The PepsiCo Foundation has announced a three-year, $6 million grant to the Earth Institute at Columbia University and a one-year, $2.5 million grant to the H2O Africa Foundation for initiatives to improve sustainable water practices across the globe.
The Earth Institute initiative will focus on identifying high-impact community-based activities and solutions designed to improve water access, increase water productivity, and recommend innovative methods to deliver "more crop per drop" in India, Brazil, China, and throughout Africa. The PepsiCo Foundation will partner with the H2O Africa Foundation to develop on-the-ground clean water projects in Niger, Mali, Senegal, and other countries.
PepsiCo's support of the two initiatives is part of its ongoing commitment to the UN Millennium Development Goals, which were established in 2000 and endorsed by 192 nations. Studies have found that more than one billion people do not have access to safe drinking water, while every year approximately two million children die from water-related diseases in the developing world.
"The world's governments have identified access to clean water as one of the key building blocks to ending global poverty. Without it, none of the Millennium Development Goals will be met," said PepsiCo chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi. "We believe that the world water crisis is one of the most pressing challenges of our age. As a global food and beverage company, our success depends on being responsible stewards of this limited resource."