The Coca-Cola Company Endorses WASH Sustainability Charter
100th Endorsement Cements Charter as Key Framework for Lasting Services in the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Sector

Washington, D.C, January 16, 2013 - The Coca-Cola Company, one of the world’s largest private sector supporters of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) solutions around the world has signed on to the WASH Sustainability Charter. The first Fortune-500 company to endorse the Charter, The 
Coca-Cola Company’s backing marks the 100th endorsement for the Charter, which outlines key steps for creating lasting WASH services.  

Ensuring long-term WASH service provisions is one of the greatest challenges, and most important objectives, facing the international development community. As many as 30-50% of clean drinking water projects fail prematurely, squandering limited resources and devastating communities that rely on these services. In response to this challenge, The Coca-Cola Company joins a diverse group of stakeholders, including donors, NGOs, academic groups, government agencies and others committed to the common principles for lasting services laid out in the Charter

The Coca-Cola Company is endorsing the Charter because we believe that investments in WASH initiatives will and should span generations. Through the Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN), we have always looked to develop supply chains, means of communication, and a finance stream for communities to be able to sustain the safe water and sanitation systems we help provide, which is one of the biggest challenges facing the water sector,” says Greg Koch, the Director of Global Stewardship in the Corporate Sustainability Office at The Coca-Cola Company. “Signing the Charter strengthens our commitment to enable lasting community ownership and operation of these water access and treatment systems.”

We are particularly pleased that Coca-Cola, as the private sector’s leading champion and funder of WASH programs around the world, has publicly committed to supporting clean water programs meant to be as sustainable as their brand,” said Monica Ellis, CEO of Global Water Challenge, a lead developer of the Charter.

This endorsement has impacts beyond Coca-Cola’s investments in WASH and underscores the company’s broader commitment to sustainable growth across its businesses. “We can’t talk about climate change, green growth or a sustainable tomorrow without addressing water and sanitation issues today,” said Jae So, Manager of The World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program.  ”With 2.5 billion people lacking adequate sanitation, the world is in the midst of a water and sanitation crisis. Global businesses recognize this absolute fact and are putting important actions in place today. We applaud Coca-Cola’s recognition and pursuit of the shared value of water and sanitation by endorsing this Charter.”  

The endorsement marks a key milestone for the Charter, developed in 2011, and comes at a pivotal time for the sustainability of WASH services around the world. Through SustainableWASH.org (where the Charter is hosted), the principles of the Charter are being translated into action through self-assessment tools, a library, a discussion board, and other resources.

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About SustainableWASH.org:

SustainableWASH.org provides a dynamic hub of the WASH sustainability conversation and hosts the WASH Sustainability Process; a three-step assessment process built on the foundation of the WASH Sustainability Charterand designed to improve WASH sustainability globally. In early 2012, representatives from a consortium of organizations (Aguaconsult, Global Water Challenge, IRC and WASH Advocates) came together to build on previous work around sustainability and create SustainableWASH.org. This website provides a platform to assess, learn, and share best practices related to WASH. By learning and sharing from each other, we can work together to support services that will last into the future.  For additional information, please visit SustainableWASH.org or contact info@sustainablewash.org.

About The Coca-Cola Company:

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands.  Led by Coca-Cola, the world’s most valuable brand, our Company’s portfolio features 15 billion-dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia and Del Valle. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees, and juices and juice drinks.  Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy our beverages at a rate of 1.8 billion servings a day.  With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate.  Together with our bottling partners, we rank among the world’s top 10 private employers with more than 700,000 system associates.  For more information, visit www.coca-colacompany.com, follow us on Twitter attwitter.com/CocaColaCo or visit our blog, Coca-Cola Unbottled, at www.coca-colablog.com.

WASH Sustainability: Looking Through the GLAAS

Global Water Challenge and WASH Advocates invite you to the next webinar in our WASH Sustainability Webinar Series.

 Tuesday, July 17, 11:00 am-12:00 pm EDT

WASH Sustainability: Looking Through the GLAAS will be an hour-long webinar that brings together leading WASH experts and GLAAS report contributors to discuss the practical implications of the recent report.

The UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS) report monitors the inputs needed to extend and sustain water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) systems and services.

GLAAS contributors Catarina Fonseca, WASHCost Project Director at the International Water and Sanitation Centre (IRC) and Peregrine Swann, Consultant to the GLAAS Team at the World Health Organization (WHO) will discuss what’s behind the numbers of the GLAAS report with specific focus on external support agencies, sustainability, and financing.

This webinar will be moderated by Eddy Perez, Senior Sanitation Specialist at the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program.

Detailed information including the webinar link will be sent at a later date.

The GLAAS report is available on the WHO website for review prior to the webinar.

GWC, WASH Advocacy Initiative Convene Webinar on Post Implementation Monitoring

Last week GWC and the WASH Advocacy Initiative convened a webinar that brought together a broad spectrum of stakeholders interested in the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector to discuss options for post implementation monitoring.  This event was aligned with the WASH Sustainability Charter and focused on providing attendees with several concrete and practical tools that can be used to monitor programs after implementation, including collaborative monitoring, circuit riding and remote monitoring. 

Each of the speakers gave their perspective on post implementation monitoring during the hour-long webinar.  The entire webinar can be viewed in the player at the bottom of the post.  The individual speakers begin at the timestamp after their affiliation.

  • Jae So, Manager of the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program (1:55), gave an overview of monitoring and discussed why it is so important for long-term program effectiveness.
  • Erick Toledo, Program Director at Millennium Water Alliance (12:55), outlined the circuit rider program that has been put in place in Central America.
  • Marla Smith-Nislon, Executive Director of Water 1st (23:45), introduced the concept of collaborative monitoring and introduced about the upcoming accountability forum that will pilot this model.
  • Eric Stowe, Founder and Director of a child’s right (32:25), gave a survey of remote monitoring technologies and options for interested organizations.
  • A question and answer session (39:00) followed the last presentation.

The webinar was moderated by Ned Breslin, CEO of Water For People

The video of the event can be found below. We invite you to continue the conversation at www.SustainableWASH.org.  Be sure to let us know what you think on Twitter and Facebook!

In The Age of Water, Companies Have a Leading Role to Play in Water Security

Today, GWC CEO Monica Ellis published a piece on Mother Nature Network about the role of the private sector in addressing global water issues:

It’s a very powerful thing when companies understand their environmental footprints and take positive action for the greater good. Every time a company takes these steps, it stimulates momentum. It is this momentum that continues to fuel new investment in water stewardship – and it may be one of the best antidotes for solving the global water crisis.

The water challenge is too large for any one sector to tackle alone. Public and private groups must continue to work together to find sustainable solutions. During the past decade, combined efforts by governments, organizations and private-sector actors led to increased access to water for roughly 200 million people. These partnerships demonstrate how leading organizations can make a significant impact on water sustainability and improve the quality of life for millions in need around the world. That is a step toward water security and a healthier, sustainable future for all.

Head over to Mother Nature Network to read the whole post!

WASH Sustainability Charter: Protecting Tomorrow’s Smiles

Somewhere in the world, a broken water pump sits idle in a field. A few years ago, a well-intentioned group installed the system and captured terrific pictures of smiling children as the mayor cut the ribbon on the new pump. Clean, fresh water started flowing and the community sprang to life. Until the pump broke. Now, those children don’t smile as they miss school and trek long distances to fetch water from a dirty river. They don’t smile as their family and friends get sick from waterborne disease and they don’t smile when their community falters without safe water. The money that funded that pump has disappeared down drain and the good days of flowing water feel like a pipe dream.

Today, a group of leading organizations has united to make sure that the water never stops flowing. Over 20 organizations that work in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) have endorsed the WASH Sustainability Charter. This Charter is a collaboratively-developed mission and set of guiding principles that advance lasting solutions in WASH. Recognizing that a broken pump affects everyone, endorsers include donors, implementers, academics and WASH implementation coalitions. All have agreed to strive toward the key sustainability principles outlined in the Charter and will work together to encourage and empower all stakeholders to achieve these principles.

By aligning the WASH community around common principles and adopting these ideals in our work, we can do our part to keep clean water flowing and toilets working. By providing a consistent framework for ongoing learning, we can develop best practices that ensure solutions last for generations, not years.

Click here to read the Charter and join the movement.

Ford Releases 2010-2011 Sustainability Report

This week, GWC member Ford Motor Company released its annual Sustainability Report, in which the company details its efforts to maintain best in class operations in the areas of water, climate change, supply chain management, vehicle safety and long term company health.  In 2010, Ford identified water as a top sustainability concern, reduced water use per vehicle by 8.5 percent and began to define their corporate water strategy

Our water strategy actions aim to meet a number of objectives. These include:

  • Minimizing global water consumption at Ford facilities while maximizing reuse
  • Finding ways to use alternative, lower-quality water sources
  • Prioritizing our investments based on local water scarcity and cost concerns
  • Meeting either local quality standards or Ford global standards for wastewater discharge – whichever is more stringent
  • Ensuring a stable water supply for our manufacturing facilities while working with local communities to minimize our impact

GWC is excited to work together with Ford to plan for a sustainable water future and identify areas where Ford can help protect the health of its workforce and local communities.

In this year’s report, GWC CEO Monica Ellis gave her perspective on Ford’s efforts:

I applaud Ford’s recognition of water as an issue material to its business. It’s a very powerful thing when companies understand their environmental footprints and choose to leverage this understanding for the greater good. When a company like Ford takes this step, that gets the attention of competitor companies and stimulates momentum. It is this momentum that provides perhaps the best hope for solving the global water crisis.

To read Ms. Ellis’ full statement, click here.  To learn more, see Ford’s perspective on water and the company’s overall Blueprint for Sustainability.

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