News & Views

BMA Sustainability Forum VI: lessons learned

The BMA hosted its sixth Sustainability Forum on September 1 at Roca’s UK headquarters in Barden. Expert speakers discussed various topics, including carbon emission measurement and reduction, the CMA Green Claims Code and bathroom behaviour change.

Each of us has a part: individuals, manufacturers, governments and multinational corporations. No one can escape the urgent need to address climate change and mitigate our behaviour to respect the planet and its dwindling resources. It’s crucial, therefore, that our sector is at the heart of the conversation and adopts sustainable practices wherever and whenever possible.

The line-up of speakers at the BMA Sustainability Forum provided vital information to help guide the industry along its journey.

What are scope 1, 2 and 3 carbon emissions?

The first speaker was Phil Pratt, Chief Sustainability Officer at THG Plc. Phil described why climate change is the defining issue of our generation and how the industry should gear itself to achieve net zero emissions.

Attendees recapped the differences between scopes 1, 2 and 3 emissions and how the industry should take responsibility for indirect emissions in supply chains. Scopes 1 and 2 are emissions owned or controlled by a company, whereas scope 3 emissions are due to the company’s activities but arise from sources not owned or controlled by it.

Phil explained how important it is for companies to understand and examine their emissions ‘hotspots’. For example, scope three may account for >80% of an organisation’s carbon footprint in the bathroom sector. Once you have that information, it’s obvious where to begin making change happen.

Phil argued that small day-to-day activities make a difference, from engaging with waste teams to examining the marketing functions. Look at what you import, be more fuel efficient, commit to carbon reduction targets, and engage with your suppliers. Companies must be open and transparent with their carbon-reducing strategy with all stakeholders and include them in the journey. Education and engagement are critical.

CMA Green Claims Code

The second speaker of the day was Nick Kingett, Principal Trading Standards Officer with Nottinghamshire County Council’s Commercial Services team, who guided participants through the Green Claims Code (GCC), published by the Competition and Markets Authority in 2021.

Nick was keen to point out that while the GCC is not law, it provides solid guidance to protect consumers from misleading statements. Nick cited the examples of ASOS, Boohoo and Asda, under investigation by the CMA over fashion ‘green’ claims.

He explained that Trading Standards (TS) objectively approach each suspected case of misleading claims and advised organisations and businesses to ensure their due diligence and compliance are sound. TS also provide support and guidance to steer the industry to develop systems and processes to prevent breaches.

As the BMA has a Primary Authority partnership with Nottinghamshire TS, members as a whole can benefit from their expertise. It’s worth noting that they cannot provide individuals with bespoke advice under the BMA Partnership; however, If that is something you need, it would be worth contacting your local authority or Nottinghamshire about getting a partnership directly with a Primary Authority.

For more information, please read The Green Claims Code checklist guidance.

Behaviour change tools

The final speaker was Kathryn Rathouse of KR Social Research. Kathryn is currently organising workshops discussing ‘Shining a Psychological Light on Showering’, supported by the British Psychological Society, with psychologists at the University of Sheffield and the University of Surrey.

They are working with stakeholders, including shower manufacturers, to find new and effective ways to change showering behaviour and save water and energy.

Kathryn explained various tools to encourage taking shorter showers, running the water for less time before getting in or turning it off part way through, being just two of the 93 tools they have identified. However, Kathryn is particularly interested in what shower manufacturers do to encourage people to take shorter showers without compromising the showering experience.

Manufacturers must first “make things easy” and “remove obstacles”, such as using sensors that reduce water flow when not directly under the showerhead.

Ultimately, Kathryn believes manufacturers can help solve consumers’ showering ‘bug bears’, often without them realising and saving water simultaneously. She calls for interested members to become involved in the research and develop behaviour change in the UK’s showering habits.

Please send your thoughts and ideas to [email protected]

BMA Sustainability Awards 2022

Finally, the BMA wants to remind members to submit their entries into the Sustainability Awards 2022 by September 30. Full details of the categories, submission requirements, and booking your place at the ceremony at the Lowry Hotel on November 3 can be found on the Sustainability Awards section of the website.

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