Sustainability

Consistently through the years, Plumbing Manufacturers International has fulfilled its vision of “safe, responsible plumbing – always.” But now, “we recognize we’re at a time when our social contract is being extended into areas such as climate change mitigation and diversity, equity and inclusion,” PMI CEO/Executive Director Kerry Stackpole states. “A Plumbing Manufacturing Evolution,” the PMI Read more

Consistently through the years, Plumbing Manufacturers International has fulfilled its vision of “safe, responsible plumbing – always.” But now, “we recognize we’re at a time when our social contract is being extended into areas such as climate change mitigation and diversity, equity and inclusion,” PMI CEO/Executive Director Kerry Stackpole states.

A Plumbing Manufacturing Evolution,” the PMI 2022 Annual Report, explores how PMI member companies are responding to new societal demands while remaining profitable and meeting the needs of customers.

Running through the report are examples of how PMI member companies are striving to become “net positive” by improving the well-being of everyone they affect – every product, operation and stakeholder, including future generations and the planet itself. The term “net positive” was coined by co-authors Paul Polman and Andrew Winston in their book, “Net Positive: How Courageous Companies Thrive by Giving More Than They Take.”

In their letter for the report, PMI leaders Martin Knieps, 2022 Board of Directors president, and Todd Teter, immediate past president, say that even before the term “net positive” was coined, “PMI has worked to find solutions benefiting all water system stakeholders. PMI has always understood that the value of a toilet, showerhead or faucet is only as high as the quality of the water conveyed by it. As a result, PMI has always worked with the health and safety of water consumers in mind, knowing that their best interests are the same as ours.”

Report focuses on sustainability, supply chain and workplace

The report’s three main stories cover how PMI member companies are creating opportunities through their responses to challenges relating to sustainability and waste reduction, supply chain, and workplace and labor. Read the entire report at https://www.safeplumbing.org/communications/pmi-annual-report-2022.

San Antonio — The seventh Emerging Water Technology Symposium returned as an in-person event for the first time in four years, bringing together industry, manufacturing, water utility and government leaders from around the world.  A focus of this year’s event was on resources communities require to build safe and resilient plumbing systems as well as Read more

San Antonio — The seventh Emerging Water Technology Symposium returned as an in-person event for the first time in four years, bringing together industry, manufacturing, water utility and government leaders from around the world.  A focus of this year’s event was on resources communities require to build safe and resilient plumbing systems as well as meet the growing list of challenges to America’s drinking water.

Emerging Water Technology Symposium, IAPMO, ASPE, PMI, Janet Stout, water efficiency, water technology, sustainability

The esteemed panel on Effective Risk Management of Building Water Systems for Pathogen Control included (from l to r) Julius Ballanco, president, JB Engineering; Kurt Steenhoek, International Representative, UA; Janet Stout, Executive VP and Founder, Special Pathogen Laboratory; James Dipping, Director of Plumbing Engineering, Environmental Systems Design, Inc.; Christoph Lohr, VP of Strategic Initiatives, IAPMO; and Matt Freije, CEO, HC Info.

The May 10-11 event at the Westin Riverwalk, San Antonio was co-convened by the Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE), the American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE), the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) and Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI).

Emerging Water Technology Symposium, IAPMO, ASPE, PMI, Janet Stout, water efficiency, water technology, sustainability

Pete DeMarco

“As an industry we have a number of high priority research needs that relate to water quality as well as water and energy efficiency,” IAPMO Executive Vice President of Advocacy and Research Pete DeMarco explained in discussing the importance of the symposium. “This year’s event brought together some of the brightest minds industry has to offer all focused on how we make our plumbing and mechanical systems safer and more resilient to meet the challenges ahead.”

In his opening remarks, DeMarco pointed to a number of accomplishments for which the EWTS has served as a springboard, including the development of the Green Plumbing and Mechanical Code Supplement (now the Water Efficiency and Sanitation Standard WE•Stand); ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 188-2018, Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water Systems; ASSE 12000 series on infection control and water quality, which is in IAPMO’s Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC®); and IAPMO’s Water Demand Calculator, whose second version was released in 2020.

“This symposium provides a much-needed platform for stakeholders across the industry to gather, discuss the latest research, and then discuss how we can take action,” he said. “It is a highly valuable event, and I look forward to seeing it continue to grow in the future.”

Emerging Water Technology Symposium, IAPMO, ASPE, PMI, Janet Stout, water efficiency, water technology, sustainability

Kerry Stackpole

PMI CEO Kerry Stackpole spoke at the event and said the relationships between the organizations represented at EWTS had likely never been more important than they are now. He said that while the best and brightest among us devised medical solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic, the plumbing industry also played an important role.

“What’s also important is how our industry responded,” he said. “Our industry’s experience and our focus became touchless faucets, antimicrobial surfaces, water purification systems, all kinds of energy-efficient devices focused on safe and responsible plumbing. We all had a contribution to make and I think our industry stepped up.”

Stackpole said wildfires, flooding and drought that different regions of the United States are experiencing put those in the industry in a position to shape the future.

“Your active engagement here, in your communities back home, and in the marketplace of ideas, where we will have opportunities to share ideas with one another, will make all the difference,” he said. “You actually are able to turn the dial on this, and I think that’s really exciting.”

Emerging Water Technology Symposium, IAPMO, ASPE, PMI, Janet Stout, water efficiency, water technology, sustainability

A day 2 panel saw (from l to r) Ed Osann, Senior Water Policy Analyst, NRDC; Dain Hansen, Executive Vice President, Government Relations, IAPMO; and Stephanie Salmon, Washington Representative, PMI, talk about the implications of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act on Drinking Water and Wastewater.

This year’s keynote speakers were Robert Puente, president and CEO of the San Antonio Water System (SAWS), and Don Johnston, senior operations director, Indonesia, for Water.org.

Puente’s presentation looked at three ways in which SAWS, which serves 2 million customers over four counties, uses innovation to deliver water to its customers: advanced metering deployment, “smart” manhole covers, and conservation.

“It’s all about innovation,” he said. “And I think if you talk to our employees, although they will tell you that it’s their idea, we know that they got their idea from coming to events like this. Every good idea, you should expect it to be stolen, to be used by someone else, and you should be flattered by that. I think anything that you look at here started somewhere else, and we went to conferences in other cities and were able to bring back the ideas to SAWS to really get the innovation aspect in this.”

In delivering his keynote address remotely from Jakarta, Indonesia, Johnston spoke about the global water and sanitation crisis’s impact on low-income households — one in nine people lack access to safe water, one in three do not have access to a toilet — and some potential solutions. Working with financial institutions and water utilities, as well as sister company WaterEquity, Water.org helps bring affordable financing to people in need of water.

Emerging Water Technology Symposium, IAPMO, ASPE, PMI, Janet Stout, water efficiency, water technology, sustainability

The Hub’s John Mesenbrink asks the hard-hitting questions during the symposium.

“In about 19 years of work on the ground, we’ve seen water and sanitation access reach more than 45 million people through more 10 million microloans disbursed to households with capital of $3.7 billion mobilized,” he said.

In his presentation, Phillip White, manager of plumbing and mechanical inspections for the city of Vancouver, British Columbia, shared how his city addressed the problem of insufficient sewer capacity when it came to capturing large amounts of rainfall through water reuse technologies. One development, the Oakridge Centre, utilized the IAPMO Water Demand Calculator and is expected to have the largest non-potable water system in North America.

Emerging Water Technology Symposium, IAPMO, ASPE, PMI, Janet Stout, water efficiency, water technology, sustainability

Janet Stout

Another speaker, Special Pathogens Laboratory Executive Vice President/Founder Dr. Janet Stout, looked at approaches and products for mitigating the risk of Legionellosis in point-of-use and point-of-entry building water systems. Improved water management requires knowledgeable Legionella prevention and water service providers, which can come from certification to ASSE/IAPMO/ANSI 12080 for Legionella Water Safety and Management Personnel.

IAPMO will provide sessions from the EWTS on-demand in the near future. To be notified when they are available, register at www.ewts.org/2022-ewts.

When you think about the issue of sustainability in business marketing, you may think of how it connects to Fortune 500 companies that have businesses that reach around the globe. The reality is that sustainability is an issue that is of great importance to many people and impacts the way they choose the products and Read more

When you think about the issue of sustainability in business marketing, you may think of how it connects to Fortune 500 companies that have businesses that reach around the globe. The reality is that sustainability is an issue that is of great importance to many people and impacts the way they choose the products and services they will pay for. It does not matter if it is a service that is offered by a multinational company or a local plumber. For this reason, even small businesses and one-person operations need to show that they pioneer sustainable business practices.

Showcasing Sustainability for Trade Marketing Success

As a tradesperson, you have worked hard to develop your craft and to build your reputation. However, in this current market, being a good craftsman or having a good product is not enough to win customer favor. Your clients will want you to do quality work, but they are also going to want to know that the tools you use, the products you use, the systems you use, and the way you handle any trash or debris align with their stand on environmental values.

If you can prove that your company stands for an environmental purpose, you will attract more customers. That is because, in today’s business climate, customers want to work with businesses that promote sustainability.

More Than Just a Buzzword

A few years ago, sustainability was a buzzword that you would hear thrown about haphazardly. This was true if you were discussing economic, social, or environmental sustainability. Today, people, and especially millennials, have keyed in on what sustainability means. For them, it means having processes and knowledge to exist continually.

When it comes to marketing your plumbing company, HVAC company, or framing company, you need to show the steps that your business is taking to proceed endlessly. What is meant by that is you need to show how your business is using resources wisely so that both your business and the environment can endure.

You need to show how your business will meet your customer’s needs today while not compromising the future generation’s ability to fulfill their needs. It is all about making your marketing and sustainability run parallel to each other.

Sustainability needs to be discreetly woven through everything you do, including your social media posts, your website, and your email newsletters. Customers must walk away with the feeling that your organization respects the environment and the social aspects around you. You can show this by using and promoting products and services that don’t harm the environment. Showcase the techniques your organization uses that are environmentally friendly.

For it to be successful, your sustainable marketing cannot be done in an ironic, sarcastic, or fantastic way. People have a good nose for fake things. When it comes to environmental issues and sustainability, people do not like to be pandered to. If your organization promises that they are going to build a building or do a remodel sustainably and then contractors or technicians are not using sustainable processes, your reputation could be irrevocably damaged.

Employing Sustainable Marketing Principles

Sustainability starts with customer-oriented marketing. This means viewing your organization and its activities from the perspective of your customers. Only by understanding the way your customers view environmental issues can you create long-term relationships with them.

You want to transmit the idea that your company is socially responsible and that you have found a way to do socially accountable activities profitably. This means that your mission should be defined in broad social terms instead of narrowing it to the products or services you offer.

Conclusion

Integrating sustainable marketing is a crucial business strategy for the trade industry. First and foremost, sustainability is about the survival of the human race. Second, it is about the survival of your business.

The business ecosystem is constantly changing. This requires people to adapt to and anticipate what is next. This means adding sustainable marketing to your overall marketing campaign. The last thing that you want is to see rival companies making moves toward sustainability before you. If that happens, it could seem like your move toward sustainability is either an effort to copy your competition or being done to make money.

Author Bio: Victoria Smith is a freelance writer who specializes in business and finance, with a passion for cooking and wellness. She lives in Austin, TX where she is currently working towards her MBA.

Award-winning product line has helped deliver cleaner drinking water while saving more than 40 billion plastic bottles from ending up in landfills since launched in 2010 Elkay, the leading manufacturer of award-winning drinking water products, recently reached an incredible milestone – the production of the one millionth bottle filling station. Since its launch over ten Read more

Award-winning product line has helped deliver cleaner drinking water while saving more than 40 billion plastic bottles from ending up in landfills since launched in 2010

Elkay, the leading manufacturer of award-winning drinking water products, recently reached an incredible milestone – the production of the one millionth bottle filling station. Since its launch over ten years ago, the Elkay ezH2O® Bottle Fillers have saved more than 40 billion plastic bottles from ending up in landfills, enough to circle the Earth over 135 times.

Leading the charge across the industry and upholding its commitment to delivering clean water and sustainable design, Elkay introduced the ezH2O® rapid bottle filling station in February of 2010 with the goal to reduce plastic waste. During its first year of launch, 4,000 units were sold, marking the beginning of its monumental bottle saving journey.

“We’re so proud of this accomplishment and what we have been able to achieve with the ezH2O bottle filling stations over the last decade,” said Ted Hamilton, President of Elkay Plumbing. “We set out to launch a first-of-its-kind bottle filling station with a sustainable design and we’re excited to see where the next 10 years take us as we continue our mission in contributing to a cleaner environment and healthier communities for generations to come.”

The one millionth ezH2O bottle filling station will be installed at Garfield Park in Elkay’s hometown of Chicago. This installation will not only celebrate the production milestone, but is also part of marking the company’s recent 100th year in business where Elkay partnered with the City of Chicago and nonprofit organization, Elevate, to install 100 units across the Chicagoland area. The installations will bring access to clean drinking water across locations that need it most, from schools to parks to youth centers and facilities.

Elkay Celebrates One Millionth ezH2O® Bottle Filling Station Milestone

Over the years, Elkay has continued to enhance the ezH2O bottle filling stations with features that matter most to those who use them, including a hands-free operation designed for hygiene and ease of use, NSF certified filters to help put cleaner, healthier water within reach by reducing lead and other contaminants, in addition to the LED filter status light, instilling trust in those consuming the water. One feature that sets this innovative product line apart is Elkay’s exclusive Green Ticker™ which informs users the number of 20 oz. plastic water bottles saved from waste by using refillable bottles at the station encouraging a growing and sustainable habit among consumers globally.

As more communities begin to recognize and advocate the need for bottle filling stations in schools, parks and other public spaces – where Elkay bottle fillers are typically found – states across the country are regularly passing bills into legislation requiring bottle filling stations to be installed in newly constructed and renovated schools to encourage healthy hydration and provide access to cleaner drinking water. Research has shown that bottle filling stations in schools triple the amount of water children drink, helping their short term memory, reducing the likelihood of childhood obesity and also decreasing the spread of germs among students.

Looking ahead, Elkay is committed to worldwide sustainability and working toward a greener future, including shipping a quarter million more ezH2Os by the end of 2021. To learn more about Elkay’s bottle filling stations and sustainability efforts, please visit Elkay.com.

GROHE has been able to increase its energy efficiency by 24% and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40%, far exceeding its sustainability targets In July 2019, the global brand converted all of its production plants to run on green electricity In the future, GROHE will offset unavoidable CO2 emissions with compensation projects Piscataway, N.J. — Read more

  • GROHE has been able to increase its energy efficiency by 24% and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40%, far exceeding its sustainability targets
  • In July 2019, the global brand converted all of its production plants to run on green electricity
  • In the future, GROHE will offset unavoidable CO2 emissions with compensation projects

Piscataway, N.J. — Sustainability has been an essential element of GROHE’s corporate strategy for almost 20 years now. As early as 2000, the global brand for complete bathroom solutions and kitchen fittings committed itself in its “principles and guidelines for sustainability” to continuously improving all products, processes and services in terms of protecting the environment and conserving resources. Since then, GROHE has set new industry standards, applying its 360-degree sustainability approach that incorporates employees, suppliers, customers, processes, products and the company’s social contribution alike. With the aim of becoming the first leading manufacturer of the sanitary industry to achieve carbon-neutral production by 2020, GROHE has once again stepped up its pledge. In July, as part of the “GROHE goes ZERO” initiative, all five production plants worldwide as well as the logistics centers in Germany were converted to run on green electricity. With the start of the new fiscal year in April 2020, the sanitary manufacturer will offset unavoidable CO2 emissions through two compensation projects.

GROHE Aims for Carbon-Neutral Production by 2020,GROHE goes ZERO" initiative, plumbing, fixtures, sustainability, kitchen and bath

“More than ever, manufacturers like GROHE are in demand to take on responsibility and strive towards more sustainability,” says Thomas Fuhr, CEO Grohe AG. “For years now, we have been investing not only in research and development in order to produce intelligent, sustainable solutions, but also to a large degree in a resource-saving value chain. With GROHE goes ZERO, we are now setting an example for the entire industry: We are actively addressing the CO2 challenge by increasingly avoiding emissions and, if this is not possible, compensating for them.”

The sustainability initiative is seamlessly linked to numerous measures that are taking place at the GROHE plants, promoting the long-term reduction of the carbon footprint and conserving resources: The brand has invested in block heat and power plants, was awarded the silver certificate by the German Sustainable Building Council for the plant extension in Klaeng, Thailand, and built a state-of-the-art test laboratory in Hemer, Germany. GROHE also uses advanced technologies that increase sustainability, such as the material-saving 3D metal-printing process which has been launched this year.

As a result, GROHE has been able to increase its energy efficiency by 24% and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by around 40% since the introduction of its sustainability program in 2014. This means that the global brand has already far exceeded its 2021 targets of 20% respectively.

GROHE Supports Two Water Projects in India and Malawi

Supporting two offsetting projects is another logical step for GROHE to compensate for so far unavoidable CO2 emissions: In the north of India, the operation of a hydroelectric power plant replaces electricity that mainly comes from coal-fired power plants. In the African non-coastal state of Malawi, a project repairs and maintains boreholes that are used to produce drinking water. With the help of selected offset projects, GROHE will support activities based on extremely stringent criteria, such as the Gold Standard, developed under the aegis of the WWF. In addition to avoiding CO2, the measures also contribute to a more sustainable, ecological and social development within the projects’ environments.

“With GROHE goes ZERO, we are further expanding our leading position as one of the most sustainable brands in the sanitary industry,” says Thomas Fuhr. “But at the same time, we have by no means reached all of our sustainability goals; we can and must get even better.”

GROHE has received numerous awards for its commitment. Currently, the brand is one of three major companies that have been nominated for the German Sustainability Award. GROHE CEO Thomas Fuhr was recently awarded for his commitment to sustainability by the corporate network B.A.U.M., the German Environmental Management Association.

GROHE’s parent company, LIXIL, is committed to improving the quality of people’s lives by delivering safe and comfortable products and services through responsible, sustainable innovations. LIXIL focuses on three strategic sustainability pillars: Global Sanitation & Hygiene, Water Conservation & Environmental Sustainability, and Diversity & Inclusion. In addition to providing solutions to enable access to safe and hygienic sanitation practices, LIXIL’s efforts also aim to conserve water, energy and other natural resources utilized in its products and services, from procurement through production, distribution, end use and product disposal.