In September 2012, our Company announced a long-term partnership with DEKA R&D to bring Dean Kamen’s “Slingshot” technology, a water purification system, to communities where potable water access is limited. In early 2013, the partnership launched trial projects in schools, health clinics and community centers in Paraguay and South Africa to further refine the technology while providing safe drinking water.
In September 2013, the Company expanded this work into EKOCENTER, a kiosk designed to improve the well-being of communities. A global partnership and investment in community progress, EKOCENTER delivers the Slingshot water purification system, other basic necessities, such as electricity, wireless communication, and refrigerated vaccination storage and health education to rural communities while empowering local entrepreneurs, with a specific focus on female entrepreneurs.
EKOCENTERs will initially operate with a Slingshot water purification system, power source and commercial space and have the ability to add features and services tailored to community needs. Once established and optimally developed, the partnership will grow the technology to be a fully equipped retail outlet.
Coca-Cola’s commitment to replenish the water used in our beverages and their production, our 5by20 program to economically empower 5 million women entrepreneurs across our value chain by 2020, and our continued commitment to foster sustainable communities globally.
Our Company and DEKA R&D partnered with leading NGOs, development banks, local governments, and other companies to help fund the project, identify locations, and support placement and on-the-ground efforts of standalone Slingshot units and those housed within EKOCENTERs. In 2013, we:
Partnered with Africare, a leading NGO in Africa, to field test Slingshot units in health clinics in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. The units are providing clean drinking water to health clinics that operate an HIV/AIDS intervention program, which Africare is leading with support from The
Commissioned seven Slingshot units in six schools in Pilar, Paraguay in July 2013.
Launched the first EKOCENTER pilot site in Heidelberg, South Africa, with plans to install a second EKOCENTER in Mexico by the end of 2013.
- The Company led the EKOCENTER vision and design as well as the creation and installation of the prototype unit in South Africa.
- At the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting, in partnership with DEKA R&D, IBM, Inter-American Development Bank, McCann Health, NRG, Qualcomm, UPS and TechnoServe, we announced we will place between 1,500 and 2,000 units, in the form of EKOCENTERs or Slingshot water purification systems, to deliver further services beyond safe drinking water, in Africa, Asia, Latin America and North America by the end of 2015. Through this commitment, we aim to provide 500 million liters of safe drinking water while promoting greater local development in communities that need it most. This partnership is the first step in
Coca-Cola’s long-term vision of deploying thousands of EKOCENTERs globally in the next decade.
- With our bottling partners, we are leading the project by managing the site selection, installation and maintenance of each EKOCENTER, utilizing our local operations to support on-the-ground needs, serving as a distribution channel for EKOCENTER placements and ensuring that the drinking water provided complies with applicable safe drinking water and health standards.
About the Slingshot technology
The Slingshot water purification system uses a vapor compression distillation system that uses less than one kilowatt of electricity per hour (less power than a handheld hair dryer).
The system boils and evaporates nearly any dirty water source – river water, pond water and even raw sewage – and then allows clean drinking water to condense and be collected.
One slingshot unit can purify up to 850 liters of clean drinking water per day – enough daily drinking water for approximately 300 people.