Yvonne Orgill, MD at The Unified Water Label Association (UWLA) calls on the industry to put water efficiency at the top of their agenda in 2022, and support the Unified Water Label – or risk restrictive legislation from the Government via a mandatory label.
“The time for talking is over – the industry has to take this issue seriously and invest in communicating the benefits of water-efficient products as well as promoting the use of the label.
“The Government will begin a consultation process next year for the introduction of a mandatory water label to support its aim to achieve clean and plentiful water, and reach net zero emissions by 2050, as part of the 25-Year Environment Plan.
“The UWLA is already in pre-consultation discussion with DEFRA and BEIS, bringing them up-to-date with the Unified Water Label, which is tried and tested in the marketplace. The label is also recognised internationally as it is included in new, and soon-to-be-issued, ISO 31600 on good practice water-efficiency labelling schemes.
“The industry must come together and show its support for the Unified Water Label, demonstrating that the label we have is robust and will achieve the water-efficiency aims required. If the Government does not accept the Unified Water Label and develops its own mandatory label, this is likely to come with restrictions. Enforced restrictions will stifle innovation and force manufacturers to limit their product range.
“This should be viewed as an opportunity not a threat. We can take advantage of the significant change in attitudes towards sustainable products – consumers are now seeking out these products.
“COP26 clearly demonstrated that people do care and it is time for retailers to take advantage. It is no longer true that consumers are not interested in water-efficient products. Consumers are more environmentally aware than they have ever been. Everyone involved in the bathroom industry has a responsibility to help to play their part, by offering and promoting Unified Water Label products, and helping consumers understand how to make more informed choices.
“Retailers have a unique opportunity to take up this challenge and influence and educate consumers on the options available. Research shows that consumers are interested in water and energy efficiency, but feel retailers are not offering this information. Retailers are well placed to promote products that are UWL registered and advise on the performance aspects, reassuring consumers that water saving does not mean reduced performance. There is also a commercial gain for those that can offer quality products and advice to those consumers looking to make the right environmental choices when investing in their home.
“The UWLA is lobbying Government to help them understand the benefits of the Unified Water Label and we have a wealth of material for members and retailers that is easy to use and access for free, from the website. It includes a range of tools, flyers, posters, social media posts and videos, all reinforcing our message that water matters, and tips and advice on how to save water in the home.
“We all have a role to play to save the planet however small – 2022 will be crucial as we all work together to collectively make this change happen.”
Those interested in finding out how they can become involved by supporting the Unified Water Label can find out more here.