Product, Service & Design Innovation
Coke, Pepsi Forge Partnerships to Deliver Water Access in Rural Africa, Latin America

Currently, 663 million people lack access to safe drinking water, and by 2025, half the world’s population could be living in water-stressed areas. For their part, The Coca-Cola Company is partnering with Subway and World Vision to deliver sustainable access to clean drinking water in Kenya, and PepsiCo has renewed its partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank, which will include collaboration on delivering equitable access to safe, affordable water in rural communities in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Coca-Cola’s EKOCENTER has joined forces with Subway and World Vision to create the “Fresh Water 4 All” donation program. Subway will donate 30 cents from every bottle of Dasani (still or sparkling) sold at 2,500 select U.S. stores in July and August, up to a maximum donation of $125,000. The proceeds will be used by World Vision for a “sustainable, community-owned water system” in Kenya, where EKOCENTER is currently active with its kiosks that act as a cross between a community center and general store.

“As a result of our partnerships, we’re able to make clean drinking water available to more people around the world, while also creating value for our customer, Subway,” said Coca-Cola’s Carrie Roberts, a senior national sales executive on the Subway Global Account Team. “This program demonstrates our commitment to water stewardship as well as our commitment to aligning partners around a shared purpose.”

Coca-Cola’s press release said that in addition to creating shared value for all project stakeholders, the initiative allows customers to positively impact society simply through buying a bottle of Dasani. The company stated that World Vision is the “perfect partner” to deliver water solutions that offer community ownership and a high degree of customization to local needs, aspects of sustainable development that Coca-Cola has learned about through EKOCENTER and other initiatives. The safe water system World Vision will install is designed to continue to benefit the community in the long-term.

“World Vision understands that poverty is complex, and addressing overwhelming needs such as a global water crisis must be done in partnership,” said Karen Sendelback, the senior director of partner engagement at World Vision. "We are grateful for our partnership with EKOCENTER and Subway, where we can leverage each of our respective strengths to improve the lives some of the world's most vulnerable people - those without access to clean water."

Meanwhile, PepsiCo announced that along with the PepsiCo Foundation, it is renewing its private-public partnership (PPP) with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for another five years. The previous five-year partnership agreement benefited more than one million people in 12 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), with the aim of spurring social and economic growth through projects related to recycling, water and sanitation, youth development, sustainable agriculture, disaster relief and recovery, and nutrition.

The expanded partnership seeks to develop activities in the areas of access to water and nourishing solutions, efficiency in agriculture, and social innovation. It will start off with “From Source to Home,” a program focused on water and sanitation, where a $5 million grant from the PepsiCo Foundation will work to improve the lives of approximately 850,000 people by 2025. To do so, the partners will collaborate on two main objectives:

  1. Achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable water to people living in rural and disperse communities, focusing on benefitting women and girls; and
  2. Launch a regional center for applied water resources management through the Hydro-BID program, to reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity and advance climate change adaptation efforts.

“We’re proud of the long and amazing legacy of our business across 54 Latin American markets. We remain focused on this strategic sector and to the strong partnerships we currently have and continue to build. We believe the renewal of our PPP with the IDB will help us provide a long-term and positive imprint on society and the environment in the sector,” Laxman Narasimhan, the CEO of PepsiCo Latin America, said at the public launch of the program.

The President of the IDB, Luis Alberto Moreno, added, “Through these collaborations, we are pioneering new approaches to generate impact in a region whose future looks brighter every day.”


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