‘Flowing’ with sustainability

Published February 16, 2022, 4:23 AM

by Philip Cu Unjieng

Sustainability is today’s buzzword. The younger generation of consumers are now making educated, conscious choices of supporting companies that claim sustainability as part of their DNA. Thus, almost all companies have felt the need to become sustainable in their operations. 

Claiming “sustainability,” however, is not enough. A necessity here is for impartial, objective third party experts to confer true sustainability scores and values to the initiatives of these companies. 

LEED, for example, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is one of the most widely used green building rating systems in the world. Aside from this one, there are other organizations globally recognized for administering tests and evaluative reports on sustainability. Noted among them is the International WELL Building Institute, a leading tool for advancing health and wellbeing in buildings; there is also the C2C (Cradle to Cradle), which reduces the use of new resources through designing and manufacturing with the intent of using its components in its end-of-life phase for the creation of new products. With standards like WELL and C2C, companies are no longer left to navigate sustainability on their own.

Many companies, with the guidance of WELL and C2C certifications, are doing their part in making sustainability not only a mere pipe dream, but a science-based target that’s more than abstract aspiration. One of the companies that is committed to sustainability is Grohe, which is proud to have its products meet WELL standards and C2C certifications, proving that it values the importance of a renewable, circular economy. 

In the case of WELL, it complements LEED in creating a framework for better performing buildings. The very first Philippine WELL building is the Menarco Tower in BGC, certified Gold in 2019. As of today, there are 30 more properties in the WELL pipeline. 

The Menarco Tower in BGC, a WELL Gold-certified building.

According to Jack Noonan, VP of the WELL Building Institute for Asia-Pacific, “people often ask what’s the difference between WELL or LEED, or WELL and Green Star.” 

“I usually use water as an example… LEED or Green Star looks at water efficiency, how you can save water; while WELL looks at water quality—how you can use water safely and healthily. Both are important, it’s just that we’re looking at things from different angles. Focusing on health, wellbeing, and safety will lead to more efficient water use or water conservation. So, if you go to Menarco Tower, for example, you know the water coming out of that pipe is safe to drink,” Noonan explained. 

“We spend millions for water treatment and distribution only for water not to be used for drinking and not fit for human consumption, which renders the entire system unsustainable. So maintaining water quality until the tap and actually drinking the water from the tap are crucial to water conservation and ultimately reduces the need for plastic bottled water.”

With Grohe Blue, tap water is filtered and safe to drink, can be chilled, and even made still or sparkling.

Grohe, one of the Lixil brands, is produced in carbon neutral plants, following the United Nations Global Compact guidelines. Grohe Blue delivers filtered water from the tap in any way we want it, from still to sparkling, and chilled to our desired temperature. In the case of Grohe Red, it safely provides kettle-hot water, straight from the tap. 

A recent double-winner, Grohe won the German Sustainability Award 2021 in the Resources category, and the German Sustainability Award Design 2021 for its water system. It’s good to know that Grohe Blue faucets can eventually be recycled to make new ones, with less having to end up in a landfill. 

With Grohe, homeowners are assured that sustainability is more than just a buzzword. In fact, it’s ingrained in the brand’s DNA and part of its plans for the now and for tomorrow.