What is the benefit or value you're creating for your business?
- The application of our expertise and core competencies to the creation of new products that help improve the lives of individuals in developing economies
- Gaining a better understanding of the needs of the base of the pyramid
- Entrance into new markets
- Increasing visibility on the issue with key stakeholders
- Increase visibility of the company via awards such as the Popular Science's Best of What's New and Global Green awards
- Strengthening of our relationship with our customers
How are you leveraging internal resources (funds, time, knowledge, etc.) to support this initiative?
Greif has committed its internal manufacturing division to produce and improve upon the development of the backpack. We are also leveraging the capabilities of our partner Partners in Health (PIH) for testing and validation of impact of the backpacks. Greif has provided significant funding for the program to date.
Greif has also partnered with a Columbus based venture capital firm, NCT Ventures, to lead operations and marketing efforts for PackH2O. NCT Ventures along with Greif, has built an exceptional team with the necessary funding needed to accomplish our mission.
Expand on your answer, explaining the long-term funding and support plan.
Our focus is on building a sustainable model based on commerce. Greif & NCT Ventures have made a commitment for the long term. Both companies understand that to tackle a global issue such as the crisis tied to water takes time, resources and requires funding. From a resource perspective, Greif has offered its core competencies in manufacturing and distribution and invested two million dollars in R&D and design; they are committed to continuing this investment to provide a product that is both environmentally and economically better than the alternative. NCT supports this vision and is ready to make the necessary investment towards this social venture. Our strong partnerships with PIH, the Clinton Foundation and others are helping us scale our efforts.
Tell us about your partnerships across your company and externally that are key to your project's success.
Within our company we work in full cooperation with our manufacturing, product development, marketing and communications departments.
We partnered with NCT ventures to lead operations and marketing efforts.
Our partners are:
Globally: Operation Blessing, Partners in Health
Haiti: Clinton Foundation
Kenya: Partners for Care, Habitat for Humanity
Guatemala: CXCatalysts, CEMACO, Knights of Columbus and the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala
What internal support have you gotten for your project? What kind of push-back have you received?
We have received full support from Micheal Gasser, former CEO, current chairman of board and from our current CEO David Fischer who has initiated this project. We also have full support of Greif's manufacturing, distribution and communication departments. We have not received any push-back.