WhiffAway Group

Highlighting best practice as a representative in The Parliamentary Review

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from WhiffAway Group is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

www.whiffaway.com

BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
24 | FAUNA & FLORA INTERNATIONAL
A redirection of foreign aid could also
have significant benefits for nature
and people. Rather than financing
fossil fuel projects, foreign aid can
be a tool to deliver clean energy
and support healthy ecosystems in
developingcountries.
Three and a half billion people depend
directly on natural resources for their
livelihoods, and many depend on
biodiversity to fulfil their daily subsistence
needs. The UN says protecting and
restoring the environment in developing
countries is essential to meeting 14 of
its 15 sustainable development goals.
Investing more in nature can help
ensure the long-term wellbeing of
people around the globe.
Protecting and enhancing biodiversity
is also central to achieving climate
goals. Reforestation, halting
deforestation and protecting carbon
sinks such as mangroves, wetlands, soil
and ocean ecosystems are all key to a
climate-stable future.
Connecting trade with nature
The changes necessary to re-orientate
our relationship with nature are not
going to be easy. A new global policy
framework that connects development
and trade to climate and biodiversity will
be a crucial step. Taking this step will
require moving towards an integrated
funding approach that recognises
that development, livelihoods and
environmental challenges all stem from
similar rootcauses.
Much more work needs to be done to
connect trade goals with foreign aid
goals, so that the exchange of goods
and services boosts the environmental
outcomes essential for securing
livelihoods. The devastating fires in the
Amazon are a wake-up call that show
the need to integrate trade policy with
environmental stewardship.
At FFI we connected these dots long
ago. Nature conservation cannot
succeed unless we build partnerships
with local people to ensure that they
are empowered to protect and restore
nature – and that they benefit from
conservation. We have embedded this
philosophy into our work around the
world, whether that’s saving tigers in
Sumatra, protecting forest corridors
in Belize or safeguarding marine
ecosystems in Scotland.
We would therefore urge the British
government to build on its leading
position by driving forward the policies
that adopt this approach and spark the
transformation needed in this critical
period for humanity.
Investment in
conservation
delivers
results
Siamese crocodile,
Cambodia
25WHIFFAWAY GROUP |
ENVIRONMENT, FOOD & RURAL AFFAIRS
The WhiffAway waterless urinal
system
Sebastian Marshall (left), Valerie McLean
(middle) and James McLean (right) at the
annual WhiffAway Christmas party
Conscious of the environmental crisis, WhiffAway Group
Directors James McLean and Sebastian Marshall set out
to provide technology which would reduce the water
used in urinals. Almost 30 years later, the product has served to
save over 300,000 Olympic-size pools’ worth of drinking water
– around 360 litres a second. Their founder, Valerie McLean,
exhibited vision and passion for her product that Sebastian says
is still felt in the company to this day.
Headquartered in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, WhiffAway Group provides
waterless urinal technology that makes a major, measurable contribution to
environmental sustainability while also improving the workplace experience and
creating job opportunities.
Saving water, energy and money
Aside from the obvious water savings, our system also uses less energy as there
is no need to pump water in to flush urinals, offering an embedded energy and
carbon saving. Moreover, on new builds, there is no need to plumb in cold feeds
to urinals, leading to an estimated 30 per cent saving on project costs and the
environmental savings to match. The system is also non-hazardous, and all cleaning
materials are environmentally friendly.
Our patented systems save money and overcome common problems such as urinal
odours, blockages and flooding while making washrooms more hygienic and
pleasant places to visit.
FACTS ABOUT
WHIFFAWAY GROUP
»Directors: Sebastian Marshall
and James McLean
»Established in 1992
»Based in High Wycombe
»No. of employees: 92
»Services: Waterless urinal
technology and energy
conservation
WhiffAway Group
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
26 | WHIFFAWAY GROUP
Starting in 1992, the WhiffAway
waterless urinal technology story is all
about sustainability. Company founder,
Valerie McLean, was seeking a project
which would make a big difference.
Her preliminary findings demonstrated
that institutions and organisations
were actively exploring gas and
electricity as a means of reducing
costs and being more sustainable. But
it became increasingly evident that
water was being overlooked because
of the relatively low combined cost of
“water in and sewerage out” at the
time. This lack of focus was the start of
her passion for water conservation and
helping others help the environment.
The environment was not typically at
the top of the agenda at the time.
Her vision and determination have
enabled hundreds of companies to save
money, measurably improving their
environmental sustainability credentials,
saving an estimated 750,000,000 cubic
metres of water and £1.9 billion for
the industry. Thatis the equivalent of
300,000 Olympic-size swimming pools of
drinking water, or 360 litres per second.
Operating as a global entity
Today, our day-to-day operations span
four continents and five offices, with
technicians on the road providing
services across our core categories of
interest. As a group, our culture and
values are simple:
»Always stay ahead of the competition
»Listen to our customers
»Deliver first-class products and
services each and every time
»Tackle problems with courage and
integrity
»Set the right example both in the
internal and external environment
In the current economic climate, we
feel being bold enough to accept
change and collaborating with experts
within our industry will not only drive
continuous improvement but also help
us, as a business, achieve sustainable
profitable growth.
Over the last five years alone, we have
grown on average by over 20 per
cent annually. This has allowed us to
make controlled acquisitions within
our industry, with regional offices in
Germany, the UAE, South Africa and
the USA. We now boast group revenue
just shy of $10 million and nearly 100
members of staff.
In turn, this has allowed us to develop
and pioneer our “Smart Washroom”
technology. As a service company we
wanted to use existing technology to
help us see issues as they happened
on our clients’ sites. Our question
wassimple.
“PeePower” – a recent
collaboration with
UWE’s Bristol Robotics
Laboratory, The Gates
Foundation and Oxfam
– pictured here at
Glastonbury 2019
WhiffAway have
developed a large range
of ceramic, stainless steel
and glass-reinforced
plastic urinal bowls to
cover the retrofit and
specification market
Saving an
estimated
750,000,000
cubic metres
of water and
£1.9 billion for
the industry
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
26 | WHIFFAWAY GROUP
Starting in 1992, the WhiffAway
waterless urinal technology story is all
about sustainability. Company founder,
Valerie McLean, was seeking a project
which would make a big difference.
Her preliminary findings demonstrated
that institutions and organisations
were actively exploring gas and
electricity as a means of reducing
costs and being more sustainable. But
it became increasingly evident that
water was being overlooked because
of the relatively low combined cost of
“water in and sewerage out” at the
time. This lack of focus was the start of
her passion for water conservation and
helping others help the environment.
The environment was not typically at
the top of the agenda at the time.
Her vision and determination have
enabled hundreds of companies to save
money, measurably improving their
environmental sustainability credentials,
saving an estimated 750,000,000 cubic
metres of water and £1.9 billion for
the industry. Thatis the equivalent of
300,000 Olympic-size swimming pools of
drinking water, or 360 litres per second.
Operating as a global entity
Today, our day-to-day operations span
four continents and five offices, with
technicians on the road providing
services across our core categories of
interest. As a group, our culture and
values are simple:
»Always stay ahead of the competition
»Listen to our customers
»Deliver first-class products and
services each and every time
»Tackle problems with courage and
integrity
»Set the right example both in the
internal and external environment
In the current economic climate, we
feel being bold enough to accept
change and collaborating with experts
within our industry will not only drive
continuous improvement but also help
us, as a business, achieve sustainable
profitable growth.
Over the last five years alone, we have
grown on average by over 20 per
cent annually. This has allowed us to
make controlled acquisitions within
our industry, with regional offices in
Germany, the UAE, South Africa and
the USA. We now boast group revenue
just shy of $10 million and nearly 100
members of staff.
In turn, this has allowed us to develop
and pioneer our “Smart Washroom”
technology. As a service company we
wanted to use existing technology to
help us see issues as they happened
on our clients’ sites. Our question
wassimple.
“PeePower” – a recent
collaboration with
UWE’s Bristol Robotics
Laboratory, The Gates
Foundation and Oxfam
– pictured here at
Glastonbury 2019
WhiffAway have
developed a large range
of ceramic, stainless steel
and glass-reinforced
plastic urinal bowls to
cover the retrofit and
specification market
Saving an
estimated
750,000,000
cubic metres
of water and
£1.9 billion for
the industry
27WHIFFAWAY GROUP |
ENVIRONMENT, FOOD & RURAL AFFAIRS
“Wouldn’t it be great if we could alert
our customers to a problem, locate
it precisely, and above all else, notify
them before they even knew aboutit?”
Using our experience as a market
leader in waterless urinal technology,
biological solutions and closed systems,
we have now developed and installed
the world’s first fully connected
Smart Washroom platform and 3D
digital twin. In effect, the use of your
bathroom facilities can be monitored
remotely to allow regular maintenance
to be completed before problems
occur – while simultaneously offering
a return on investment and improved
customer satisfaction.
From a social perspective, we are
also turning waste into energy with
our academic partner, University of
West England, through their MFC
stack technology. The technology can
generate power from urine, treating
the waste and the by-product and
putting it back into the land as a
soil inoculant. This can be used, for
example, to power bathroom lights
or remain as stored power to be
used elsewhere. The technology is
backed and recognised by the Gates
Foundation and Oxfam and, when
showcased at Glastonbury Festival, was
aptly named “PeePower”.
Overcoming challenges
Our technology no doubt upsets the
conventional behaviour, outdated
practices and code requirements
typical of the industry, and
implementing it continues to be a
challenge. Overcoming embedded
perceptions arising from poor practice
in the competitive landscape has also
beenchallenging.
Through recognised events in our
sector, such as the Facilities Show,
the CBRE Supply Partner Event, ISH
and IWFM Awards, we are building
awareness for British innovation and
promoting best practice in our core
categories of interest. Our goal is to
set an industry standard, inviting our
competitors to raise the bar to improve
the perception of our technology on a
global scale.
Political drivers, such as the
deregulation of UK water authorities,
are starting to create increased interest
in our water-efficient and smart
technologies because of continued
price increases in water supply and
sewerage. The subject of plastic waste
is also becoming high on the political
agenda and, in particular, how it is
recycled as part of an end-to-end
process. This is, in part, being driven by
wide media coverage of the effects of
plastic in our oceans, with global fast-
moving consumer goods companies
such as Unilever taking the lead in
moving away from single-use plastics,
and activists like Greta Thunberg
building awareness of the wider crisis
surrounding the environment.
Through investment in continuous
improvement and defining standards,
we will strive to continue developing
value-added innovation, whether that
be supporting water conservation
initiatives, making buildings smarter
and more sustainable or harnessing
waste to generate energy and support
the developing world.
Today, our
day-to-day
operations span
four continents
and five
offices
WhiffAway HQ in High
Wycombe – one of
two UK offices, with
aspirations for a third,
larger warehousing unit
in early 2020

www.whiffaway.com

This article was sponsored by WhiffAway Group. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.