Can a drinks company provide clean water and fresh opportunities?
Diageo is a global leader in alcoholic beverages. It produces more than 200 brands of spirits and beers that are enjoyed in over 180 countries around the world. Recently, Diageo has been supporting an innovative programme to install ‘water ATMs’ in India.
According to the World Health Organisation, 785 million people lack even a basic drinking-water service, including 144 million people who are dependent on surface water alone. So, access to clean drinking water can transform communities. In fact, universal, affordable access to what is known as WASH – water, sanitation and hygiene – is a critical public health issue and the focus of UN Sustainable Development Goal 6.
As a business that relies on water, Diageo has a clear responsibility to contribute. Their Water of Life programme helps build thriving communities by providing access to water, sanitation and hygiene, typically in rural areas that supply their raw materials and support their core business. It has reached more than 10 million people in India and in Africa since 2006, including 232,000 this year. But they also see providing access to clean water as an opportunity to broaden their positive social impact in other ways too.
Across India, they have been supporting an innovative programme to install ‘water ATMs’. Inspired by cash-vending machines, water ATMs enable people to buy clean, low-cost drinking water, typically provided by a solar-powered borehole and treatment plant. Diageo’s 25 ATMs in Nagpur alone have given 45,000 people access to water this year. And all that good doesn’t stop there, the ATMs create even more benefits. In Nagpur and Bhopal, Diageo has trained 287 women entrepreneurs so they can maintain and run the facilities – increasing their incomes, while ensuring the ATMs are at the heart of their communities.
This story shows how Diageo supports Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation, specifically Target 6.A: “By 2030, expand international cooperation and capacity-building support to developing countries in water- and sanitation-related activities and programmes, including water harvesting, desalination, water efficiency, wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse technologies.”
Diageo, founded in 1997, is a global leader in alcoholic beverages. It produces more than 200 brands (spirits and beers) that are enjoyed in over 180 countries around the world.
Learn more about how Diageo supports the goals.