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Today, 780 million people worldwide are without access to clean and safe drinking water, and an estimated 2.4 billion lack access to basic sanitation. Whole World Water members seek to prove that social, environmental and economic progress are not mutually exclusive.
Leveraging the potential of the hospitality and tourism industry to spur global change, the model encourages spas, hotels, resorts and restaurants to filter, bottle and sell their own water, and contribute 10 percent of the proceeds to the Whole World Water Fund; a fund benefiting clean and safe water programs around the world. An exclusive bottle created by world renowned product designer Yves Behar and fuseproject, will serve as the recognizable icon for the campaign, and ClimateCare, pioneers in climate and development projects, and results based financing, will manage the Fund.
The Whole World Water Fund was established to radically increase resources to provide access to clean and safe water to communities around the world. Designed specifically for clean and safe water investments, the Fund can be accessed by organizations, charities and social enterprises focused on clean and safe drinking water issues. By investing in projects with the potential to bring a return through carbon revenues and results based financing, the Fund enables revenues to be recycled back into the fund and deployed again.
“Since 2008, Soneva Resorts, Residences and Spas have banned imported water in favor of bottling its own filtered water. Revenues were contributed to clean drinking water initiatives whose work has meant water access for over 600,000 people previously denied,” said Sonu Shivdasani, founding member of Whole World Water. “Our resorts have proved that this solution works. We are proud to have inspired this global campaign and been able to provide initial seed capital through The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust to launch this exciting initiative.”
“The United Nations has proclaimed 2013 the Year of International Water Cooperation to raise awareness of the fact that nearly 1 billion people do not have access to safe and clean drinking water. Working together with the hospitality and tourism industry, we can see this issue solved within our lifetime,” said Jenifer Willig co-founder of Whole World Water.
Industry leaders Soneva, Virgin Limited Edition, Virgin Hotels, Banyan Tree, Auberge du Soleil, Tao Restaurant Group, The Ritz-Carlton Charlotte, The Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe, Oberoi Hotels and Resorts, Dusit Hotels and Resorts, JetWing Hotels, and The Ranch at Live Oak Malibu have joined the campaign.
“At Virgin, we believe business must be a force for good, using its influence and resources to help find solutions to some of the world’s major issues,” said Sir Richard Branson, Founder at Virgin Group and advisor to Whole World Water. “This model reduces shipping pollution, financial and environmental costs, and it’s good for business.”
Proving the importance of water issues within the hospitality industry is the International Tourism Partnership's (ITP) current working group on water, participated in and voted for by ITP members, which are made up of many of the world's leading hotel companies. One of the first outcomes of the working group will be a research report commissioned by ITP and conducted by the Stockholm International Water Institute, analysing the risk of water issues in certain geographical areas.
Industry members are invited to visit www.wholeworldwater.co to learn more about the initiative, and to become a member of Whole World Water.
For more information on the International Tourism Partnership's working groups go to www.tourismpartnership.org