How retailers can play their part in using water wisely

Unified Water Label Association CEO Yvonne Orgill considers how retailers can better inform consumers about why Water Matters, and how it can be good for business too.

The UN is issuing a rallying cry for everyone – from governments to corporations and citizens – to do their part in healing our ailing planet on World Environment Day 2021 [June 5].

This is a message that we at the UWLA are promoting within the bathroom industry, asking everyone in the supply chain to work together to better inform consumers and promote the message that Water Matters.

We debated this and how the Unified Water Label can help, at our recent Water Matters conference, which brought together representatives from different sectors, and was attended by an international audience of over 150 delegates.

Those that contributed to our panel discussion included an architect and a manufacturer that both supported the Unified Water Label, and recognise it as a smart tool, which can be used to promote water efficiency. We also heard presentations from two major international and European retailers, confirming their commitment to promote the label. They both spoke about their corporate responsibility to provide water and energy efficient products, and their investment in communicating the benefits of these products to customers.

Research has shown that consumers are looking for this information, which the whole of the bathroom industry must work together to provide.

KBB retailers have a unique opportunity to take up this challenge and influence and educate consumers on the options available. They 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 good news for retailers is we now have a huge selection of innovative products that are designed to use water wisely, without compromising on quality.  Retailers do not have to compromise on design or performance when selecting environmentally friendly products to promote to their customers. These products can be sourced easily from our database of over 13,000 products.

Many of Europe’s most well-known and well-respected brands offer bathroom products that carry the UWL, providing taps, showers and toilets that use water wisely and offer great choice to the consumer.

The UWLA is working with retailers to help them understand the efficiency benefits of Unified Water Label products.  Our new website provides easy to use calculators for water, energy and carbon. Retailers that take time to gather the information and present it to consumers in an accessible and easy to understand way, will see the sales follow.

Consumers are ready to make changes in their consumption habits for the benefit of the environment, but they are still also influenced by other factors.  These include a mix of price, availability and convenience, habits, values, social norms, peer pressure and emotional appeal.  Retailers that can help consumers see their environmental purchase as a positive choice and illustrate that they have the potential to save money as well as the planet, whilst keeping it simple, will gain a commercial advantage and know that they are also playing their part to protect the environment.

The UWLA has produced an information sheet for retailers to help them understand the benefits and are also promoting a #dontforgettheplug campaign over the next three months to build awareness. The information sheet and more information about the Unified Water Label can be found here.

  • Every day in the week leading up to World Environment Day, we are publishing stories from the KBB industry to do with the environment, sustainability, and water saving. To read more articles on this topic go to
  • UWLA has also just launched a new website to highlight the advantages of the Unified Water Label to bathroom professionals and consumers. It features two new calculators, in addition to its water calculator – these are for energy and carbon. They measure how much carbon is used per litre of water supplied to a property and how much energy is used to heat water to a desired temperature.
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