By Immy Siddique, Food Area Manager

The weather this week has been amazing and I don’t think I’m alone in enjoying my lunch sitting outside in the sunshine, with a refreshing bottle of water to quench my thirst. Grabbing a drink in the sunny weather is something we all take for granted, but if you think about it, we’re really privileged to be able to do this.

In the UK, we can buy a bottle of clean water from the shop or simply turn on a tap, but in many parts of the word that just isn’t the case. Over 844 million people don’t have access to clean water and sanitation. Having access to clean, fresh water is a given for me. But it’s a far cry from the relentless struggles that many people go through in disadvantaged parts of the globe, just to get access to the water they need to drink, cook, wash and go to the toilet.

A small amount can make such a big difference. I’m so proud of the work we do at Co-op as part of our Future of Food ambition, to be leaders in tackling global poverty. We work with Water Unite and The One Foundation – two charities committed to ending water poverty. Some of the profits from our own brand water goes to The One Foundation, and we were the first retailer to develop an own brand charity water ten years ago.

So far our partnership has delivered over £10 million of funding to The One Foundation. This has been invested into clean water and sanitation projects and we’ve a really clear message to our customers: when you shop at Co-op, every bottle of water you buy helps vulnerable people access clean water too. Together we’ve helped to change 1.9 million lives in communities around the world for the better.

And don’t forget that we have new bottles for Co-op still, sparkling and flavoured water, made from 50% recycled plastic – saving almost 350 tonnes of plastic annually! I know the bottles look ever so slightly greyer and cloudier than we’re used to, but that’s a small sacrifice for the benefit of our environment. It’s the same great water and a real alternative for today’s ethically conscious consumer. So, if you’re gasping during the heatwave, why not quench your thirst with Co-op and join us in transforming lives by removing water poverty and cleaning up our environment?

Also read Immy’s story about how we’re fighting water poverty in ‘Let’s talk about Co-op’, the one-off digital magazine we’ve created for colleagues.