Unified Water Label Association MD Yvonne Orgill explains why she believes we have reached a pivotal point in our attitudes towards climate change.
“This year has brought more challenges as the battle to bring COVID-19 under control continues, and we also start to deal with the impact of the Brexit Deal.
“The COVID restrictions that have been in place have changed the way that we all live at home and how companies operate. The lack of travel combined with home working and home schooling has brought utility bills into sharp focus for many.
“At the same time, global awareness of the impact of climate change has risen and despite the UK government delaying the long-awaited environment bill, for the third time, governments are committed to taking climate change more seriously in 2021.
”The flagship bill has been delayed as the government dealt with the COVID crisis. Rebecca Pow, minister at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, has pledged that work will continue on the bill and that the Office for Environmental Protection – a watchdog for the UK’s environmental standards – will still be established.
“With the UN Cop26 climate conference taking place in Glasgow this November, the stage is set for an international response to the climate emergency. As the host, the UK has signalled its commitment with the recent appointment of Alok Sharma as full-time President.
“The feeling across Europe is that this conference will be one that makes a difference, especially as the US is likely to be involved. John Kerry, the special presidential envoy for climate, with a focus on the environment and energy policy, has tweeted his support for the Cop26. This came after Mr Biden signed an executive order re-joining the Paris climate agreement.
“All of these factors will support a collective awareness – a willingness to take responsibility and consider our own actions.
“At the UWLA we encourage working together and believe that if we all do a little, we can achieve a lot. We also strive to drive home the message that it is not just water efficiency that is important but education, and providing information that allows people to make their own choices about using water wisely.
“The Unified Water Label is a smart solution that helps people make educated choices, providing information so that households can make the best choices for themselves and their families. Research has shown that consumers are looking for this information, which the whole of the bathroom industry must work together to provide.
“We know that using less water saves energy and reduces the carbon footprint, and we hope that 2021 will be the year that the bathroom industry joins us to spread this message.”