Appearing alongside the Queen on a list of the greatest Britons of 2007 sounds pretty glamorous. And when Duncan Goose, who holds this claim to fame, suggests we meet in London's plush Waldorf Hotel, I'm expecting to meet someone familiar with or at least at ease in the limelight. This is the brother of well-known TV actress Claire Goose after all. But far from craving the limelight, the man named 'Campaigner of the Year' at the ITV Greatest Britons awards ceremony in May for the unique business model behind bottled water brand One shies away from it. He put a picture of Claire on the bottle because, he says, no one wants to see his ugly mug. And the reason he chose the Waldorf was not for its posh breakfasts, it turns out, but because it is close to Unicef, where he has a meeting later to discuss charity work. However, he is savvy enough to court the press to rustle up more awareness of the water brand he launched back in 2004. One is so called because, says Goose, it won't change the world overnight, but can change the world one person, one day at a time. The company, which is based in London and which employs a staff of six, sources its water from Radnor Hills in Wales. It produces 13 different SKUs, in sparkling and still varieties in various pack sizes, and has distribution agreements with a number of companies, including Compass and Palmer & Harvey. One hundred per cent of the profits from the sale of the brand are used to fund special roundabout water pumps in Africa that pump water from the ground when children play on them. Each pump provides enough water to supply an entire African community. The company's approach is unorthodox yet simple, and is based on transparency and trust. It approaches retailers and tells them exactly how much it costs to supply them with the brand and then asks how much they are prepared to pay for it. Larger retailers may pay less, but on the basis that they will sell a lot more, while smaller players may pay more. Whatever they pay, retailers have Goose's word that every penny of profit goes towards funding water projects. His altruism was sparked by the frightening statistic that one billion people across the globe have no access to clean water. It's easy to see why he gets so wound up. If every water brand in the world followed One's example and donated their profits to water projects, this statistic would be erased within just 26 weeks. Goose is no dreamer, though. "I'm brutally honest in the way I deal with people," he says. "I hate bullshit, spin and dishonesty. We have no hidden agenda. People know what we do and how much it costs to manufacture, distribute and market it - nothing is hidden." Laying out your business model for all to exploit may seem like a maverick stance, but Goose says it was the easiest way for his business to operate. "I read an article recently that said we broke all the rules, but I don't really know what the rules are to be broken. I'm just doing what's right. I am not in it to make a fast buck, or because we are losing market share to other brands. Companies know I'm not going to get a Ferrari out of it." He's not kidding. Since saying goodbye to his £70,000 job as an advertising executive to set up One, Goose has drawn an annual salary of a paltry £6,000 - the minimum required to keep his tax and National Insurance contributions up to date. He has had to re-mortgage his house and borrow from friends to keep the company running and says he keeps himself going by stumbling on unclaimed expenses. Saving the world, it turns out, is wallet draining, ball-breaking work. Yet Goose is surprisingly sanguine. "If you are working 18 hours a day, seven days a week you don't need a lot of money," he insists. "The company pays my travel and beyond that I live on practically nothing. It's OK, provided I can pay the mortgage and have money to exist. When I was earning £70,000 a year I still had no money at the end of the month, I just spent it on other stuff." His work with One is far more rewarding, he says, and in the wake of the recent award, you get the sense the brand could be reaching a tipping point. It has listings in Tesco, Waitrose, Morrisons and The Co-operative Group and the company will hit a turnover of £1.5m this year, enabling it to fund the installation of one pump every 11 days. The overall aim is to fund one new pump a day, at a cost of £7,800 a pump, and Goose believes this is achievable within a year. With such a cards-on-the-table approach, you would think retailers would be queuing up to stock One, but, surprisingly, convincing them has been a hard task. "With a new brand you can either buy your way in or sit patiently for 10 years and build up slowly," says Goose. "We didn't want to buy our way in, although we have been asked, and we weren't going to sit and wait. It was a case of finding the right way to talk to buyers but it was difficult to get in front of anybody." His break came after a meeting with Ian Mackie, category manager at petrol company Total UK. "He spoke to his CSR people and they went crazy and said not only were they going to pay double for the product, they would support it with a national campaign. What Total saw in us was not just a brand but a completely new way of communicating to customers." Goose now wants to get the remaining multiples on board and is confident he can get in front of a Sainsbury's buyer again soon. "We were about to be listed in Sainsbury's and they changed buyers," he says, "although we keep bumping into them. We did water for their corporate event the other week so at some point I am going to go back and say 'can we have another conversation?'" Foodservice companies will be next on his hitlist. One major foodservice company recently agreed to stock One and Goose intends to pitch to another company which, if successful, would take One "into a completely new league". He also has his sights on other so-called like-for-like ventures, such as One's water-for-water project, and will launch a brand of condoms later this year where the profits will fund HIV prevention programmes in Africa. He's keen to launch further projects, to help tackle poverty and educate people, although these are further off. Each company will be kept separate for reasons of transparency, so if One is doing well it will not be allowed to prop up the other businesses. "I will never be a wealthy man even if we sold the company for £10m," he says. "I would probably scrape away with nothing." Nothing but an enormous sense of pride, maybe.n Q&A What's a typical day for you? Exhausting the battery on my BlackBerry. I get up at 6.45 to walk the dog and write some emails at the same time. Then I have a range of meetings. I am absolutely shattered most of the time, but that's the reality of running your own business. I think if you are doing it on a nine-to-five basis you are not going to have the success you should get. I tend to end up slumped in front of the TV with my laptop on at the end of the day. Do you give money to charity? My belief is that it's better to have a direct relationship with a charity. I'm not going to give a pound to a man on the street because he will take off 15% to 50% and then the recipient charity will take off more money and eventually somebody who really needs it will get about 2p from that pound. That's why I invented the model for my business. What was it like being named Campaigner of the Year? I don't think it hurts but I certainly don't trade on it. I'm not a man who likes the limelight. It helps the organisation and the team. It also gives a level of credibility and gives our customers a degree of comfort. I got paid £3,500 to speak at a function, which is money that funds half a project for a community for a couple of hours' work, so from that point of view the little bit of fame is a really good thing to have. If you weren't running One, what would you be doing? If this all stopped tomorrow I would move to consulting in CSR. I met a lady recently and her job title was head of philanthropy. That is the most wonderful job title I've ever heard.