25 years of the British Water Cooler Association

This year marks the silver anniversary of general manager, Phillipa Atkinson-Clow working with the British Water Cooler Association – the industry body that represents the main companies and consultants engaged in supplying and distributing water coolers. The BWCA conference in 2018, aptly themed ‘The Journey’ provides a platform from which Phillipa can give an overview of the last 25 years.

Anticipating her speech to the conference on March 8, she says: “25 years is a long time in one industry – but over the years I have seen a lot of changes and developments. As people are so fond of saying nowadays, we’ve come a long way on our “journey” and so, with the theme of this year’s conference in mind, I’m looking forward to sharing my insight into the past “journey”; I’ll be assessing where the BWCA is at the moment; and reflecting on what the future may bring.”

The British Water Cooler Association (BWCA) – formerly the ‘Bottled’ Water Cooler Association has changed. What started as a group of like-minded company owners meeting 4 times a year has metamorphosed into a much-respected auditing and standards body whose accreditation is widely admired and respected.

Phillipa says: “We promote healthy hydration through water coolers which deliver calorie-free hydration in a way that is cost-effective, convenient and sustainable. But we are conscious that not all coolers are equal and our key role is to ensure safe, hygienic hydration. BWCA members are carefully selected and audited, not just at the time of joining, but regularly. This ensures unimpeachable standards of training and good practice. The Association runs annual 3rd party audits and industry-specific training programmes for staff within member companies to ensure that rigorous protocols are followed in providing service and product excellence”.

Through conferences, meetings, ongoing training, guidance, research and communication material as well as representations to Government, the BWCA plays an important role in aiding the industry to grow. It ensures that all members are up to date with current best practice and that the industry is linked with international members, primarily through WaterCoolers Europe.

“What began modestly has grown and strengthened over the years, ably led by our chairmen and executive council, and assisted enormously by our technical committee and technical and training advisors. BWCA has developed into a body that is widely recognised as being an exemplar of trade association good practice. I’m proud of the research, training, auditing and the promotion, latterly, of sustainability issues. Above all I am proud of our wonderful Members”.

***The BWCA Conference and Trade Show takes place on March 8 at the Nottingham Belfry. For tickets to attend the conference or to register for the trade show visit www.bwca.org.uk ***