LifeStraw was honored with a Halo Gold Award at a ceremony held this week during the 15th annual Engage for Good conference in Chicago. The Halo Awards honor businesses and nonprofits for doing well by doing good; they are North America’s highest honors for corporate responsibility and cause marketing, say’s the company.
LifeStraw was given the award for its ongoing Follow the Liters humanitarian program which ensures that, for every product sold at retail, a school child in a developing community receives safe water for an entire school year. The program currently provides safe drinking water to more than 629,000 children in Kenya and India. In honor of the award, LifeStraw is launching a commitment to reach one million children by 2018.
“Socially minded consumers are increasingly expressing their voice through their purchase decisions,” noted Alison Hill, Managing Director for LifeStraw. “Our goal is to ensure consumers feel a connection to our company and that their relationship with our brand means more than the products they buy; that they are part of a collective action to impact global problems and communities in need.” Hill added that “corporations have a responsibility to consumers to give back. By building meaningful consumer and employee engagement programs and making sure the cause is backed by a robust, long term program, corporate responsibility can have impact at scale.”
More than 1,000 schools currently have received high-volume LifeStraw water purifiers through the Follow the Liters program, and more than 629,000 school children are receiving safe water. This makes the program one of the largest private investments in safe water in schools globally.
LifeStraw encourages strong engagement in the program by bringing employees, consumers, retailers, media and even board members to Kenya to physically contribute to the program and witness its impact first-hand. LifeStraw’s 32 local staff manage the program year round, providing education in schools, making repairs, and collecting follow-up data to ensure the program is running smoothly. LifeStraw makes a long-term minimum five-year commitment in every school. Reaching a million children means those children have access to safe water for at least five years, and likely well beyond that.
“The Halo Awards were created to acknowledge best in class corporate social impact programs. This year’s winners are a fantastic representation of the effective and innovative ways companies and causes can work together to create meaningful business and social returns,” said Engage for Good President David Hessekiel. Twenty gold category award winners were selected from thousands of entries. LifeStraw’s Follow the Liters campaign won for “Best Cause Marketing Transactional Campaign.” It competed against co-finalists in the category including cause marketing programs from REI, Disney & Make A Wish and BoxLunch. In honor of this occasion, LifeStraw is making a commitment to reach one million children with the Follow the Liters program by March 2018.