Steve Murrells joins Coldplay, Ellie Goulding and Pharrell Williams to fight water poverty

The music stars and Co-op Group chief executive helped to kickstart the Global Investment Fund for Water in Hamburg

The chief executive of the UK’s Co-operative Group joined global music stars at the annual Global Citizen Festival in Hamburg on 6 July to announce an ambitious new initiative aimed at fighting water poverty.

Steve Murrells, along with Coldplay, Ellie Goulding and Pharrell Williams, helped to kick start the Global Investment Fund for Water, which aims to raise funds to invest in essential water and sanitation projects.

Ten years ago the Co-op Group became the first retailer to launch a charity own-brand water, Fairbourne Springs, from which 3p per litre goes to the One Foundation. The retailer has championed the fight against water poverty ever since and over the decade has given £7m to provide clean water and sanitation in developing countries.

At its AGM in May, the Group expanded this commitment with the announcement that an additional 1p would be donated to clean water projects from every litre of non-own brand of bottled water it sold. It is estimated this will raise more than £1m each year for the Global Fund to address water, sanitation and hygiene issues where it is needed most.

“There are more than half a billion people on the planet without access to clean water and over two billion don’t have a proper toilet,” said Mr Murrells.

“That can’t be right when in richer countries we can access water whenever and wherever we want.”

At the festival, he called for wider industry action, asking for producers and retailers across the globe to join the Co-op in its fight against water poverty.

“To make a real impact, all branded water producers and retailers across the world need to join forces. People’s lives depend on it,” he added.

  • Find out more about the Fund and the petition launched to get more retailers to join the initiative here.
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