Social Enterprise ‘Taps In’ to Corporates to Fund Clean Water
27 July 2011 at 10:15 am
With Australians spending $500 million per year on bottled water, a new social enterprise is aiming to use some of these profits to fund water projects in Africa and the Asia Pacific.
Water4 a Purpose is a charitable trust operating as a social enterprise, which sells bottled water to Australian corporations and uses all of the profits to fund water and sanitation projects in Africa and Asia Pacific.
The organisation was founded in 2010 by business people Nick and Jane Johnson.
Founder and Managing Director, Jane Johnson says she was horrified by the statistics that one in five people don’t have access to clean water and two in five don’t have access to sanitation.
Johnson says according to the Australasian Bottled Water Institute, Australians spent around $500 million on purchasing bottled water in 2008.
She says one bottle of water purchased can provide a month’s water supply for a person in the third world.
Water 4 a Purpose says it profits are donated to recognised development agencies that use holistic approaches to not only deal with clean water but also the social implications and sanitation that surrounds this issue.
Water 4 a Purpose also focuses on supporting Christian organisations – Nick and Jane Johnson have been very strong Christians for over 30 years and say they wanted this to be clear in their work.
They says the Water 4 a Purpose offering allows businesses to show their commitment to their corporate social responsibility policies and stay competitive with other companies who are being valued for their work in this sphere.
A number of Australian companies including Medibank Private, FleetPartners, Ironbridge, City Software, Blake Dawson and Agility Logistics have joined the initiative.
Clean water and sanitation projects are helping to prevent the five million deaths each year from water and sanitation-related diseases, many of who are under the age of five – making it the biggest killer of young children.
In addition to health related issues, the daily struggle to obtain clean drinking water has a tremendous negative impact on the lives of many women and girls who are responsible for collection.
The necessity to undertake this basic but arduous chore prevents them from participating in economic and social activities that are vital to the development of healthy communities and subsistence economies.
Water 4 a Purpose is registered with Consumer Affairs to conduct fundraising activities, and is income tax exempt and registered for GST concessions.
For more information about Water 4 a Purpose and its projects go to: www.water4apurpose.com.au.