Inditex and Water.org strengthen their agreement to change lives through access to safe water and sanitation

19/01/2017

Meeting between Pablo Isla and the Co-founders of Water.org, Matt Damon and Gary White, against the backdrop of the Davos 2017 World Economic Forum

Against the backdrop of the annual World Economic Forum taking place this week in Davos (Switzerland), the Chairman and CEO of Inditex, Pablo Isla, met today with Matt Damon and Gary White, Co-founders of Water.org, an international organisation whose mission is to bring safe water and sanitation to people in need.

During the meeting, Mr Isla underscored Inditex's commitment to Water.org made in late 2015, providing an initial Eur 3.7 million to support projects in Bangladesh and Cambodia with the goal of directly improving the health of more than 160,000 people. "Inditex and Water.org are absolutely complementary", explained Pablo Isla, "Water.org is a hugely effective vehicle to deliver change around the critical issue of water management, particularly in vulnerable regions. This is an issue to which we ascribe huge importance and the work carried out by Water.org is admirable".

Matt Damon and Gary White thanked Inditex for its support, reviewing some of the progress and success during the first year working together. During this time important work has been done to support the successful implementation of WaterCredit, which brings small affordable and easily repayable loans to those who need access to financing and expert resources to make household water and sanitation solutions a reality.

Progress in Bangladesh includes identifying and partnering with several micro-finance institutions and training their loan officers to market and support these life-changing loans. In Cambodia, more than 6,000 people have gained critical access to safe water and/or improved sanitation. "We are grateful to Inditex for their support. We share their belief in smart solutions, empowering consumers and the critical role of market based approaches in achieving social change," said Gary White, Co-founder and CEO of Water.org.

The work being done through Water.org's New Ventures Fund, which is a principal source of innovation funding, was also discussed. Inditex has earmarked one-quarter of its contribution to Water.or; to researching new resources and approaches designed to efficiently combat the world's water crisis.

This private meeting took place after a Davos round-table event addressing the global water crisis spearheaded by Water.org in which Pablo Isla, participated. The World Economic Forum has deemed water management one of the world's biggest problems, one which already affects more than 660 million people worldwide. In addition to Pablo Isla, the event was attended by chief executives from some 20 top-tier international companies and global organisations who came together with the aim of finding sustainable solutions for communities in need of social and economic development. 

Water.org

For more than 20 years, Water.org has been at the forefront of developing and delivering solutions to the global water crisis. Founded by Gary White and Matt Damon, Water.org pioneers innovative, community-driven and market-based initiatives to ensure all people have access to safe water and sanitation -- giving women hope, children health and communities a future. To date, Water.org has positively transformed the lives of more than 5 million people around the world, ensuring a better life for generations ahead. Learn more at www.water.org and www.facebook.com/water.

To know more about Inditex' policy on water resources worldwide please visit:

http://www.inditex.com/en/sustainability/environment/water