PepsiCo has announced two environmental initiatives targeted at driving sustainable water practices in an effort to achieve its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The PepsiCo Foundation said today (22 January) that it has supplied a "major new grant" to Columbia University's Earth Institute and also partnered with Matt Damon's charity H2O Africa, a foundation focused on supplying clean water in Africa.

The initiative with the Earth Institute, founded by Jeffery Sachs, aims to improve water access, increase water productivity and recommend innovative methods to deliver "more crop per drop," the company said. The Earth Institute will receive US$6m during a three-year period directed at projects in India, Brazil, China and Africa based on annual progress in these markets, PepsiCo added.
 
The PepsiCo partnership with H2O Africa involves on-the-ground clean water projects in Niger, Mali, Senegal and other countries in Africa. Over the next year, H2O Africa will receive $2.5m.

PepsiCo chairman, CEO and PepsiCo Foundation chairman Indra Nooyi said: "As part of our long-standing commitment to address this crisis, we've entered into a strategic partnership with Jeffrey Sachs' Earth Institute and Matt Damon's H2O Africa Foundation to find and implement truly sustainable solutions in India, Brazil, China - the fastest growing developing markets - and in communities in Africa, where the need is greatest."

Matt Damon added: "Along with other factors like sanitation, medical care and education, safe water enables entire communities to pull themselves out of the cycle of poverty. At H2O Africa, we are working with established NGOs already 'on the ground' to bring assistance to communities in need."

In July, PepsiCo was among several businesses to support a declaration announced by UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown at the United Nations calling for the achievement of the MDGs by 2015.