Calling it an innovation “beyond inspiration,” a panel of global judges named the P&G Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program one of the world’s most impactful developments, presenting it with the 2012 Economist Social Innovation Award.
“As a Company, we are both honored by the recognition and inspired by our employees and global partners who have worked to deliver more than 5 billion liters of clean drinking water to families in developing countries, helping save nearly 30,000 lives,” said P&G CEO, President and Chairman of the Board, Bob McDonald.
The Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program works with partners in more than 65 countries to share its P&G Purifier of Water packets, which contain a patented powdered technology that transforms dirty and contaminated water into clean, drinkable water.
The award was presented during The Economist’s 11 th Annual Innovation Award gala at the NAFTA Center in London and attended by global leaders in business, academia, research and development and government. Winners were named in eight categories, including bioscience, energy and the environment, social innovation and computing/telecommunications. The awards celebrated the innovators behind the scenes: “the dreamers and the doers whose innovations transform the world we live in.” This year’s winners included Google, Garmin, GeneTech and MIT. For a full list of winners and their categories, click here.Receiving the award for P&G were Dr. Phil Souter and Dr. Greg Allgood. Souter, a P&G Research & Development Section Head with the Company 15 years, invented the powder technology that when mixed with water removes dirt, cysts and pollutants, while killing bacteria and viruses. Souter first began working on the innovation when he was a research scientist, studying the possibility of recycling laundry water to help with water shortages. At the same time, personal travels took him to South East Asia where he saw a broader need: clean drinking water globally. When he changed assignments, Souter took his new passion with him. And when asked to focus on developing new products, he requested for and won funding to do still more research on making safe drinking water. Working alone at first, he went from an idea to a product within two years.