Driven by innovation and a passion for providing quality products and services, Zip are world leaders in instant drinking water systems. Incorporating world-class filtration and patented technologies, Zip set the standard for sustainable products and manufacturing that extends right throughout the supply chain.

With a commitment to excellence and environmental awareness, Zip has joined the Sustainability Awards program for the third year running, sponsoring the evening’s most anticipated award, Best of the Best. We caught up with Tom Fisher, Marketing Director at Zip, to discuss sustainability, product innovation and how customers are shaking things up.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your work with Zip?

I’ve been at Zip for 8 years now, working with them as the Marketing Director. I’m passionate about product design and innovation and putting the customer at the centre of everything we do. The customer influences all areas of the Zip business and their voice is evident through all products and the services we offer. 

You mention the role of the customer in the Zip approach. Are you able to expand a little on how this influences the way you approach sustainability and the environmental impact of your products and services?

When we think about the opportunity to be more sustainable, we think about what would make sense from a customer perspective and incorporate that into our products.

Specifically, we’re seeing a rapidly shifting conversation about sustainability and our natural habitat. Our customers are becoming a lot more aware of their responsibilities when it comes to sustainability and are building, living and working in highly rated buildings that are energy efficient and water efficient. We need to be able to facilitate these buildings and help our customers achieve their energy and water usage targets. With this in mind, we strive to be conscious about the products we recommend to our customers and the products we design and build. 

The other thing from a customer perspective is that they want to reduce waste. So, we convert ordinary tap water into pure-tasting water in the form our customers want and instantly. We are responsible for leading and driving this category and from a customer perspective it means they no longer need to keep plastic water bottles on site.

Zip feel strongly about sustainability and sustainable accreditations. We have an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) for our Zip HydroTap products, internationally recognised and independently verified, the EPD details the environmental impact of our HydroTaps from end to end; through production, manufacturing, distribution, installation and maintenance. This puts us in the best possible position to be working with and partnering our customers to make the best and most informed decisions for themselves and the their environmental footprint.

What are some of the key ways and technologies that Zip uses to increase their sustainability credentials.

At Zip, we are very proud to offer products and services with a multifaceted approach to sustainability, energy efficiency and reducing the environmental footprint for both us and the end user.

First and foremost, we have developed and patented our PowerPulse™ technology which reinvents the way water is heated and temperatures are maintained. Traditionally, water heaters would heat water en masse, letting it cool then over boiling it to 100+ degrees. This heating cycle draws down a lot of energy and is highly inefficient. With PowerPulse™ this process is transformed. We rapidly heat water in small increments and maintain that temperature at a customer specified point, ensuring the process is highly energy efficient.

All of our products are also air-cooled as opposed to water-cooled. In the refrigeration process, air-cooling is a great environmental option. 

Beyond these key points, the Zip product catalogue features additional advanced technology points such as advanced thermal insulation and energy conservation. We have a choice of energy-saving modes and also offer light sensitive capabilities, where the tap is able to sense when the lights in an office have been turned off, which in turn activates sleep mode to save energy when selected.  

How does this approach extend beyond the product?

Part of offering a sustainable product is ensuring that the process and manufacturing behind it is also as sustainable as possible. We take care to ensure each Zip HydroTap is manufactured sustainably and to the highest quality possible. We carry a full WaterMark and WRAS approval so our customers can be sure that they’re receiving the safest and highest quality product available on the market.

Through this process, a lot of what we’re doing on the manufacturing side is focusing on the way we recycle and minimise waste throughout our process. On site, we have water-recycling units that we use in the cleaning of products to ensure there is minimal wastage. Using advanced computer design software, we create optimal cutting patterns to reduce waste whilst also recycling any offcuts. We also work with our products throughout their full lifecycle. If we are responsible for the replacement or maintenance of a product, we actually bring them back into our facility, strip them down, and dispose of them responsibly. 

We are also conscious of the way we use packaging through all steps of our manufacturing process. From buying in bulk in specifically determined packaging, to minimising the use of plastic and using recyclable board when we ship product out to clients, we work with our whole supply chain to minimise packaging. 

Zip has partnered with the Sustainability Awards for three years running, sponsoring the ‘Best of the Best’ category. Why did you decided to get involved and what do the Awards mean to you?

As industry leaders in our sector, we have long displayed a commitment to sustainability, innovation and excellence. This aligns with what the Sustainability Awards celebrates: projects, products and designers who are leading the way with exciting and forward-thinking solutions to creating a positive environmental impact. Zip Water is extremely proud to be partnering the Sustainability Awards and to be acknowledging the very best the Architecture and Design industry has to offer in this space.