PepsiCo's focus on water stewardship makes sense considering the number of gallons of water it takes to make its products. While the company is focused on how to get its water usage down, its philanthropic arm, the PepsiCo Foundation, is working to further the company's water and sanitation efforts. The foundation has partnered with the large Inter-American Development Bank toward advancing such efforts, and the partnership is making some speedy progress.
A few years ago, the PepsiCo Foundation saw a lot of promise in the IDB's water and sanitation work. So much so that it became IDB's first private donor in 2011 with a $5 million grant in support of its AquaFund program. Prior to PepsiCo’s big give, the only money AquaFund received was from IDB itself and independent governments.
With money in hand, IDB and PepsiCo sought out innovative potable water and sanitation solutions for high-poverty areas in Latin America and the Caribbean. One idea they came up with was Hydro-BID systems, which aimed to create a large-scale water resource management modeling tool. The plan was to develop a tool that would help estimate the availability of fresh water in a given region. Another goal was to track how climate change, human activity, and other water resource stresses affected the region’s water supply.
The development and implementation of large-scale resource management tools such as Hydro-BID are big undertakings and can sometimes spend years in the research and development stage before the product is launched. For PepsiCo and IDB, Hydro-BID only took a few years and the program was recently unveiled at the Stockholm International Water Institute’s annual World Water Week.
Hydro-BID pilot programs have already been launched in Brazil, Peru, Haiti, and Argentina. With the recent official unveiling, and in conjunction with the Austrian and Swiss governments, AquaFund is set to launch pilot projects in five more countries in the near future.
These pilot projects will include the provision technical assistance, policy development, capacity building, and project preparation. PepsiCo and IDBs goal is to provide over 500,000 people with potable water and safe sanitation solutions by 2015.
The PepsiCo Foundation’s water works aren’t limited to IDB. The foundation is also partnered with Safe Water Network, Water.org, and the 2030 Water Resources Group to promote PepsiCo’s water stewardship and sustainability efforts around the globe.