METRO Water Initiative
According to the United Nations, the global crisis, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, has demonstrated the obvious problem of water safety. One third of the world’s population – 2.2 billion of people, do not have the access to the safe drinking water.
On March 22nd, is the World Water Day, organized by United Nations. This day is about focusing attention on the importance of water, as the lack of this important natural resources dramatically affects on health, education and life.
For both business and daily life, water is the most important resource on the planet. Although we use it daily, the share of fresh water is only 3% of the world’s water reserve, and only 0.3% of this reserve is fit for human consumption.
METRO, as a leading supplier of internationally sourced products and a strong partner of local businesses in 24 countries, is fully aware of its responsibility regarding the freshwater ecosystem. The company has committed itself to continuously improve water stewardship and reduce water consumption in the supply chain and in its own operations.
In 2019, METRO launched World Water Day, the international campaign with One Drop Foundation and its suppliers within the framework of which the partners help ensure proper sanitation for the people in India. The company’s division in Ukraine realizes that in our country there is also an urgent need to provide with clean and safe water the most vulnerable population. That is why, METRO Ukraine organized a local “Water Initiative”, as it believes that even small changes can have a great impact, while working together.
In 2019, in cooperation with partners – PEPSICO Ukraine and EcoSoft – METRO Ukraine has launching the fundraising partnership campaign, within the framework of which has installed for the third year the water purifying systems to the social organizations.
By purchasing of Pepsi drinks in METRO Stores in the period of campaign activation, each client makes his/her own contribution to this fundraising campaign. METRO Ukraine and PEPSICO Ukraine purchase water purifying systems and EcoSoft provides their installation in the centers.
Thanks to this charitable initiative, the residents of the social organizations have constant access to clean and safe water for drinking and cooking. And the organizations to which companies have installed water purification systems in recent years, receive every year all the necessary replaceable filters and membranes, so that their residents can continue to consume clean and safe water.
In 2020, Ivano-Frankivsk Geriatric Boarding House and Kyiv City Orphanage “Berizka” received their water purifying systems.
In 2021, three more organizations received the systems for water purification, including: “House of Hope” in Odesa, Vyshhorod district orphanage “Lyubystok” (Novi Petrivtsi village) and Crisis Center for Social Rehabilitation of Children “My Family” in Kyiv region.
In addition, the organizations for which the partners have provided water purifying systems in 2019 – Aspern Charitable Foundation (Kyiv): Mother and Child Center, Center for Integrative Vocational Training of Children and Youth, Social Apartment and Center for Social and Psychological Rehabilitation of Children №1 in Kyiv received the replaceable filters and membranes in 2020 and in 2021.
The charitable partners of this campaign were Foodbank, Kyiv City Charitable Foundation and Blagomay Charitable Foundation.
“Aspern Charitable Foundation joined METRO Water Initiative in 2019. This initiative is quite important for us, as we see that the environment today needs not only our protection, but also our economical attitude. Therefore, thanks to this project, the residents of our charitable foundation have the opportunity to drink clean and safe water and use an energy-saving washing machine. It is very difficult for a non-profitable organization to purchase replacement parts for expensive equipment, so it is very important for us to participate in long-lasting initiatives and regularly get the replaceable filters and membranes for all installations.” – commented Vira Koshyl, President of Aspern Charitable Foundation.
METRO Ukraine also pays its attention to other important issue of water saving and in cooperation with Foodbank, its social partner, implements each year the donation of washing machines to rehabilitation centers and large low-income families. Such washing machines are energy and water saving, so with the help of them the charitable organizations can save nature resources.
“Our company has received feedback from the social sector representatives, that while working with children, they concluded that a large number of their beneficiaries are children from large and low-income families, children in foster care and others. When working with parents, the social workers asked them why this happens, why do their children have problems? And 80% told, that there was no time for communication, upbringing and spending time together due to household tasks. Therefore, the main purpose of the project is to help parents raise children, build family relationships by providing them with washing machine, which will free up their time for children, and most importantly – allow them to care for children so that they feel confident and dignified in society.
The installation of washing machines in social organizations is also important for its residents. For example, in a geriatric boarding house, this technic allows the residents, who try not to lose their household skills and take care of themselves, to wash their clothes on their own. The washing machine, which the company donated to Aspern Charitable Foundation, is useful for people who find themselves in difficult life circumstances. This organization has a special room, where anyone in need can come to take a shower, wash their clothes, prepare food and drink hot tea. Washing machines are a crucial help for all social organizations and families, both material and psychological support” – commented Olesya Olenytska, Director Government Relations and Public Affairs METRO Ukraine.
The best ambassadors of sustainability are the employees of the company, whom METRO Ukraine actively involves in the celebration of World Water Day – invites each year to take an active part in the annual quizzes and check how well they know about the initiatives implemented by METRO Ukraine in the strategy of sustainable development and responsible consumption of water resources, or how they can reduce their own water usage. It is not only about closing the tap when brushing teeth, but also, for example, about consuming local products, less meat, donating clothes to charity, as the agricultural and textile industries are the largest consumers of water resources.
To help employees be more eco-friendly, METRO Ukraine presented them many useful gifts, such as glasses and bottles, with the help of which everyone can reduce the amount of water in plastic and make the world cleaner.
To remind METRO employees about the importance of these steps in METRO Ukraine Store Support Office there is a wonderful decoration with information on how everyone can reduce their environmental footprint and save water resources for the future generations.
Join METRO Ukraine, save a water! Everyone has a role to play!