Yvonne Orgill, MD at The Unified Water Label Association, (UWLA) has called on the industry to invest in motivating consumers to use water wisely, by promoting the Unified Water Label.

Yvonne made her comments as the UWLA submits a detailed background paper for DEFRA and BEIS about water efficiency in the bathroom industry, as part of the information gathering phase, before consultations begin in 2022, on a possible mandatory label.

Yvonne says, “We fully support the government’s aims set out in the 25-Year Environment Plan to achieve clean and plentiful water, and their commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050. Their plans for a mandatory label were set out in July this year as part of a package of measures to help households across England use water more efficiently.

“We have been meeting with DEFRA and BEIS since then, bringing them up to date with the industry supported voluntary label, 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 316000 on good practice water efficiency labelling schemes.

“The Unified Water Label is an established and recognised smart tool that can help the industry motivate the consumer to recognise that water matters, and make the changes required to meet the government’s targets.

“We have the support of manufacturers who have responded by driving forward innovation to deliver bathroom products that use less water and energy, but we must keep our focus on how these products are used in the home.

“Retailers have an important role to play as they can help the consumer understand the link between using water, energy and their carbon footprint.  Without their commitment to drive home our messages, and help the consumer make informed decisions, then we will fail.

“This is why we have invested in a retailer campaign for all our members across Europe.  We have put together a package 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.

“Alongside this we have issued a questionnaire to members to understand better how they currently communicate with customers.  This will enable us to continue to improve on the tools available, supporting our members in this essential task.

“If we are to succeed, we must all work harder, not just to help the consumer understand how much water they use and the consequences of their actions, but to make it matter. “ Changing behaviour is key to our success, and retailers can help us by bringing the dialogue to their customers.

“COP26 has recognised that collective small steps are the sustained way forward and we must now encourage retailers that they can collectively make this change happen.”

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