The idea is mobilizing employees around the world. With the Endress+Hauser Water Challenge, we are transferring our commitment to clean water to the non-profit sector.
The idea behind the campaign is simple. Employees jog or walk, Nordic style, a specific distance and make a small contribution for each kilometer they complete. The company then matches the final amount. The money is set aside for select aid projects in Asia, South America or Africa that focus on improving access to clean drinking water. Through personal contacts and presence, Endress+Hauser ensures that none of the donated money drains away.
“The Endress+Hauser Water Challenge is open to all employees who enjoy being active and have the desire to do something good for other people,” explains CEO Matthias Altendorf, who is participating in the first charity run as a Nordic walker. The company has been involved in safe, efficient and ecofriendly water supply and treatment for decades. “We’re now exploiting this business activity for use in the nonprofit sector,” says Matthias Altendorf. “There are many people in the world who don’t take safe drinking water for granted. For them it’s a valuable and scarce resource.”
It’s the taking part that counts
Matthias Altendorf is excited about how the initiative is encouraging involvement. Employees in many countries are organizing their own events, including Argentina, Australia, Austria, Germany and Mexico. Other locations want to follow these examples – even though in 2020 almost all events had to be cancelled due to the Corona pandemic. The type of activity plays a secondary role. Whether walking, skiing or cycling, or on land, water or ice, the most important thing is that the participants get involved in a physical activity together. It’s not about achieving the best times or about competing. “The common experience is more important than the pace,” emphasizes the CEO.
The proceeds from the first charity run in Switzerland in 2019 amounted to 10,000 Swiss francs. The first of the aid projects is successfully completed a mere three months later in Vietnam.
Every drop counts
Every year during the drought period, the old well in the central Vietnamese village of Kon Bdeh dries up. The 800 residents then struggle with a lack of water for up to six months. The Endress+Hauser Water Challenge has improved the situation for the people of Kon Bdeh for the long term. Donations were used to drill a 100-meter-deep well, tap the spring, install a pump and build a water house. Before it flows out of the tap, the water is filtered and cleaned with a reverse osmosis process. Solar panels supply the system with electricity. Rolf Leber, who works for Endress+Hauser in Southeast Asia, served as the on-site project manager, calling it a “terrific experience”, adding that “together we changed the lives of 800 people for the better!”