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[Sponsored Report] K-water’s social projects expand at home, abroad

Aug 27,2018
K-water volunteers plant fruit trees with local residents in Mongolia as part of the corporation’s ongoing corporate social responsibility efforts.[K-WATER]
The United Nations has named the decade beginning in 2018 as its Water Action Decade as part of its Sustainable Development Goals initiative. For K-water, corporate social responsibility has become even more important.

K-water’s corporate mission is “Opening the future with water. Sharing happiness with water.” To accomplish this mission, K-water is working hard on projects that have positive outcomes for both the corporation and society.

K-water brands its corporate social projects under the catchphrase “Happy Water,” meaning that it tries to share happiness through water. The projects fall into three categories: “Win-win for All,” initiatives that concentrate on the shared value of water, “Full of Love,” activities that support community development, and “Full of Hope,” incentives that nurture the future generation.

K-water also works to solve social problems such as environmental issues and job creation. The corporation invested 300 million won ($268,270) in social enterprises and started a business idea contest to foster creativity.

Keeping up with globalization, K-water has spread its social projects overseas. Since 2006, the corporation has been offering its expertise to areas that struggle to secure clean drinking water.

A volunteer group of 576 K-water employees, non-governmental organizations, medical professionals and university students traveled to nine countries with water shortage issues including Myanmar, Mongolia and Cambodia. They worked on improving drinking water, building reservoirs and improving medical services.

Collaborating with international organizations, K-water launched the “Happy Water School” program as a medium to long-term plan to create a healthy water environment for future generations in 2017. Through the Asia Water Council, K-water was asked to install water facilities in Myanmar. This project formed the basis of the corporation’s overseas work last year.

This year K-water continued the Happy Water School program in Myanmar and Vietnam. In the case of Vietnam, where K-water is launching the “Smart Water Management” pilot project, the corporation plans to utilize products made by small and medium-sized Korean enterprises to create the waterworks. This ensures that they are not only improving the water infrastructure, but also finding an overseas market for Korean enterprises.

Throughout its history, K-water has accumulated a lot of know-how and technology about water. Since 1997, K-water has been using its experience to teach public officials from developing countries.

As of July, the corporation has shared its knowledge with 4,486 officials from 97 countries. The use of an online portal allows K-water to continue to share its experience without geographical or time limitations.

K-water established the “Unesco International Centre for Water Security and Sustainable Management” on June 2017. As Korea’s first established Unesco center related to nature science, it is meaningful that it contributes to the expansion of international cooperation. The new center is expected to help developing countries strengthen their water security.

BY KIM HA-EUN [kim.haeun@joongang.co.kr]
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