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New Water Refill Point Part of Highcross Shopping Centre’s Move Towards Net Positivity

As the biggest shopping centre in the East Midlands, Leicester’s Highcross attracts an average of 18 million visitors a year. It has 40 cafes and restaurants, a 12-screen cinema and more than 100 shops Now, as part of a movement to take the mall into net positivity by 2030, Highcross has invested in a brand new water bottle refill station. And the Highcross team asked MIW to manage the project.

The Highcross bottle filler

Having already worked with a large number of shopping destinations, including Canary Wharf, Bluewater and Liverpool One, the MIW team had a good idea of what Highcross would need from its new refill point. It would need to be easy to use and maintain, vandal resistant, WRAS approved (to guarantee compliance with Government and water authority health and safety guidelines), and wheelchair accessible. Added to that, Highcross requested that the unit be wall-mounted to avoid any unnecessary obstacles in busy thoroughfares.

Taking all of this into consideration, MIW recommended the Halsey Taylor HTHBSM – HydroBoost Bottle Filling Station Surface Mount. It answers all of the specified criteria. It’s fast and efficient, filling a 500ml drinks bottle in just 20 seconds. The hands-free operation makes it incredibly easy to use and reduces the potential for accidental damage. The inbuilt filter can process up to 3,000-gallons before needing to be replaced, ensuring the best-tasting water for a prolonged period and minimal maintenance. It’s also one of the smallest and lightest water dispensers on the market, allowing it to fit seamlessly into its new location, adjacent to Highcross’ upper mall Family Room.

Installed in July, 2019, this new free-to-use public bottle filler is one of the first major steps in Highcross’ move towards being net positive by 2030.

What is net positivity?

Sustainability has become ever-more important to business in recent years. Not only because the public want to work with more responsible companies, but because businesses know that it makes sense. Often on a financial level as well as an ethical one. Net positivity is new way of doing business which puts back more into society, the environment and the global economy than it takes out. And that is the motivation behind the Highcross refill point installation.

Ahad Arshad, Environment and Community Coordinator for Highcross, said: “Concern for the environment and promoting a broader sustainability agenda are integral to how we manage our business at Highcross.

“Being part of the Hammerson group, Highcross has ambitious targets of becoming ‘Net Positive’ by 2030 – for Carbon, Resource Use, Water and Socio-economic impacts. As part of this journey towards Net Positive, Highcross has delivered a range of key projects and strategies including those that focus on reducing water consumption and single use plastics.”

With plastic pollution being one of the greatest global environmental threats, encouraging the re-use of bottles is a really positive move. The provision of free drinking water in public spaces has been proven to limit the number of single use plastics entering the waste stream. And if more companies follow the example of Highcross, it can only be a good thing for the environment.