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PUR genius

March 31, 2009

A gamble on social responsibility

Established community relations can mean the survival of a family-oriented business through a crisis, as Mattel saw in 2007 . But building strong relationships with consumers can require large amounts of time, effort and money, and some companies are finding it difficult to allot such resources to social causes in today’s economy.

One of the largest conglomerates in today’s market, Procter & Gamble, has remained steadfast in its philanthropic efforts despite the recession. The global company is parent to many popular consumer brands, including Duracell®, Pringles®, Olay®, Pampers®, Tide® and Gillette®.

Procter & Gamble is known to make strong social efforts, ranking 14th in the Corporate Responsibility Officer Magazine’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens List in 2009. The company also recently received the Social Innovation Award from the Financial Times and Just Means. Still, the corporation is pushing for improvement, recently announcing its revised sustainability goals for the next three years.

Helping kids Live, Learn and Thrive

The Live, Learn and Thrive cause helps needy children worldwide.

The Live, Learn and Thrive cause helps needy children worldwide.

Procter & Gamble created the Live, Learn and ThriveTM initiative to give needy children around the world better lives through corporate contributions. The company Web site reports the Live, Learn and Thrive TM cause has already helped more than 40 million children worldwide. The site says the initiative helps disadvantaged children:

  • Live by ensuring they are off to a healthy start
  • Learn from tools and programs that enhance education
  • Thrive through programs that help develop self-esteem and life skills

The company focuses its corporate contributions on needy children because it says they are “most vulnerable and least able to help themselves.” The Live, Learn and ThriveTM initiative serves children through programs in communities around the world, but one cause stands out above the others.

Water, water everywhere

Since 2004, the Children’s Safe Drinking Water program has provided children in developing countries access to water that is safe for them to drink. More than one billion people in these regions do not have access to safe drinking water, and millions of children die each year from diseases caused by contaminated water.

The CSDW program allows people to purify unsafe water by providing them with PUR® water packets, which decontaminate dirty water in minutes. Each packet can purify ten liters of water in less than 30 minutes, and this initiative has already supplied needy children with over one billion liters of safe drinking water.

Procter & Gamble collaborated with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop the PUR packet, a small packet of powder that removes dangerous microorganisms and suspended matter from contaminated water. PUR packets are smaller and easier to ship than plastic water bottles, and as Dr. Greg Allgood demonstrates, the purification process is quick and easy but still effective.

PUR packets are proven to remove 99.9 percent of the bacteria, parasites and viruses that cause life-threatening illnesses such as cholera, typhoid and dysentery. The packets make water safe even for infants, who are at high risk of dying from illnesses contracted through contaminated water.

A clear success

P&G works with several organizations through the CSDW program, including World Vision, Save the Children and Americares. The network hopes to deliver 3.5 billion liters of safe drinking water by 2012, and P&G has invested more than $25 million in providing clean drinking water so far.

Procter & Gamble has invested much time, money and manpower into the Live, Learn and ThriveTM programs, but initiatives such as CSDW are saving invaluable lives. P&G shows it values corporate responsibility and the company is building trusting relationships with key audiences while improving lives around the world.

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2 comments

  1. This blog’s great!! Thanks :).


  2. Amanda,

    That’s really wonderful that P&G is doing this. I know that it is much needed in countries like Haiti where clean water is few and far between. I don’t think that people realize the health problems residents of these areas face as a result of contaminated water.

    Though this has little to do with water, you should check out EnviroMedia Social Marketing at http://www.enviromedia.com/enviroblog/?tag=dont-mess-with-texas. They do a pay it forward campaign, and have a page on Facebook. They are certainly leaders in corporate responsibility.

    Good post!



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