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Walking the Talk
Pepsi Achieves Safe Water Access Goal Two Years Early

On Thursday Pepsi announced it has reached its goal of helping three million people gain access to safe drinking water in Africa, Asia and Latin America two years ahead of schedule and now plans to double its target to helping six million by 2015.

On Thursday Pepsi announced it has reached its goal of helping three million people gain access to safe drinking water in Africa, Asia and Latin America two years ahead of schedule and now plans to double its target to helping six million by 2015.

The company identified projects and partners to provide access to safe water to millions through initiatives such as water conservation, distribution, purification and hygiene for underserved communities. Some partners include the Columbia Water Center, the China Women’s Development Foundation, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Safe Water Network and Water.org.

The milestone comes as part of Pepsi’s Performance with Purpose strategy, which aims to find innovative ways to minimize the company’s impact on the environment and lower its costs through energy and water conservation and waste reduction, as well as respecting, supporting and investing in the local communities in which it operates.

“We continue to find innovative ways to reduce costs and minimize our impact on the environment, and our comprehensive approach to water stewardship is enabling Pepsi to play a positive role in addressing water scarcity while also increasing the efficiency of our business operations,” said Indra Nooyi, Pepsi’s Chairman and CEO.

Pepsi says it has taken several steps to improve public access to clean water and to conserve water across its business operations. This includes installing village water and irrigation systems, establishing water health centers, building rainwater harvesting cisterns, improving sanitation programs and recharging aquifers.

At home, the company claims to have improved operational water efficiency by more than 20 percent since 2006, saving nearly 16 billion liters of water in 2011 alone and reducing water- and energy-related costs by more than $45 billion.

Last year, the company received the Stockholm Industry Award for sustainable water management, improved performance in production and innovative approaches in water process technologies.

In related news, IBM recently unveiled a new Water Watchersapp for Android phone users in South Africa to help analyze, predict demand and manage water in a country where nearly half the population lacks access to safe drinking water.

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