An old proverb states you can judge a person by the company they keep. In that respect Pentair could be held in the highest esteem as the company is an integral member of many well-respected trade associations across Europe.
From niche organisations like the German Water Cooler Association to international bodies such as Aqua Europa, trade associations give Pentair a stronger voice. As a business that believes access to clean, safe water is essential for life, its membership of and participation in trade associations is essential too. In each country, trade associations are key to the promotion, education and defence of water treatment and the positive impact it has.
We look at the work of these industry bodies, ask why Pentair supports them and what membership means for Pentair customers across Europe.
Raising public awareness of the importance of water treatment
Steven Van Campenhout is Pentair Sales Director for the Components Business Unit, and also sits on the board of Aqua Belgica, the professional association of water treatment companies in Belgium.
“Like most trade associations, it is the work to raise public awareness of our industry that is invaluable,” says Steven. “While our members know the importance of high-quality water, its complexity and vulnerability, consumers can often be confused. Our association runs education programmes, publishes research papers, conducts surveys and seeks to increase knowledge around the benefits of water treatment, especially softening.”
But that message extends beyond consumers. Aqua Belgica, like many of its European counterparts is also actively involved in lobbying government at local, national and even international level to increase the profile of the industry it represents.
Setting best practice across the industry
In France, the French Association of Water Treatment Professionals (UAE) meets with the national water regulator (ACS) and the French Health Ministry to advocate the wellbeing of the water treatment business. Christophe Masson, responsible for Pentair Sales in France also contributes to the communications committee of the UAE and is proud of the work it does for the industry. He recalls a recent difference of opinion with another trade body. “We became aware that the construction industry had issued some guidelines indicating that water softeners were not really necessary,” recounts Christophe. “The UAE made contact, restated the multiple benefits of softening and shortly after those responsible changed their recommendations. It’s a good example of trade associations working together to promote and where necessary establish best practice.”
Similarly Aqua Italia, the Association of Primary Water Treatment Manufacturers in Italy, in which Pentair is highly active, is working non-stop on events, social campaigns and other initiatives promoting the water treatment industry. In 2021 Aqua Italia was instrumental in working with the Italian Government to introduce the Drinking Water Bonus, legislation giving consumers a 50% tax reduction on the purchase of water treatment equipment.
“Aqua Italia has been high profile in helping consumers understand the benefits of properly treated tap water.”
Luigi Salarolo, Business Development Director, Pentair Italy
Luigi Salarolo, Business Development Director at Pentair Italy is a board member of Aqua Italia: “Our trade association has been high profile in helping consumers understand the benefits of properly treated tap water. We have just launched a new digital campaign; #InAquaVeritas, designed specifically to dispel some of the myths surrounding tap water quality and to ultimately reduce our dependence on plastic bottled water and all the environmental impact that has. At Pentair, reducing plastic water bottle waste is something we feel strongly about and being part of a trade association gives our voice much more weight,” says Luigi.
Trade association membership provides peace-of-mind
Steven Van Campenhout is in no doubt that trade association membership also provides peace of mind to Pentair customers in their respective countries. “I see our membership as like a ‘certificate’ or a ‘stamp of approval’,” he says. “All trade association members, whether manufacturers like Pentair or distributors and installers, have to respect its code of conduct. This is an ethical code that requires all members to only provide reliable and effective systems under the legal requirements of the national water treatment regulations. If that code gets breached, the associations acts.”
Christophe Masson agrees, “Trade associations set best practice, expect best practice and ask questions if it is not delivered by its members.”
“Trade associations set best practice, expect best practice and ask questions if it is not delivered by its members.”
Christophe Masson, Area Sales Manager, Pentair France
It helps that trade associations are largely run on a national level where only companies with a presence in a country can join its local trade associations. Pentair is a member of trade associations in most European countries where it operates.
“A trade association is a great forum to network,” says Luigi Salarolo. “Aqua Italia meets most months and I can swap experiences and share knowledge with fellow manufacturers and customers. We put commercial differences aside to promote the well-being of water treatment.”
Many national trade associations are federated at international level, ensuring consistency of standards, technology and best practice across borders.
Trade associations educate and inspire
Other Pentair European businesses see the benefit and positive impact of trade association membership – notably its Food-service division. With alliances to vending associations in Italy, Germany and France, Pentair continues to invest time and resources into the success of European trade associations.
“Trade Association Membership help us to inspire more people, in more places, to improve and enjoy their water.”
Steven Van Campenhout, Sales Director, Pentair Components Business Unit
Trade associations play a vital role in the European water treatment landscape and Steven Van Campenhout is proud of Pentair support and membership across the continent. “Membership gives us a voice at the table, ensures our industry collectively meets customer expectations and above all, trade associations help us inspire more people in more places to improve and enjoy their water.”
Primary Pentair European Trade Association Memberships
Association of Primary Water Treatment Manufacturers
Professional Association of Water Treatment Companies
Italian Vending Association
The Federal Association of the German Vending Machine Industry
The French Association of Water Treatment Professionals
German Water Cooler Association
The National Federation of Automatic Sales and Services
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