The three-year project is supported through donations collected as part of the METRO Water Initiative. In a joint effort to empower people to build a better future for themselves, METRO and One Drop aim at providing sustainable access to safe water and building capacities in the targeted communities. The project will ensure that the beneficiaries will be able to manage, operate and maintain the new installations in the long term. By using social arts, One Drop will inspire, activate and maintain behavior changes conducive to good water resources management and improved hygiene. By doing so, the project will also contribute to the reduction of waterborne diseases.
METRO doesn't only aim at improving water management in own operations, but also strives to sensitize its suppliers and customers in consuming less water. For this reason, METRO partners with suppliers who support the METRO Water Initiative which was kicked off already in 2017. The latter is METRO's contribution to help reach sustainable development goal (SDG) 6 "Clean water and sanitation for all by 2030" of the UN Agenda 2030 – a list of 17 goals for sustainable development to, inter alia, tackle climate change.
With the beginning of the United Nations International Decade for Action: Water for Sustainable Development 2018-2028, METRO announces the cooperation with internationally renowned, Canada-based foundation One Drop, lifting the METRO Water Initiative to a new impact level.
In the previous initiatives, many of the collaborating suppliers offered individual projects which consumers could support through the purchase of their products during the campaign time around World Water Day in March. To focus the proceeds from the METRO Water Initiative even more and make a difference on the ground, METRO now collaborates exclusively with One Drop.
"Together with One Drop, we are building a bridge into a future in which a community's daily life isn’t determined by the struggles caused by the lack of safe access to water anymore", says METRO Chief Human Resources Officer Heiko Hutmacher.
During the last campaign in 2018, 12 suppliers from 6 product categories participated in 20 METRO countries. During the three-year-project starting around World Water Day in 2019, 1.2 million € are to be raised via the METRO Water Initiative – an amount for which METRO guarantees.
One Drop will match the funds raised via the METRO Water Initiative and leverage further in collaboration with local Indian governments – working towards a sustainable improvement in one of the world’s most vulnerable regions in terms of water and sanitation crisis. Being one of METRO's important markets, these challenges are well-known to the Düsseldorf-based company. Currently, METRO Cash & Carry India operates 25 stores in India and focuses especially on the HoReCa sector as well as Kiranas, small stores, which ensure the supply of their communities with food and non-food goods.
The collaborative design phase will kick off in 2018, with on-site measures starting in 2019. Until 2021, the objective of the project is to not only provide sustainable water access. Additionally, social arts will be used to promote behavior change and sensitize the local communities to use water responsibly and safely. Because in One Drop’s ABC model for sustainability, access to water is only the beginning: "The One Drop model consists in funding projects and partnering with local and international organizations to provide access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene in some of the world's most vulnerable communities. But what has always been clear to us is that access alone won’t solve the global water crisis and that’s why we bring into all of our projects the Social Art for Behavior Change component, an innovative approach that takes into consideration the community’s behavioral determinants and cultural references to create locally-inspired social art programs meant to empower the participants with the ultimate goal of ensuring the longevity of the infrastructures", explains Veronique Doyon, Chief Program Officer at One Drop.
Having started with talks at the CGF Global Summit which ends today, METRO is now onboarding its suppliers for collaboration in the METRO Water Initiative 2019. Heiko Hutmacher: "At METRO, we focus on sustainable business in everything we do. Therefore, we are very excited about this new partnership. With our presence in more than 35 countries in Europe and Asia, this will be a great opportunity to raise awareness on the global water crisis."
METRO is a leading international specialist in wholesale and food retail. The company operates in 35 countries and employs more than 150,000 people worldwide. In financial year 2016/17, METRO generated sales of around €37 billion. The company provides custom solutions to meet the regional and international needs of its wholesale and retail customers. With its sales brands METRO/MAKRO Cash & Carry and Real as well as delivery services and digitalisation initiatives METRO sets the standards for tomorrow: for customer focus, digital solutions and sustainable business models.
One Drop is an international foundation created in 2007 by Cirque du Soleil's founder Guy Laliberté. At the core of its mission is access to water, sanitation and hygiene as a transformative force to improve the living conditions of some of the world’s most vulnerable communities. With the objective of delivering long-term impact and sustainability, One Drop brings into all of its projects a unique Social Art for Behavior Change approach that aims at engaging communities in taking ownership and embracing adequate behaviors towards water, sanitation and hygiene. This year, One Drop is celebrating 10 years of bringing sustainable access to safe water to people around the world with projects in 13 countries that will reach over 1.3 million beneficiaries.