Home improvement retailer IKEA has joined the Unified Water Label scheme and is planning its implementation across its product range.
Speaking at the digital Waters Matters conference, BA range & production engineering manager of Kitchens, Bathrooms and Appliances at IKEA of Sweden AB Therese Petersson said: “We recognise that water stress and water scarcity is a major issue around the world.
“We can also see the interest of our customers, around sustainability is increasing and they are looking for more information and support to make more sustainable choice.”
She highlighted due to the pandemic people are spending more time at home, than ever before, cooking more food, cleaning and washing hands more frequently using more water and energy.
Therese Petersson said: “At IKEA we want to inspire and enable our customers to have a more sustainable life at home saving water, where possible, through encouraging behavioural change such as turning off a tap when brushing teeth, as well as increasing awareness of energy efficiency. This is an important part of our sustainability strategy.”
The company has identified 400million of IKEA store visitors live in high or extremely high water stressed areas and is working on creating products to reduce water and energy use.
Development leader of range at product innovation at IKEA of Sweden AB Tobias Svanberg said: “In general we know the shower (40%) and the toilet (25%) are the biggest water consuming activities in the home, followed by laundry (11%), then taps (8%) and cooking and drinking (5%).
So at IKEA we are focusing our efforts on these activites that are most water consuming and by doing so we believe we can impact 90% of domestic water use.”
The company is set to introduce sensor taps for the bathroom and a retrofit mist nozzle for basin mixers that can save up to 90% of water.
It is also currently working on recirculating water shower with a Danish start-up company called Flow Loop .
Teresa Petersson commented: “We also recognise buying a new bathroom or buying a new kitchen is a complex journey, with many choices and decisions.
“Here we see a big benefit of the Unified Water Label to be able to share the technical features in an even better way to our customers that is simple to understand.”
She continued: “We have always been aware of the different voluntary schemes within Europe both prior to, and during, the work to bring the existing schemes together. The work to unify and have a simple, consistent label allows for straightforward, easy to understand message to our consumers.
“We also believe that it’s important to be part of a scheme that covers many different product categories but would also evolve as new technologies emerge and new product types come to the market.
“As an example, we are really looking forward to help develop the criteria for circulating shower systems that our recycling shower can be a part of.”
Petersson concluded: “We are really excited at IKEA to be part of Unified Water Label Scheme. We are currently planning our implentation of the label across our range and we are really looking forward to hear what our customers think about it.”
President of the Unified Water Label Carlos Velazquez commented: “With partners like this we have a fantastic journey ahead of us. IKEA is not a local player, it is an international player.
“In Europe they will use the Unified Water Label but not only because they are present everywhere in the world. Is the Water Label a European phenomena – not only. It started here but with our partners it will move around the entire world.
“Is it the only label? No. But we are trying to make the effort to make it very powerful, making it the big one in Europe and across the world.”