The pledge form, available online at www.co-operative.co.uk/water, allows customers to make a promise to always choose ethical mineral water over standard mineral water when shopping in CRTG-supplied Co-op stores.
Last year, the Co-operative Group launched its own-label ethical mineral water — The Co-operative Fairbourne Springs — which was the first of its kind in the UK.
One billion people in the world have no access to clean water and two million people die every year from water-related diseases. Just £7,800 funds the installation of an innovative PlayPump water pumping system in Africa — powered by children’s roundabouts — which ensure local people get free, readily available, clean water.
Every time a customer buys Co-operative Fairbourne Springs Mineral Water, the store automatically makes a donation to One Foundation, the charitable division of One Water, to fund PlayPump systems. Co-op stores also stock the One Water brand, the profits from which go towards funding PlayPump systems.
Since the launch of the Fairbourne Springs ethical water in September, the Group alone has raised £200,000 for the One Foundation, enough to fund 26 PlayPump water systems, meaning that the society’s customers have directly helped to improve the lives of over 60,000 people.
The Group hopes the online campaign will help deliver fresh clean water to one million people in Africa by the end of 2009 from sales of the water. As well as the pledge form, the website includes case studies, background information and even a viral game, “Play Pump”.
Pledges can also be made free of charge by text by texting ‘Water’ with first name and surname to 82088.
Vicky Wood, Category Marketing Manager at the Co-operative Group, said: “We sell approximately 850,000 bottles of mineral water a week and If just half of our mineral water customers bought either Fairbourne Springs or One Water instead of their usual brand, we could help to transform the lives of thousands upon thousands more people in Africa.”
The campaign has been launched as a result of the recent Movement-wide consultation programme with members and customers on the development of a food ethical policy.