4 May 2010

Will KBB products be greener on the other side of the electoral fence?

I'm a great fan of political debate but 'debate' has been a bit thin on the ground in politics recently.

But if the three recently televised interviews with the Big Three of English politics have done nothing else, they gave us an opportunity to hear each of them state their case outside of a 30-second sound bite.

I may have dozed off and missed it, but I heard precious little in these debates about environmental issues, despite strong hints from Mother Nature.

The first debate coincided with 'that' volcano, which prevented flying throughout most of Europe, and the third debate coincided with an oil slick with a surface area larger than many a UK constituency heading for an extremely environmentally sensitive section of the American coastline.

And if that wasn't enough, a major new report, by an alliance including the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Royal Academy of Engineering, and the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management, which says that the UK must take a lead in tackling its water footprint and managing its water resources, was published about the same time as Prime Minister Brown was forgetting to unclip his radio mike.

(See BMA welcomes Global Water Security report on the kbb News website for more details about the report - and just about any other newspaper, magazine, website, blog or Twitter feed for more about Mr Brown and his mike.)

Whatever the outcome on Thursday, all of the pundits agree that we are in for a period of sustained belt-tightening, but does this have to be a bad thing for us in KBB-Land? 

I don't think so.

First of all it helps to drive home the quality argument and that has to be a big help to the independent sector as a whole as quality and service are what it should be leading on.

However, the environment could be the big winner once the electoral dust has settled. If the price of using water and fuel increases, as some say it will, any savings that can be made in running costs will be a powerful order-winning argument.

According to a recent survey conducted by Siemens, more people in Britain than elsewhere in Europe put price as the number one consideration when it comes to buying new kitchen appliances or bathroom products.

Demonstrate that money can be saved and you will start to get the British consumer's attention.

Show them that they can have all the features they want, and cover their cost with the money saved in running costs compared with a feature-light alternative with higher running costs, and their hearts and wallets will surely follow.

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