PepsiCo Gves $8M to Support Access to Clean Water in India
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Water is a critical environmental and social issue as billions of people worldwide currently lack access to safe water for drinking and sanitation needs. A growing population, climate change and other demands on the world’s water supply are expected to make water scarcity and quality into much larger challenges in the future.
PepsiCo is providing the grant to support Water.org, a nonprofit organization co-founded by celebrity Matt Damon. Through this organization, the money will be used to provide micro-loans to families throughout India to get access to clean water by supporting funding for anything from water taps in their home to a working toilet.
It is the latest of several efforts by U.S. beverage companies to offset some of the massive amounts of water they use for their businesses. Drink makers use water for everything from the crops for ingredients to packaging in its plants.
Beverage companies like Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo have paid much more attention to water issues since the early 2000s when both faced sharp criticism in India over claims that the company was depleting and polluting local water supplies. The companies denied the claims but it changed their corporate response to water issues.
Since 2005, PepsiCo has pledged nearly $34 million to safe water and sanitation initiatives in developing countries. It has launched a variety of programs to cut its own water use, from using air instead of water to clean bottles in its plants or helping rice farmers that grow its crops switch from flood irrigation to direct seeding, which uses less water and makes crops more resilient to drought.