Co-op has today (22), on World Water Day, announced that its members and customers have raised over £20 million to date to support clean water and sanitation projects, through its partnership with The One Foundation and Water Unite.
The convenience retailer is the only supermarket to have an own brand charity water, which is available at almost 7,500 convenience stores, including independent Nisa retailers who are supplied by Co-op.
As part of this initiative, 3p of every litre of Co-op own brand water sold goes to The One Foundation – a UK charity funding grants into systems-change implementation into humanitarian water, sanitation, and hygiene programmes. Sales from Co-op have helped change the lives of over 2.9 million people across the world.
Furthermore, as a pioneer partner to Water Unite, 1p of every litre of branded water is also donated to support clean water projects together with Co-op’s branded suppliers. Water Unite contributes to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals initiative to end water poverty by 2030 through the funding of water, sanitation and hygiene projects by applying a micro-levy to bottled water sales globally.
Shirine Khoury-Haq, Co-op chief executive, said: “Water is a precious resource, sustaining all life on earth. Yet access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene is taken for granted by many and remains elusive for poorer nations. The climate crisis is only widening this gap.
“It is vital that businesses understand the importance of water scarcity and take action in the communities from which they source, here in the UK and around the world. Equally, it is important to help consumers understand the impact of the products and services they buy, on people and the planet. The £20 million raised through our commitments is an incredible achievement, made possible through choices made by our members and customers to buy Co-op brand water, and is a fantastic example of how shopping at Co-op can really make a difference.”
These latest fundraising figures reveal that Nisa customers have collectively raised more than £1million, towards the total £20m, for The One Foundation since becoming part of the Co-op Group in 2018 and stocking Co-op own-brand water.
Peter Batt, Managing Director of Nisa, said: “Nisa customers continue to make a valuable contribution to The One Foundation by buying Co-op branded water through Nisa. We know our independent retailers are always looking for ways to make a difference locally but this initiative gives them a platform to contribute to a global effort too.
“To reach the milestone of donating over £1 million is fantastic and we are extremely proud of our Nisa customers for the contribution they make through their purchasing.”.
Working in partnership with The One Foundation, Co-op has spent the last 16 years investing in clean water, sanitation and hygiene projects around the world. Co-op is also pioneering partners for Water Unite, meaning that every bottle of water purchased at Co-op helps to support clean water security projects and changes lives around the world.
Nikki Armstrong, Programming and Partnerships Manager, The One Foundation, said: “We are so grateful for the leadership and commitment that Co-op has shown in ensuring clean water and sanitation for communities across Africa. The issues of water security, access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene for all, and water pollution are all acute.
“It’s an astonishing, and sad, fact that almost a third of people on earth still don’t have running water at home, and over 750 million people rely on unsafe water sources. In fact, only 54% of the world’s population are using safely managed sanitation services and every two minutes diarrhoea caused by dirty water and poor toilets kills a child under the age of five.”
World Water Day 2023 (Wednesday, 22 March) is an annual United Nations Observance, started in 1993, that celebrates water and raises awareness of the 2 billion people currently living without access to safe water. This year’s World Water Day is about accelerating change to solve the water and sanitation crisis.