Intu Shopping

Intu and MIW

Working across 14 sites, Intu is the UK’s largest shopping mall owner and host to some of the country’s most popular retail destinations. 35 million unique customers visit Intu’s sites annually, adding up to a total of more than 400 million customer visits every year. Understanding the potential environmental impact of such a vast retail landscape, the company has recently reviewed its sustainability policies. As part of that review, Intu is taking steps to reduce the amount of waste plastic produced on its sites. MIW Water Cooler Experts was asked to assist in this process with the installation of public water bottle refill points.

The Brief

Intu opted to begin this project with a pilot study based at its Derby shopping centre. MIW was required to assist in the following areas.

  • Advising upon the logistics of installation, including technical specification and siting.
  • Identifying a water dispenser suited to the needs of the various Intu sites.
  • Ensuring that the refill station provided answered each of the following requirements: compliance with water authority and Government health and safety guidelines; wheelchair accessibility; ease of use; resistance to vandalism; the highest level of hygiene; simple maintenance; company branding.
  • Once a suitable dispenser has been identified, the MIW team would be responsible for sourcing, branding and installing the equipment.
  • Post-installation, MIW would be required to deliver continued support and after sales, including equipment servicing and sanitisation.

The Process

With such an enormous number of visitors attending Intu sites, the priority for this project was to identify a bottle filler that could safely and efficiently withstand a high degree of use while requiring minimal maintenance, to avoid interruption of service. MIW only works with WRAS (Water Regulations Advisory Scheme) approved products, so ensuring compliance with the requisite guidelines was relatively easy. Taking all other requirements into consideration, MIW selected the Branded Eco-Dispenser Max UV Superchill as the best model for this project.

The Eco-Dispenser was specifically designed for high footfall public spaces. The stainless-steel body, security screwed cabinet and sloping exterior not only make the unit vandal resistant, but help to prevent it from becoming the target of suspect packages. The sensor operation means that there are no easily damageable external moving parts. This feature also makes it incredibly easy to use; the automatic cut-off avoiding accidental overflow for users with their hands full, taking care of children, using a walking stick, or manoeuvring a wheelchair. And to answer Intu’s concerns about ongoing hygiene, the unit possesses a cutting-edge inbuilt UV sterilisation system. Designed to kill 99.99% of bacteria and viruses in water including, Legionella, without tainting the taste or smell of the water, this is one of the most advanced systems available.

Once the unit had been identified, MIW worked closely with the Intu Project Management Team to customise the bottle filler with the company’s unique branding and messaging prior to installation.

The Project Continues

MIW installed the first Intu bottle filler in the Derby shopping centre in summer 2019. Based upon that refill point’s reception and use by the public, in January 2020 Intu made the decision to roll out bottle filler installations across all of its UK sites. At the time of writing (February 2020), MIW is continuing to work with Intu on a nationwide installation timetable.

Once all of Intu’s refill point installations have taken place, MIW Water Cooler Experts will provide ongoing servicing, support and aftersales.