Leading by example on water efficiency

Adam Logan, Training Manager at GROHE UK, reflects on the need for sustainable fittings.

Kitchen and bathroom products that help consumers save water and energy is now an unquestionable global trend.

Many of us take for granted that the water we need is there and always will be. Our resources are being stretched by the booming world population, and alongside the impacts of the climate crisis this is making drought and water scarcity into everyday challenges for more and more communities across the globe.

A key part of the solution is making homes – and particularly bathrooms, which account for over two-thirds of daily household water use – more efficient.

Here, architects, developers and installers can help by opting for products that have been designed either to use less water or make us rethink how we use water.

It is our duty as a global leader and manufacturer, to provide state-of-the-art technologies for using water resources sustainably while also creating additional environmental value for water. We believe such products that support in resource-efficiency should be the norm when purchasing a kitchen or bathroom – rather than a proactive choice that consumers must go out of their way to seek out. This is why we have developed products with water-saving technology to help combat excess wastage of our finite resources, without compromising design.

Efficient technology

The bathroom and kitchen is no stranger to technological innovations and in recent years, such tech advances have evolved, granting us greater opportunities. With solutions now in place to improve personalisation, accessibility, and sustainability – all while maintaining overall user experience – there’s good reason to utilise these options as standard.

Within our product portfolio, we provide fittings with flow limiters that reduce water consumption up to 50%, with an integrated aerator providing the same voluminous feel. For improved energy efficiency, taps have been developed that only run warm water when the lever is pushed beyond the middle position, forcing users to have to actively choose to use warm water. Small and discreet changes like these not only raise awareness of more sustainable consumption but also help to reduce a building’s carbon footprint.

A key part of the global water scarcity solution is green specification and opting for products designed with sustainability in mind as a first instance. Some may be discouraged from investing in resource-saving fittings due to the common misconception that the level of performance and experience, will be compromised.

However, with modern technology and innovations, this is no longer the case, as product development allows us to create sustainable products without compromising on elements of design and performance.
In 2022, we released EPDs for 18 product groups, covering over 600 individual SKUs across basin and kitchen mixers, thermostats, shower rail sets, hand showers, installation systems and flush plates, including our Cradle to Cradle Certified® range.

In providing customers with transparency about the ecological footprint of its products, we aim help them to make informed statements about the environmental impact of buildings, which is often a cornerstone for sustainability certifications such as DGNB, LEED or BREEAM.
EPD data is independently verified against a set of international and European standards for the construction industry. There are standardised rating frameworks for different product categories. This means that specifiers and procurement professionals can directly compare the lifelong environmental impact of products within the same group, enabling them to make more informed product choices.

Global water use has grown at more than twice the rate of the Earth’s population over the past century, making water stress a reality for an increasing number of regions.

Architects, developers, and other professionals involved in creating the buildings of the future have an important and urgent role to play in helping communities use water more efficiently. We need to change how we use water – and we need to start today. Our resources are being stretched to new limits, and alongside the impacts of the climate crisis, this is making water scarcity a daily challenge.

It’s understandable that working towards a sustainable transformation can seem unattainable, particularly for smaller businesses. This is why it is down to global manufacturers like us to help pave the way and provide options, innovations, and support to ensure this industry is doing what it can to improve the planet for our future generations.