Chief executive of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association Tom Reynolds considers this year's achievements, looks ahead to 2022, and reveals why 'green' gifts, good company and a drop of fine whiskey are all he wants for Christmas.
"Whether it’s the ongoing risk of the pandemic, the looming interest rate hikes, or the global supply problems threatening our pigs in blankets, this year feels different. Celebrations and gift giving have changed, and I can see the benefits for everyone. I suspect there will be many homes where less wrapping paper, fewer physical gifts and shorter grocery receipts will be high on people’s wish lists.
"A recent Christmas survey from Tesco found more than a third of people want to be more sustainable, and research from American Express suggests we are happy to spend more on ‘green’ gifts. I love this time of year, but when you think about it, ‘getting into the Christmas spirit’ really translates to 'buying a lot of stuff'. At times it is mass consumption at its most emotionless and absurd. I’d be happy with a good whiskey and the company of family and friends.
"With the COP26 climate change talks fresh in our minds, the collective Christmas challenge should be to ‘tread lightly’ and reduce our environmental impact.
At the BMA this festive season, sustainability is firmly on our radar. Our recent work includes:
* Becoming a business partner for the CLC’s Co2nstruct Zero Performance Framework
* Celebrating the achievement of our members in our first BMA Sustainability Awards
* Developing submissions to Government on policies to reduce domestic water consumption
"The abstracting, pumping, treating and heating of every drop of water consumes energy and releases greenhouse gases, and with 60%-70% of household water used in the bathroom, our sector can make a big impact.
"BMA’s members are making tremendous changes to transform their businesses and create the bathrooms of the future. Innovations in showering mean consumers can set a maximum temperature, limit shower duration and opt for a decreased flow rate without compromising their experience. Connections to smart apps can collect data on the showering habits of each household member, and proximity sensors can reduce flow if the user steps away from the water stream. Many bathroom manufacturers are developing their customer communications channels to encourage water-saving behaviour.
"We are committed to working closely with the Construction Leadership Council to play our part in Co2nstruct Zero, helping to reduce the impact of the built environment.
"As I look ahead to 2022, there is a degree of apprehension and uneasiness, given the times we’re living in. But I hope for a year of transformation, a step change in our response to climate change, and meaningful engagement with Government policymakers to reduce domestic water consumption. It’s a meaty list, and one which Santa will probably run from, but with a fair wind I’m hopeful we can deliver.
"In the meantime, I’m planning a relaxed family Christmas with that good bottle of whiskey and plenty of free time to muse about how we can make 2022 a transformative year."