Coca-Cola Brazil—together with Banco do Nordeste (Brazil Northeast Bank) and other NGO, private and public sector partners—will invest $6.5 million by 2020 to increase access to clean drinking water for low-income communities in Brazil’s northeast region. The alliance, which announced the commitment just ahead of World Water Day 2017, will work together to source, develop and test innovative and scalable water solutions.

Additional partners, all of whom share a commitment to providing sustainable water, sanitation and community development solutions, include: Fundação Avina, Instituto Trata Brazil, SISAR, WTT, Projeto Saúde and Alegria and Fundação Amazônia Sustentável.

Coca-Cola Brazil, Banco do Nordeste and other partners will increase access to clean drinking water for low-income communities in Brazil’s northeast region.

Wander Roberto

“We are looking forward to creating value beyond the limits of our bottling system and supply chain,” said Pedro Massa, shared value director, Coca-Cola Brazil. “Through this alliance, we will be able to maximize the ecosystem of access to water in our country. We believe that we can use our strong distribution channels and expertise to increase sustainable water access in Brazil.”

In the coming weeks, the alliance will select five innovation projects to implement in 2017. An initial pilot is underway with the support of Solar, Brazil’s second-largest Coca-Cola bottler, in Caucaia, Fortaleza. A treatment station in the Coqueiro community is using ozone gas to purify water for up to 40,000 residents. The low-cost technology developed by Brazil Ozônio treats more than 3,000 litters of water per hour and oxidizes heavy metals found in the semiarid regions of Brazil.

Geilton Lima (right) is a community leader in Coqueiro, where a water filtration pilot project is underway.

Wander Roberto

Marcos Holanda, president of Banco do Nordeste, said access to clean, safe water supports Brazil’s broader regional development efforts. “Historically, the lack of this resource has a negative impact for the development of the Northeast,” he said. “This way, Banco do Nordeste takes on the promotion of innovative solutions that permit the region to deal with this issue in a creative and sustainable way.”