Philipe van der Loo of Quooker Taps on why the drive for sustainability should speed up

Philipe van der Loo of Quooker Taps on why the drive for sustainability should speed up

"Climate change is upon us and is showing no immediate signs of slowing down..."

The Quooker showroom on Dubai's Sheikh Zayed Road
The Quooker showroom on Dubai's Sheikh Zayed Road

Sustainability is the ability to exist constantly, and in turn it relates to the ability of human civilisation and nature to coexist. There is often a misconception about sustainable design, with it perceived as solely being about how environmentally friendly a product is. But is not only about that, one also needs to take into consideration the longevity of the product – how long it will last as a product and as a design piece.

I strongly believe a great example of sustainable design is seen in iconic Scandinavian brands, where we see form versus function as the core value and where a product is designed with durability and longevity in mind – creating timeless pieces, made using high-quality materials that are often passed down through generations among families – turning products into treasured heirlooms.

When we ask clients, price and ease of buying is still the main motivation for them when making their purchase decision, but the growing awareness of sustainability is driving clients to want to learn more about how, where and by whom the products they are purchasing are being made.

Even if being sustainability is not their main priority, knowing that their purchase will be doing good for another individual and to our planet, is an attractive, satisfying feeling for many consumers.

Clients need to know and feel that by making these small changes in their habits and consumer behaviors, they are helping to drive change towards a sustainable future because in the end, it is up to each and every individual to make a change.

It is with great thanks to the Slow Movement, which came about as a counter-reaction to the increasingly fast-paced, unsustainable way we were living and consuming in that was causing deterioration in so many aspects.

With its focus on our need to slow down, the Slow Movement encourages people to start becoming more aware of consuming consciously.

Everything slow and made mindfully is considered to be favourable. In turn, we have seen it affect the food, fashion and interior industry. As a result, manufacturers are beginning to develop products that are sustainable in a wider sense: sustainable economically, environmentally and socially.

Climate change is upon us and is showing no immediate signs of slowing down. We must make conscious choices on an individual level in order to collectively expedite its prevention. To make it simple: we must consume less and make conscious choices.

One major issue is the excessive consumption of single-use plastic, especially bottled water, which are problematic in several aspects. Firstly, single-use plastic often ends up in landfills which severely pollute the earth as most plastics in use today are made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and are nearly indestructible. It is nearly impossible to decompose PET plastics because most bacteria cannot break them down. UV-light from the sun can break plastic down, but it takes a very long time.

Secondly, there are plastic toxins that could be released from the bottles into the water people are consuming that can then make their way into your bloodstream, potentially causing a host of problems including various cancers as well as liver and kidney damage.

Unfortunately, most bottled water manufacturers still do not prioritise the use of BPA-free and recycled plastic as these would increase manufacturing prices. These are important facts that people are not aware of, they're not only threatening the health of our planet, but humans, too.

Although it might feel like luxury to have filtered boiling, chilled and sparkling water on tap, a Quooker tap is a sustainable purchase.

We strive for sustainability in all fields, with people and protection of the planet at the forefront of our minds. In 2016, our premises were rebuilt and covered with 900 solar panels. This supplies all of our energy needs. In our Return and Recover departments, we recycle old products and manage our waste flows in a sustainable way, in compliance with the Waste of Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act.

About the author

Philipe van der Loo, is MD of Quooker Emirates, which produces taps that provide filtered water – from chilled to boiling and even sparkling – so users can reduce plastic consumption

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