Loowatt? Waterless loo innovator wins Game-Changer prize at London Cleantech event

Virginia Gardiner (centre), Founder and CEO of Loowatt, accepts the Game-Changer award from (left) Jim Totty, Managing Partner at Earth Capital and member of the judging panel, and (right) Charlotte Morton, Chief Executive of We Are Orchard, the event organisers.
  • Loowatt “has the potential to revolutionise sanitation and sustainability across the globe”
  • Over 50 entrepreneurs pitch their clean technologies to investors at annual showcase event

Waterless toilet technology Loowatt won the ‘Game-Changer’ Prize on 30 April at Cleantech Innovate 2019, a leading annual showcase of game-changing clean technologies.

4.5 billion people lack access to safely managed sanitation and by 2025, 66% of the planet will be living in water-stressed conditions. Loowatt’s patented waterless flush toilets offer an experience on par with a flush toilet but without the water, and their processing hardware facilitates the treatment of waste in energy-generating anaerobic digester systems. Loowatt’s innovation avoids the need to flush toilets with drinking water, or mask odour with dangerous chemicals, and provides a scalable and sustainable solution.

Loowatt has been growing revenues through services – portable toilets in the UK and household toilets overseas – since 2016. The London-based company has already served more than 250,000 paying customers and processed over 300 tons of waste with international waste and water utilities including Thames Water in the UK, SAMVA in Madagascar, and Manila Water in the Philippines. Loowatt is aiming for widespread impact through providing sanitation hardware to service providers in portable toilets, and in municipalities looking to roll out non-sewered sanitation.

The Game-Changer Prize recognises the entrepreneur presenting at Cleantech Innovate with the technology with the greatest potential to have a revolutionary impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and/or improving resource use worldwide. The prize was judged by the Cleantech Innovate Selection Committee according to the following criteria:

  • The potential value of the business idea
  • The novelty of the innovation
  • The feasibility of the business plan
  • Why that particular business is best placed to deliver the innovation to market.
  • The other finalists for the prize were AirEx (a smart ventilation control technology), Airponix (a soil-less food production technology), and Oxford PV (a perovskite solar technology).

Virginia Gardiner, Founder and CEO of Loowatt, said:

“It’s a massive honour for the Loowatt system to receive such recognition among a fantastic array of exciting startups. Crucially, placing the Cleantech Innovate focus on sanitation as the issue needing innovative technologies for the 21st century – to ensure the survival of our people, and our planet – is vitally important for us all.”

Jim Totty, Managing Partner at Earth Capital and member of the judging panel for the prize, said:

“UN Sustainable Development Goal 6 aims to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. 61% of the global population is without safely managed sanitation services: clean sanitation is therefore a fundamental need for the global population that has to be addressed in the 21st century.

“We’re therefore delighted that Loowatt has won the Cleantech Innovate Game-Changer Prize with its new waterless flush toilet. This is a game-changing sanitation technology that meets this market need and has already served 250,000 customers.

“The judges were particularly impressed with the quality of the company presentation, and with the impact of the technology on people’s lives globally. We look forward to seeing Loowatt going from strength to strength as it takes its technology into global markets.”

30 hand-picked entrepreneurs pitched their clean technologies to investors at the event in a series of themed sessions covering energy, food, transport, water, waste, and shelter, while over 20 others delivered quick-fire pitches in the ‘Solutions Garden’. The event also featured a range of workshops designed to support cleantech entrepreneurs looking to grow their business.

Charlotte Morton, Chief Executive of We Are Orchard, the event organisers, said:

“We were delighted to see a fantastic range of truly inspirational entrepreneurs at Cleantech Innovate with well-thought-through and highly developed business plans for bringing their game-changing cleantech innovations to scale.

“It will be fascinating to see which companies secure investment as a result of the event – I have no doubt from what I saw yesterday that there will be plenty! And huge congratulations to Loowatt for winning the coveted Game-Changer Prize – theirs is a solution that has the potential to revolutionise sanitation and sustainability across the globe.”