The net-zero carbon challenge in the world of bathroom manufacturing demands action from all parties now, according to speakers at the Bathroom Manufacturers Association's (BMA) Sustainability Forum held on 1st March, where water-saving campaigns, greening the supply chain and carbon neutral commitments all formed part of the discussion.
The open forum, established last year, looked at sector-wide sustainability issues and posed the question 'Should bathroom manufacturers make a collective carbon neutral commitment?'. Speaking at the digital event, which was organised in conjuction with Focus Creative Media, Nicci Russell, MD at Waterwise, said: “Net zero and water-efficient bathrooms is not an intuitive link, but around 5-6% of total UK greenhouse gas emissions are from household water supply and use. The massive majority of those water-related carbon emissions – approximately 90% – come from how we use water in the home. It’s not about stopping people using the water they need – it’s about not wasting water.”
Triton Showers campaign manager, Anastasia Nikolic, revealed how the brand launched an online calculator in January this year, which asks householders a series of questions on current behaviours and gives an overview of household use, alongside examples of how to reduce water and energy consumption, and lower their carbon footprint.
The BMA’s recently launched #GetLavvySavvy campaign was also highlighted at the event. It aims to educate consumers on how to spot a leaky loo and maintain toilets properly to prevent water waste.
Delegates heard how sustainability is being grappled with across all sectors of the economy, including logistics and ports. Mark Simmonds, director of policy & external affairs at the British Ports Association, explained how shipping is the most carbon-efficient way of moving freight, and as such it is likely to increase in future. Projections show UK port throughput could grow by 40% between now and 2050. Simmonds said: “Decarbonising ports will be high cost but it is possible. It is a very ambitious and highly competitive sector. But costs will rise as a result, and we need to consider where they are going to fall. Whether it’s shipping, ports, customers or the taxpayer, we are making it clear to government those costs should not fall disproportionately on any one player.”
Grant Nicholson, founder of Planet-U, the UK’s fastest-growing renewable energy company, said: “We need more action, we need a successful planet to make the world a greener place, and to do that we need buy-in from everyone. There is a lot of talk, and there are a lot of companies throwing money at carbon credits, ‘Green washing’ to market themselves. We’re at a place, in terms of the planet, where we no longer have a choice. Wasting energy needs to stop.”
BMA chief executive, Tom Reynolds said: "This was our third Sustainability Forum and it is growing in numbers each time. Net-zero is a challenge for our sector, like in all parts of the economy, and we have to take a direct approach. Bathroom manufacturers are already making changes, reducing or eradicating their single-use plastic, including carbon saving in the Unified Water Label and educating people on how to spot a leaky loo to stamp out water waste. But we know there is much more to do. That's why this forum, looking at a broad range of issues, is working in collaboration to drive innovation and change."