Procter & Gamble - Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program

International Award Big Tick 2012

Almost one billion people worldwide do not have access to clean water. Many of these, particularly children and women in the developing world, must walk an average of 6 kilometres daily to collect often contaminated water. This regularly carries diseases – cholera, dysentery and typhoid fever – that cause diarrhoea and turn this issue into the leading cause of illness and death amongst infants and children in the developing world; even ahead of malaria and HIV/AIDS combined.

Since 1995, P&G Children’s Safe Drinking Water Programme (CSDW), has been developing an affordable drinking water system that people can use at their homes.

Business Impact

  • Since 2004 there has been an increase in the positive perception of the company, which has received international recognition several times.
  • Both P&G CSDW Programme and their mainstream business have been able to build working relationships.
  • It is a great opportunity for expansion plans towards developing markets on Asia and Africa.
  • The programme is a motivation both for employees – who have the opportunity to help by taking part in fund raising/team building events- and for potential new recruits.

Society Impact

  • After 7 years of work with 120 partners, the programme has made a positive impact in over 65 countries by delivering 4 billion litres of clean drinking water, averting more than 165 million days of diarrhoea and saving over 22,000 lives.
  • It has improved the life of people living with compromised immune system – to which unclean water is a very real danger – by working with many HIV/AIDS charities.
  • It has raised the awareness of scale of the drinking water issue by linking their trusted brands through “cause related marketing” (CRM) programmes to P&G’s CSDW Programme. For example through Pantene’s “Healthy Hair for Healthy Water”.

We are convinced of the efforts potential to make a significant contribution to helping the world water situation and to meeting the UN MDG’s.

- Sally Cowal,
Senior VP, Chief Liaison Officer

Improving life through water

P&G’s company purpose states: “We will provide branded products and services of superior quality and value that improve the lives of the world’s consumers...”; and that is what the P&G CSDW Programme is about, improving lives through the delivery of clean drinking water to children, who otherwise, would be forced to drink from a water source of questionable quality that may make them sick or worse.

In partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), P&G has developed the P&G’s Purifier of Water, an amazing and affordable innovation that “quickly turns ten litres of dirty, potentially deadly water into clean and drinkable water”. Its simplicity – a package which contains a powdered mixture that removes pathogenic microorganisms and suspended matter - allows people to purify dirty water in any part of the world, using a technology similar to municipal water systems in developed countries.

Save a life every hour

To date, P&G has invested more than US$35 million towards clean drinking water, and CSDW has delivered over 4 billion litres of clean drinking water. But the challenge still goes on. The new aim of the programme is to “save a life every hour”, by providing up to 2 billion litres of safe drinking water per year by 2020; and everything under one condition: keeping it affordable for consumers in developing countries.

From its global position, P&G is able to ensure raw material and control the manufacturing cost; but the CSDW programme not only develops the product, it focuses on delivering the product to those who need it. To achieve this objective P&G tries to work with a wide variety of partners in order to support the product with educational programmes, training and local support networks.

 Turning contaminated water into drinking waterP&G - Children's save drinking water project