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An Update on Our 2023 Impact So Far

An Update on Our 2023 Impact So Far

July 17, 23

In the first half of 2023, the LifeStraw team has been busy making an impact. To date, we've reached over 327,125 people with access to safe water through our Give Back Program, emergency response efforts and humanitarian partnerships.

Here's a glimpse into the programs and emergency response campaigns that we've been working on.

Kenyan school child with safe drinking water

2023 GIVE BACK CAMPAIGN

LifeStraw’s Give Back program is the heart of our business. For every LifeStraw product purchased, a child in need receives safe drinking water for an entire year.

In February 2023, we implemented our annual safe water campaign in western Kenya. Over the course of one week, our local team (with the enthusiastic support from the rest of the company who traveled to Kenya) installed 561 new LifeStraw Community purifiers across 105 schools, reaching 61,000 new kids with safe drinking water. The teams also provided WASH education to all the students, including the benefits of safe drinking water and proper handwashing.  

Since the inception of our Give Back program, we have reached 9,560,442 kids with a year of safe drinking water across 3,135 schools. 

Give Back Monitoring  

Northern Kenya has been facing its worst drought in over 40 years, leaving 4.4 million people without access to food or water. ​In November 2022, in partnership with nonprofit Mary’s Meals, LifeStraw distributed 589 LifeStraw Community water purifiers to 438 schools in Turkana, Kenya, reaching 60,178 kids with safe drinking water. The majority of the schools have dug wells in the dried-up river beds in order to access water. 

In 2023, the LifeStraw team carried out a weeklong monitoring and evaluation activity of the Turkana program, to check in on LifeStraw Community adoption, use and maintenance, and program impact. 

Despite resource challenges (some schools made LifeStraw Community stands from twigs and reeds), the units were found clean and have been put to good use!  

EMERGENCY RESPONSE  

Due to climate change, disasters of all kinds are becoming more frequent and more intense. Many natural and humanitarian disasters result in the destruction of critical water and sanitation infrastructure, and infectious disease outbreaks are common due to the spread of sewage, breakdown of WASH services and diminished ability to practice good hygiene.  

Every year, LifeStraw responds to as many natural and humanitarian disasters as possible, to help ensure access to safe drinking water in the immediate aftermath of the crises and during long-term recovery efforts.

In 2023, through product donations and humanitarian sales with dedicated partners, we’ve responded to crises across ten countries. Below are a few highlights: 

Emergency response in Turkey and Syria

Earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria  

On February 7, two earthquakes (magnitudes 7.8 and 7.5), struck southern Türkiye and northern Syria – followed by tens of thousands of aftershocks. The quakes killed nearly 60,000 people, displaced millions, and destroyed critical infrastructure. Syria’s ongoing complex humanitarian crisis has exacerbated the situation in that region. 

To date, LifeStraw has donated 500 filters and purifiers to Türkiye, and 1,600 to Syria – reaching over 13,000 people with safe drinking water.  

Emergency response in Malawi

Cyclone Freddy in Malawi  

In March, record-breaking storm Cyclone Freddy tore through southern Malawi – triggering devastating mudslides and flooding that killed more than 400 people and left over 90,000 displaced from their homes. Freddy caused widespread destruction, including to local water and sanitation systems. 

In partnership with several local organizations and churches, we donated and distributed 85 filters and purifiers to areas where families are sheltering, reaching over 6,000 people with safe drinking water.  

Emergency response in Bangladesh and Myanmar

Cyclone Mocha in Bangladesh and Myanmar  

In May, deadly Cyclone Mocha made landfall in Bangladesh and Myanmar. Shanty camps on the coast of Bangladesh were some of the hardest hit, leaving hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees homeless. 

LifeStraw has supported these refugee camps for years, and is working with four local partners to donate an additional 23 LifeStraw Community purifiers to the hardest hit regions – reaching 2,300 refugees with safe drinking water after the storm. 

In addition, through nonprofit humanitarian sales, we reached an additional 108,000 people in Myanmar.  

Emergency response in Ukraine

Ongoing War in Ukraine  

LifeStraw continues to support humanitarian efforts in Ukraine, where safe water is still an acute issue. Most recently, the collapse of the Kakhovka Dam on June 6 unleashed floodwaters across southern Ukraine, destroying entire villages and farmland, and leaving tens of thousands of people without power, sanitation or safe water.

Due to the destruction of critical infrastructure and environmental contamination like rotting fish and flooded cemeteries, people are at high risk for waterborne diseases.

In the first half of 2023, we donated 1,650 filters and high-volume purifiers, which are being hand delivered to civilians and soldiers in the eastern part of Ukraine, including areas impacted by the dam collapse.  

Volunteering in Baltimore

EMPLOYEE OUTREACH AND VOLUNTEERING 

LifeStraw employees are encouraged to support their local communities through outreach activities, and provided one full day each quarter to take off from work to volunteer. Below are just highlights of the incredible work our staff has accomplished:  

MENSTRUAL HYGIENE MANAGEMENT  

Everything we do at LifeStraw is to uphold our belief that safe water is a human right. And we know that access to safe water extends far beyond hydration. That’s why we’re thrilled to announce our new menstrual hygiene management program.

Without access to safe water, menstruating people face difficulties in managing their hygiene effectively, often resorting to the use of unhygienic products and contaminated water which increases the risks of infection and disease.

Last month, our local team in western Kenya pooled their own funds to procure sanitary pads for 150 girls. And later this year, we will be scaling up to reach 1,750 additional menstruating adolescents in the region with a long-term, sustainable solution in partnership with The Period Company. Each adolescent will receive four pairs of reusable menstrual underwear, as well as comprehensive education by local Community Health Volunteers.

This new program kicked off on Monday, June 19, with a day-long training in western Kenya on adolescent sexual and reproductive health and menstrual hygiene management.  

SUSTAINABILITY  

As our company continues to grow, we are committed to ensuring that we do so responsibly – both to our people and our planet.  

Climate Neutral Certified  

We are in the process of recertifying as Climate Neutral! We have completed our 2022 carbon audit (of our all our company’s greenhouse gas emissions – scope 1, 2 and 3), and have purchased verified carbon offsets to cover our entire footprint. This year, our offset purchase is supporting sustainable cookstove projects in Madagascar. 

Science-Based Targets Initiatives  

LifeStraw has committed to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Agreement’s goal of keeping planetary warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. ​ 

Our commitments (near-term): ​ 

  • Absolute reduction by 50% of operational emissions (Scopes 1 + 2) by 2030.​ 
  • Measure and reduce Scope 3 emissions. ​ 

How are we achieving this? ​ 

  • Reducing energy consumption (currently researching a switch to solar in Vietnam and renewables in the US)​ 
  • Moving manufacturing closer to market ​ 
  • Switching to electric freight trucks when possible​ 
  • Significantly reducing air freight​ 
  • Procuring more sustainable raw materials for products and packaging 

Water Conservation  

In the first half of 2023, the LifeStraw Water Lab has saved 360,000 liters of water by designing a reflux system that is being used during dispenser testing. They saved an additional 240,000 liters of water by reusing purifier waste water.

For a real-time look at our impact efforts and live updates, follow LifeStraw on social media