In 1999, P&G purchased?through the acquisition of Recovery Engineering in a $265 million deal?PUR Water Filtration System, a point-of-use water filtration system. The PUR water filtration system used a combination of the flocculant iron sulfate, an agent that caused particles suspended in water to bind and form sediment, and calcium hypochlorite (chlorine), a disinfectant. After acquiring the product, P&G began to develop and expand it. With the success of PUR Water Filtration System, Procter & Gamble Health Sciences Institute (PGHSI) and its partners created the Children’s Safe Drinking Water (CSDW) campaign, which targeted developing countries, in 2003. PUR was distributed, often at no cost, to poor countries where the drinking water was not safe, and elsewhere during emergencies: the Asian tsunami, flooding in Haiti, or cholera epidemics in Africa, among others. Through the CSDW program from 2003 to 2007, P&G had provided the sachets at no cost, made no profit on PUR sales, and donated programmatic funding to some of the CSDW projects. Between 2003 and 2007, 85 million sachets of PUR, treating 850 million liters of water, had been distributed globally in emergency response or sold through social marketing projects. With the help of its various partners, PGHSI had made the product available in 23 countries. Procter & Gamble had finally entered the water purification business but had chosen to augment its commercial and retail sales by helping bring clean drinking water to developing countries.
Darden Business Publishing – University of Virginia