Water.org Teams with 5 Companies for Mt. Kilimanjaro Expedition to Raise Awareness of Clean Water CrisisDecember 19, 2012 by Sally Farhat Kassab
Global coalition of consumer brands, cultural influencers and educators, call for renewed focus on solutions and greater access to safe drinking water
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — SUMMIT ON THE SUMMIT, a cross-platform global initiative designed to drive awareness and change to the clean water crisis worldwide, today announced the powerhouse roster of corporate and non-governmental organization (NGO) partners supporting the January 2013 ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro. Founded by Grammy-nominated musician and noted philanthropist Kenna, SUMMIT ON THE SUMMIT is a grueling seven-day, fifty-mile climb up Africa’s tallest peak that aims to engage and activate a community of clean water supporters.
In a remarkable show of support for global clean water efforts, corporate partners HP, Intel, Procter & Gamble (P&G), KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Eddie Bauer will join together to provide everything from content to travel to technology for the climb. Water.org, an organization at the forefront of developing and delivering solutions to populations impacted by the water crisis for more than 20 years, will serve as SUMMIT’S primary educational partner. Water.org has served as a subject matter expert to SUMMIT, informing advocacy efforts, and will serve as the primary beneficiary for online giving through the SUMMIT website. Global studio @radical.media, producer of the MTV documentary that documented the first SUMMIT climb, is producing this year’s initiative on behalf of SUMMIT ON THE SUMMIT.
The full climbing team, a diverse group of cultural influencers, seasoned mountaineers, educators and clean water advocates, will be announced when the team begins its journey January 2, 2013.
The staggering statistics surrounding the prevalence and impact of water-borne illness and disease created a sense of urgency among major consumer brands and NGOs – a shared commitment and vision that compelled them to lend their support to the initiative.
Kenna is overwhelmed by the generosity and support the movement has benefited from to date. “My friends are remarkable people to do a crazy thing like climb Kilimanjaro, but they know that it’s crazy that there are a billion people who still lack access to safe drinking water,” said Kenna. “It’s been over 60 years since my father suffered with waterborne disease in my home country of Ethiopia. He survived, but many did not, and many do not today. SUMMIT ON THE SUMMIT is bringing this issue to the forefront and broadcasting that message from one of the largest peaks in the world. And with the support of benevolent brands like HP, Intel, P&G, KLM, Eddie Bauer and their employees, as well as the support of our beneficiary Water.org, we have a shot at engaging people in an innovative way and reminding them of the value of one of the world’s most precious resources – water.”
The initiative’s primary goal of raising more awareness around the scarcity of clean water throughout the world to help the more than 780 million people without access to safe drinking water will reinforce the efforts of organizations like Water.org that are on the front lines working to find solutions to the crisis.
“Water.org and SUMMIT ON THE SUMMIT share a bold mission: we believe in a just world where everyone can access a safe drink of water and experience the dignity of a toilet. It’s an ambitious goal, but one that is achievable; it will take participation around the world,” says Chevenee Reavis, Director of Strategic Initiatives at Water.org. “SUMMIT ON THE SUMMIT captures a truly fresh and energizing spirit that will spark new forms of engagement and momentum around this cause. We’re thrilled to be part of the movement.”
“We’re excited to join Kenna once again on this historic endeavor and honored that our brand partners have stepped up to support such a worthwhile cause,” said Justin Wilkes, @radical.media’s President of Media & Entertainment. “It’s not every day that you get to climb one of the highest mountains in the world, especially to raise awareness for a truly global issue.”
SUMMIT ON THE SUMMIT will utilize groundbreaking technology and social media during the ascent, with the climbers wirelessly enabled and equipped to share the experience in real time through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. HP and Intel will serve as the official technology partners for the second time, providing cutting-edge technology crucial to keeping the climbers safe and maximizing the impact of their experience to followers back at home.
“Solving the world’s water challenges requires bold action and commitment, which is exactly what this ambitious climb is all about,” said Gabi Zedlmayer, Vice President, Sustainability & Social Innovation, HP. “Our Ultrabooks, tablets and PCs will help the SUMMIT ON THE SUMMIT team stay connected with each other, their base camp and their supporters around the world.”
“At Intel, we believe that technology can make a difference to create a better, more sustainable world and enrich the lives of its citizens. We are excited to be participating in SUMMIT ON THE SUMMIT to help promote awareness of the global clean water crises,” said J. Johan Jervoe, Vice President of the Sales and Marketing Group and Director of Partner Marketing at Intel. “Intel silicon and technology enable new lighter, thinner, energy efficient devices such as the Intel-inspired Ultrabook as well as Intel powered tablets and convertibles. These devices provide an optimal blend of performance, security, and mobility for everyday life, but will be ideal for taking up the mountain, documenting the climb and extending this important message.”
As part of the initiative, P&G will be sharing its water purification technology – “P&G Purifier of Water.” These tiny packets are used to purify contaminated water anywhere, at any time. Through not-for-profit distribution in the developing world, P&G and their partners have helped prevent more than 200 million days of illness and saved an estimated 28,000 lives.
“For the past 175 years, P&G has focused on making every day better through life-changing innovation,” said Bob McDonald, P&G President, CEO and Chairman of the Board. “Thousands of people die every day from lack of safe drinking water, which is why we’re increasing distribution of our water purification technology to save one life every hour by 2020. We’re honored to again be a part of Summit on the Summit and help raise awareness of this critical issue.”
Clean water advocate Dr. Greg Allgood, Director of P&G’s Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program, will be joining the climb and will host the climbers in rural Tanzania to witness the impact of P&G’s water purification technology.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will be the official airline partner, providing transportation for the climbers and crew to and from Kilimanjaro. KLM is one of the few airlines providing service to Kilimanjaro.
“KLM is proud to support SUMMIT ON THE SUMMIT and its initiatives to bring global awareness to clean water issues. Although as a corporate policy KLM would not normally sponsor activities like Alpinism, this climb is about endurance and the personal challenge that each climber will face to promote a very important cause. Corporate Social Responsibility is vital to KLM and we work continuously to promote positive change with our environmental, humanitarian and sustainable programs,” said Patrick Roux, Senior Vice President, Air France and KLM for the Americas.
Eddie Bauer will serve as the official outfitting partner of SUMMIT ON THE SUMMIT. “Eddie Bauer is proud to support SUMMIT ON THE SUMMIT on their expedition to help raise awareness of the global clean water crisis,” said Mike Egeck, chief executive officer for Eddie Bauer. “For more than 90 years, Eddie Bauer has inspired and enabled the spirit of adventure and discovery. Through exploration, we gain a deeper appreciation of the natural world and a better understanding of the proper management of these resources.”