Plumbers are becoming increasingly important in the fight against the effects of climate change according to research out today by Wavin Plastics, the UK’s leading provider of water management solutions.

The UK-wide research has shown that three out of four plumbers feel they have a critical role to play in educating customers and raising awareness of the issues associated with sustainable water management.

The research also revealed that, while plumbers play an important role in educating home owners about water management issues, less than one in five say sustainable development has risen up the agenda in their organisation. Despite plumbers recognising they have a critical role to play in educating customers about water management, less than 20% actually recommend the installation of environmentally-friendly products if it is likely to impact on profit.

Wavin Plastics has built a significant reputation for helping to deliver safe, responsible and reliable water management solutions. It sees this research as a critical step in understanding how it can play a role in shifting behaviour and attitudes towards the implementation of sustainable water management applications.

Michelle Fleming, Wavin Plastics’ head of marketing: “This research does not make for happy reading. Awareness of sustainable water management is high but when it comes to taking action and making a difference at site level, it seems sustainability becomes a luxury not a necessity. The emphasis of the industry needs to change. The whole life-cost of a building needs to be balanced against the initial build cost. We should be implementing solutions that not only address the commercial requirements but also deliver solutions that will ensure that, in 50 years time, today’s developments are still seen as sustainable.”

She concludes: “As a major supplier to the construction industry, Wavin will increase its efforts to educate the market about cost-efficient solutions that meet the many and varied needs of the water management cycle. We want to help establish a significant shift in attitudes towards sustainable water management but we can only do this if profitable and carefully balanced solutions are made accessible to meet the broadest demographic and climatic conditions.”

Key findings:

  • Less than one in five plumbers believe the issue of sustainable development has moved up the agenda in their organisation
  • Only one in five plumbers questioned encourage customers to use environmentally aware products
  • 60% of respondents do not feel that sustainable water management has been prioritised as an issue in the construction industry
  • Over half of those questioned do not think that house builders and developers understand the impact of climate change and flooding
  • 85% of respondents agree that urban flooding will become a major problem in the next ten years if sustainable urban drainage is not prioritised
  • Almost nine out of ten respondents think that cost is still the number one deal maker, at the expense of optimum sustainability