Innovation

Water Conservation: One Tap at a Time

  • Team ‘Brother Nature’ alongside the wider team at Sunway Malls are harnessing their collective knowledge and expertise to tackle our nation’s growing water woes
Innovation
  • The average Malaysian Muslim uses up to four litres of water – four times the recommended amount – to perform wudu or ablution each time. This renders Malaysia among the biggest consumers of water per capita in Southeast Asia!
  • Aiming to put an end to this predicament, four passionate Sunway staff devised a solution called ‘Tap of Eden’ as their sustainable answer to reduce water usage by 75 per cent.

Water is essential in our daily lives – and for Muslims around the world, this precious resource is key in the practice of performing wudu or ablution – which is the Islamic procedure for cleansing parts of the body before conducting prayers.

However, a Malaysian Muslim averagely uses up to four litres of water for each wudu session, which is four times the recommended amount. Whether it is attributed to the habit of keeping the tap running during the process, or lack of understanding of how this leads to water wastage, this contributes to Malaysia being among the biggest water consumers per capita in Southeast Asia.

Enter a passionate quartet who goes by ‘Brother Nature’ and their invention: the ‘Tap of Eden’, harnessing their collective knowledge and expertise to tackle our nation’s growing water woes.

A watery issue

Formed during Sunway iLabs’ Make It Challenge 2022 in the Staff Track category, Brother Nature comprises four dedicated individuals hailing from various backgrounds at Sunway Malls: Ainul Nabeel Fikri who is an architect and innovation enthusiast, Mohamad Noah Mohd Fhauzi – interior designer, Ahmad Hakim Abdul Rahman who delves in project management on top of pursuing a PhD, as well as Luqmanul Hakim Jafry – mechanical engineer from the Quality Assurance/Sustainability department.

During the challenge, the team identified one salient issue: water wastage from the use of common bib taps. Working together with Sunway Malls’ wider team to analyse the average water usage in reference to each mall’s footfall, Brother Nature discovered that the findings amount to an average of 76 million litres of water consumed yearly – enough to fill 30 Olympic swimming pools!

They sprang into action and embarked on the project that would eventually crown them the champions after their presentation at the Sunway Leaders Conference 2023.

The Beginning of a Humbling Adventure

With the aim of reducing water consumption during wudu, and by extension, addressing global climate change, Brother Nature was guided by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs), particularly SDGs 11, 12 and 13.

Following much evaluation and research, Brother Nature presented a design that was sustainable, pragmatic and visually appealing – the ‘Tap of Eden’.

Brother Nature’s 'Tap of Eden' comes with either a full tap or a screw-on tap head for various purposes.

Brother Nature developed two designs: a full tap (left) as well as a screw-on tap head (right).

Primed to be a cost-effective innovation that not only reduces water usage but also fosters a habit of mindful consumption, the device is to be made available in two options: a full tap as well as a screw-on type that could be used on existing taps, minimising additional expenses for installation. This approach ensures accessibility and affordability for a wider implementation of their water-saving solution.

This innovative design is also easy to use. Equipped with a user-friendly lever mechanism akin to commercial water dispensers, users would simply have to push on the tap to activate it. Once released, the water flow would be cut off, effectively optimising water efficiency during wudu.

Many Hands Make Light Work

To bring their vision to life, Brother Nature was blessed to be able to garner the support of our Sunway fraternity throughout their journey. From utilising Sunway Pyramid’s rooftop water facilities to conducting pilot runs with various types of taps to collect data in the respective prayer rooms at Sunway Pyramid, Sunway Pinnacle and Menara Sunway, the team shares that they were only able to advance further with necessary data and constructive feedback provided by our various business divisions.

As shared by project leader Ainul Nabeel, the Sunway Malls team’s contribution to their efforts was what led to Brother Nature’s eventual success.

Our Sunway Malls family came together including our CEO and General Managers, to implement the pilot test in Sunway Pyramid’s Surau-Prayer Room facility. This involved participation of various departments due to the pilot test scope such as installation of shopper tracking devices, replacement of existing bib taps with off-the-shelf water saving taps, installation of water meter, design and print of noticeboards, and others,” Ainul Nabeel shared.

 Their hard work was recognised as they were announced as the winners of the challenge.

Team Brother Nature enjoys their well-earned reward at the Gordon Ramsay Bar & Grill in Sunway Resort Hotel.

Brother Nature celebrating their well-earned victory at the Gordon Ramsay Bar & Grill in Sunway Resort Hotel.

Entrepreneurial Ventures Ahead

Moving forward, Brother Nature plans to install the ‘Tap of Eden’ in public facilities and buildings at no cost. This strategic initiative aims not only to raise awareness but also to prompt a positive transformation in water usage habits among the public. By working hand-in-hand with Sunway Winstar to produce and manufacture the ‘Tap of Eden’, the team aspires to bring their solution to market as a viable answer to water conservation in Malaysia and beyond.

Ainul Nabeel attests that a transformational solution can simply be borne from everyday problems, and that anybody can make a change – if only they take the first step forward.

“Identify a simple daily problem faced by users, operators or even owners, and find a solution capable of delivering maximum impact with minimum change. Once you are set on your innovation trajectory, reach out to others for advice and input to improve upon the idea or solution. Different perspectives are crucial for improvements,” he said.

Brother Nature’s journey demonstrates the need for sustainable solutions in the daily items we used in life, as we continue the good fight against climate change. From winning the Sunway iLabs Make It Challenge to presenting at Sunway Leaders Conference in 2023, the team’s success is testament that anyone of us has the power of innovation, sustainability, and collaboration to advance the UN-SDGs.

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