The South East Area Innovation Awards was held on 11th March. Because of the restrictions relating to Coronavirus and the need to put delegates health first, the event was virtual again this year. Nevertheless, the presentations were still very well received, and everyone involved demonstrated great enthusiasm and a willingness to make the best of it!
The webinar was chaired by Anna Boyles, Head of Performance, Risk and Optimisation at Thames Water and the judging panel also included Luke Stanbridge, Z-Tech; Sarah Murray, Affinity Water and David Port who is a key member of the area committee.
The winners were Waterwise with their innovative #Pledge2021 – the water saving behavioural change campaign. Waterwise will go on to represent the South East Area at the National Innovation Awards held at the Institute of Water President’s Dinner later this year.
#Pledge2021 was a campaign aimed at encouraging people to save 2021 litres of water in January 2021. The initiative recognised that changing everyday habits can be hard, and that asking people to adapt their behaviour with water can be especially challenging. Drawing on Waterwise’s emphasis this year on recognising the value of water, as well as all the important reasons to save water, #Pledge2021 introduced people to implementing new behaviours in a fun and approachable way – to transform their knowledge and habits around water in the process. Participants received a short daily email with a simple water saving action or tip. A total of 1129 people subscribed to the #Pledge2021 emails, saving a staggering 2,281,709 litres of water in total. The campaign reached 1,975,326 people on social media and 5,596 unique users visited the campaign webpage.
As always, the standard of entries was extremely high and any of them would have been worthy winners, but the judging panel felt that the education driven innovation was timely and it had clearly delivered results over the period of the campaign. The finalists were;
- Thames Water – “What is water?” podcast
- Cappagh Contractors Construction (London) Ltd – Being Brilliant at Customer Engagement
- B4T – Jellyfish
- Portsmouth Water – Innovative public consultation during lockdown
- Waterwise – #Pledge2021 – the water saving behavioural change campaign
The South East Area innovation webinar was one of eye-opening interest and amazing innovation as always. A clear theme that ran through all the entries was one of communication – from communicating with our customers and stakeholders to communicating with our assets.
A big thank you from the area committee to all the entries and finalists, it was great to see such a diverse field of submissions. Finally, many thanks to Z-Tech Control Systems who sponsored the event.
Click here to find out more about the Institute of Water Innovation Awards.