One Drop Foundation and Global Wholesaler METRO to Join Forces – to Provide Safe Water Access and Sanitation for More Than 250,000 People in India

On the occasion of World Water Day, international wholesale and food specialist METRO launched the METRO Water Initiative in partnership with international water foundation One Drop.

As part of the broader METRO Water Initiative, the leading wholesale company will host a two-week in-store campaign in METRO retail stores located in 22 countries across Europe and Asia, where a portion of sales from products of 22 participating suppliers will be used to fund One Drop’s water access projects in India. The campaign aims to raise more than 1.2 million Euros, with One Drop doubling the amount raised in-store, and will be an annual event around World Water Day during the course of the three-year project.

In collaboration with international NGO “Water For People”, local governments, social art partners, civil society organizations, microfinancing institutions, and the private sector, this joint initiative of One Drop and METRO aims to provide permanent access to sustainable and safe water and sanitation to more than a quarter of a million people in India, which is one of the most affected areas in the world by the global water crisis.

Through this partnership, METRO and One Drop strive to support the United Nations’ International Decade for Action on Water for Sustainable Development, where one of the goals is to provide clean water and sanitation for all by 2030.

Throughout India, more than 600 million people are exposed to extreme water stress and about 70 percent of available water is classified as contaminated. Specifically, the METRO Water Initiative will support the northern District of Sheohar, in Bihar, India where nearly half of the region does not have safe water coverage.

This project aims to achieve three specific goals in the region:

  1. Increase the use and sustainable management of safe water and sanitation services;
  2. Sustain the adoption of targeted water-related behaviours;
  3. Improve the market system for water-related products and services.

“As part of this effort, it is important to recognize the important role that social behaviour change can have on finding sustainable solutions for communities in need, like Sheohar. Providing access to safe water is just the beginning,” said Marie-Claude Bourgie, Chief Development Officer at One Drop. “Founded by the same creative mind behind Cirque du Soleil, One Drop has developed a unique Social Art for Behaviour Change approach to promote the adoption of healthy behaviours around water, sanitation, and hygiene. Through locally inspired social art programs, One Drop empowers communities to take ownership of their water projects, which ensures both long-term impact and sustainability.”

“This project is a common thread that allows a variety of companies and institutions to join forces to do good. Water is a human right, but it is so unequally distributed around the world that more than 2 billion people still live without safe access to clean water. By partnering for a common goal, we have the power to change the lives of more than a quarter of a million people for the better,” said Heiko Hutmacher, Chief Human Resources Officer and Member of the Management Board of METRO AG responsible for Sustainability

The participating suppliers in this year’s METRO Water initiative are (some with more than one brand): Barilla, Bolton, Campofrio, The Coca-Cola Company, Danone, Diageo, Ecolab, Glaxosmithkline, Henkel, Johnson Diversey, Lavazza, Mars, McCain, Mondelez, PepsiCo, Reckitt Benckiser (RB), SC Johnson, Werner & Mertz Professional.

To learn more about the METRO Water Initiative, visit https://www.onedrop.org/en/events/metro-water/.

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