P&G’s Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program Wins Economist Innovation Award
Named one of the World’s Most Impactful Innovations
CINCINNATI -- November 16, 2012
Calling it an innovation “beyond inspiration,” a panel of global judges named
the P&G Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program one of the world’s most
impactful developments, presenting it with the 2012 Economist Social
“As a Company, we are both honored by the recognition and inspired by our
employees and global partners who have worked to deliver more than 5 billion
liters of clean drinking water to families in developing countries, helping
save nearly 30,000 lives,” said P&G CEO, President and Chairman of the Board,
The Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program works with partners in more than 65
countries to share its P&G Purifier of Water packets, which contain a patented
powdered technology that transforms dirty and contaminated water into clean,
The award was presented during The Economist’s 11^th Annual Innovation Award
gala at the NAFTA Center in London and attended by global leaders in business,
academia, research and development and government. Winners were named in eight
categories, including bioscience, energy and the environment, social
innovation and computing/telecommunications. The awards celebrated the
innovators behind the scenes: “the dreamers and the doers whose innovations
transform the world we live in.” This year’s winners included Google, Garmin,
GeneTech and MIT. For a full list of winners and their categories, click here.
Receiving the award for P&G were Dr. Phil Souter and Dr. Greg Allgood.
Souter, a P&G Research & Development Section Head with the Company 15 years,
invented the powder technology that when mixed with water removes dirt, cysts
and pollutants, while killing bacteria and viruses. Souter first began working
on the innovation when he was a research scientist, studying the possibility
of recycling laundry water to help with water shortages. At the same time,
personal travels took him to South East Asia where he saw a broader need:
clean drinking water globally. When he changed assignments, Souter took his
new passion with him. And when asked to focus on developing new products, he
requested for and won funding to do still more research on making safe
drinking water. Working alone at first, he went from an idea to a product
within two years.
“I started to think about whether the bigger opportunity might be to clean up
water people were drinking to make it safe to use. Combining the technical
insights from the wash water recycling with the consumer insights from my
travel experiences lead me to believe that I might have found an opportunity
where I could actually make a difference,” Souter said.
Now called P&G Purifier of Water, the powder comes in small packets, and when
stirred into 10 liters of dirty water, causes heavy metals, dirt, and
parasites to pull together, then fall to the bottom of the container and can
be strained through a filter cloth. After 20 minutes, the disinfectant in the
powder leaves the water clean enough to drink.
“My work on this project has been a source of both personal pride and humble
understanding, as I’ve come to realize that every once in a while, life puts
us in a position – opens to us a door – to make a difference,” Souter said.
“Sometimes it’s luck, sometimes it’s fate that enables us to recognize that
opportunity, and then tap the needed resources and our own skills to find a
way through the open door. I am humbled that our innovation has helped so
many. I share the celebration of this award with countless others who continue
to work on the Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program.”
Allgood, a 26-year P&G employee, has served as Founder and Director of the
non-profit Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program since 2004, helping take
Souter’s innovation to families and children around the world. The Economist
called Allgood’s work the second innovation in the story, creating new
distribution strategies with global organizations to help distribute the
packets where they are needed most and innovating to find ways to scale-up the
program, through partnerships, enabling P&G to deliver more than it could
“This award recognizes the people behind the innovation, those who implement
an idea to improve the world,” said Economist Editor Tom Standage. “This
innovation and the work of (the Children’s Safe Drinking Water) program is
Asked to share his “eureka moment” – when he knew that this program had both
his personal and professional commitment, Allgood said: “It was 2004…. I was
sharing our water purification packets with villagers in western Kenya, where
villagers collect drinking water from shallow ponds they share with livestock.
As we were preparing to leave, a woman grabbed my arm and dropped to her
knees. She begged me for more packets for her children, as someone had stolen
the bucket of clean water I’d given her earlier. I knew without a doubt that I
had to find a way to keep the program alive, and growing.”
“This is a true honor – and one that I accept on behalf of P&G employees and
our many safe drinking water partners around the world who have helped us
build and expand this program. It’s unacceptable that more than 2,000 children
die every day from unclean drinking water,” Allgood said. “P&G is more
committed than ever to scale up the program to reach our goal of saving one
live every hour by providing 2 billion liters of clean drinking water every
year by 2020.”
About Procter & Gamble
P&G serves approximately 4.6 billion people around the world with its brands.
The Company has one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality,
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P&G community includes operations in approximately 75 countries worldwide.
Please visit http://www.pg.com for the latest news and in-depth information
about P&G and its brands.
The P&G Children's Safe Drinking Water Program (CSDW) is a non-profit
initiative that has provided more than five billion liters of clean drinking
water to people in need since 2004. CSDW has partnered with a diverse network
of organizations to help distribute water purification packets in developing
countries. To learn more about the P&G CSDW Program, and see how water
purification packets work, please visit www.csdw.org.
Procter & Gamble
Lisa Popyk, 513-983-5058
Elizabeth Ratchford, 513-983-3290
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