BY JOSEPH CHANG
Celebrity Star Power! – not at your typical chemical industry event.
But the launch of the Dow Live Earth Run for Water event – “the largest global water initiative in history” – drew out a number of celebs supporting the cause, including actress Jessica Biel, musicians Pete Wentz and Angelique Kidjo, water advocate Alexandra Cousteau and elite triathlete and model Jenny Fletcher.
The launch event took place at The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers in New York City.
It’s a worthwhile cause, and one that can raise the profile of the chemical industry and highlight its leadership in taking on such important global issues.
The actual Dow Live Earth Water Run for Water will take place on April 18, 2010 in around 20 cities worldwide, including New York, Los Angeles, Buenos Aires, London, Singapore City, Rio de Janeiro and Stockholm. The run/walk will be 6 kilometers, representing the average distance many women and children walk every day to secure water, said Dow.
NGO partners including Global Water Challenge, A Child’s Right, Akvo, Fondo Para La Paz, Indonesia Water Partnership, Lien Aid, Pump Aid, Wildlands Conservation Trust and many others will aim to successfully implement water and conservation projects around the world.
Ian Barbour, general manager of Dow Water & Process Solutions, said the initiative draws attention to the chemical industry being part of the solution to crucial world issues.
“Sometimes we’re too defensive in the chemical industry. Here is a fantastic opportunity to show what chemistry can do in tackling a critical world issue,” Barbour said in an interview with ICIS.
See the story on Dow’s Water & Process Solutions business on ICIS news (subscription required).
Actress Jessica Biel said: “Responsible corporate citizens like Dow make events and movements like this possible. They have committed to making changes in their business to positively affect communities and citizens around the world.”
Around 1bn people worldwide, or one-eighth of the population, have no access to clean, safe drinking water, noted Barbour.
“We want to generate a surge in awareness and level of funding that will make a difference – making a dent in the number of people who don’t have access to clean, safe drinking water,” he said.
As for raising awareness, it sure doesn’t hurt that high profile celebrities are on board to help solve the water crisis.
Jockeying for position amidst the throng of professional fotogs at the event in New York, I managed to get some videos (though a bit shaky!).
Video credit: ICIS