Co-op Water - photography Alexander James-Aylin

Source: Co-op/Alexander James-Aylin

The milestone was achieved through the sales of its own label and branded water

Co-op has revealed its shoppers have raised over £20m to support clean water and sanitation projects, thanks to its partnerships with The One Foundation and Water Unite.

The milestone was achieved through the sales of its own-label and branded water, with the former available at almost 7,500 convenience stores, including Nisa retailers who are supplied by Co-op.

As part of the initiative, 3p of every litre of Co-op own-brand water sold goes to The One Foundation – a UK charity funding grants for humanitarian water, sanitation, and hygiene programmes.

Sales from Co-op have helped change the lives of over 2.9 million people across the world, the society claimed.

As a partner to Water Unite, 1p of every litre of branded water is also donated to support clean water projects together with Co-op’s branded suppliers.

Water Unite contributes to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals initiative to end water poverty by 2030 through the funding of water, sanitation and hygiene projects by applying a micro-levy to bottled water sales globally.

“Water is a precious resource, sustaining all life on earth,” said Co-op CEO Shirine Khoury-Haq. “Yet access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene is taken for granted by many and remains elusive for poorer nations. The climate crisis is only widening this gap.

“It is vital that businesses understand the importance of water scarcity and take action in the communities from which they source, here in the UK and around the world. Equally, it is important to help consumers understand the impact of the products and services they buy, on people and the planet.

”The £20m raised through our commitments is an incredible achievement, made possible through choices made by our members and customers to buy Co-op brand water, and is a fantastic example of how shopping at Co-op can really make a difference.”

The One Foundation programming and partnerships manager Nikki Armstrong said: “We are so grateful for the leadership and commitment that Co-op has shown in ensuring clean water and sanitation for communities across Africa. The issues of water security, access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene for all, and water pollution are all acute.”

These latest fundraising figures reveal Nisa retailers have collectively raised more than £1m, towards the total £20m, for The One Foundation since becoming part of the Co-op Group in 2018 and stocking Co-op own-brand water.

Nisa MD Peter Batt said: “Nisa customers continue to make a valuable contribution to The One Foundation by buying Co-op branded water through Nisa. We know our independent retailers are always looking for ways to make a difference locally but this initiative gives them a platform to contribute to a global effort too.

“To reach the milestone of donating over £1m is fantastic and we are extremely proud of our Nisa customers for the contribution they make through their purchasing.”.