Last night Steve Murrells helped launch a major new fund to tackle water poverty, at the Global Citizen Festival in Hamburg.

Steve stage shot

Steve Murrells on stage in Hamburg

He went on stage before Ellie Goulding and Pharrell – thankfully he didn’t sing, but he did get the crowd excited about our announcement – that from now on, we’re donating 1p per litre of branded water we sell, to the Global Investment Fund for Water. This will raise around one million pounds for water, sanitation and hygiene projects in developing countries.

This is in addition to the money we already donate to the One Foundation from sales of our own brand Fairbourne Springs water. We were the first retailer to develop an own brand charity water ten years ago, and our partnership has funded £7m of water projects since then. So now the message we need to give members and customers is really simple –  when you shop at the Co-op, every bottle of water you buy helps vulnerable people access clean water too.

We’re the first retailer to support the Global Water Fund, and at the festival last night Steve called for other retailers to follow our lead. If every one of them got on board, around $100m could be raised for water projects in the poorest communities. This petition has been launched to get more retailers to join us.

Steve said:

“There are more than half a billion people on the planet without access to clean water and over two billion don’t have a proper toilet. That can’t be right when in richer countries we can buy bottles of water whenever and wherever we want.

A small amount can make a big difference and we are now giving one pence per litre of branded water we sell to this new fund. To make a real impact all branded water producers and retailers across the world need to join forces. People’s lives depend on it.”

You can watch Steve’s announcement here.