COCA-COLA INVESTS IN WATERHEALTH INTERNATIONAL’S MODEL
The Coca-Cola Company and Acumen investee WaterHealth International (WHI) recently announced their plan to bring safe drinking water to 1 million school children through their Child With Water (CWW) program. Together, the partners aim to deliver 500 million liters of safe drinking water a year to 1 million school children in 2,000 schools in developing countries by the end of 2015. Safe drinking water will be delivered to school children through water purification systems installed, operated and maintained by WaterHealth International and the first installations will begin in May 2014.
The Coca-Cola Company also announced it has taken a minority equity ownership in WaterHealth International. WHI is a world leader in decentralized water purification, currently operating more than 500 water purification plants in five countries providing sustainable safe drinking water access to about 5 million people. The investment by Coca-Cola will further support the scale up of WaterHealth’s sustainable model to provide safe water to underserved communities and accelerate the placement of new WaterHealth Centers and CWW programs globally.
“Safe water is critical for all. It’s vital to the health of people and communities, it’s essential to economic prosperity, and it’s the lifeblood of our business,” said Bea Perez, Chief Sustainability Officer, The Coca-Cola Company. “Through the Child With Water program, we can help keep children hydrated, active and healthy so they can thrive in school and in their communities. We believe this program has the potential to help transform communities through safe water consumption, safe water handling and safe hygiene practices. WaterHealth International is an ideal partner to implement the program because of their proven model and capability of providing safe water to communities. The results will have a lasting impact on the communities we serve.”
“We are very pleased to join Coca-Cola in this initiative. This is further validation that the WaterHealth approach is the world’s leading model for sustainably providing safe drinking water,” said Sanjay Bhatnagar, President & CEO, WaterHealth International. “The Child With Water program has a critical focus on water quality, reliable operations and hygiene education. WHI is in a unique position to implement the program due to the size and breadth of our existing footprint. Partnering with a visionary company like Coca-Cola enables us to have a greater impact and further our mission to provide clean water to the millions who have spent a lifetime waiting for it.”
Coca-Cola is actively partnering with WHI for safe water access projects in West Africa through its Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN). CWW supports Coca-Cola’s commitment to replenish the water used in its beverages by 2020, and its continued commitment to fostering sustainable communities globally.