shine a spotlight on this. The awards will take place in November, to showcase and highlight the achievements. Added to that, members are also meeting regularly in open gatherings, to discuss sector-wide sustainability issues – the next Sustainability Forum takes place on 28th September, during the Installer Show, at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry. This is open to both members and non-members – book here to join us."