Rapid economic growth, an increasing population and urban migration have all contributed to a water crisis in China. Water shortages and pollution are affecting millions of people, with access to clean, safe water seen by many as an expensive luxury.

To mark World Water Day on 22 March, we caught up with Irene Cai, Senior Digital Marketing Manager for our Chinese home water purifier device Truliva, to find out how the brand is creating a movement for positive change.

Irene Cai holding her dog
Irene Cai

Senior Digital Marketing Manager, Truliva

Based in Shanghai, Irene works for Unilever’s Truliva brand – a water purifier used in millions of homes in China. Locally the brand is known as ‘Qin Yuan Truliva’.

Many people in China have long been concerned about clean air. Now they realise that our water pollution situation is getting worse too. Ecological development hasn’t kept pace with economic growth, so consumers are seeking their own solutions.

Across the country, demand for clean water is growing but many people believe they can’t afford to access it or simply don’t know how to get it. If they can afford it, some buy bottled water – but this adds to the problem of plastic waste.

We hope we can make a positive impact by raising awareness of how home water purifiers can help. Truliva purifiers are priced to appeal to the mass market, and can be used again and again to supply reliably clean drinking water. Our goal is to help 20% of families in China solve the problem of access to safe water.

The first step is reaching people. In 2018, we partnered with NGOs and local welfare organisations to donate Truliva purifiers to schools in rural communities nationwide. The initiative helped provide 50,000 pupils and teachers with safe drinking water and we are providing purifiers for more women and children in remote areas this year.

We also organised events to inspire people to reduce pollution by helping to clean up China’s waterways. And we launched a multimedia campaign to encourage people to start using their own cups rather than single-use water bottles.

Now we’re taking our commitment to providing safe water for the next generation to the next stage. Our research revealed that families with newborn babies care most about the safety of their drinking water. While before parenthood they may not have been so worried about water pollution, now it’s not just their own health they’re concerned about.

Parents will do all they can to protect their children. We’re taking action to help them do so by providing Truliva discount coupons and trial products to parents who submit a short video clip of them with their newborn baby on our campaign website (privacy protection is in place). Our campaign name translates into English as ‘Purity leads to new life’

Our insights showed that couples and families moving in to a new home also had heightened concerns about water safety. That’s why later this year, we will be offering them an easy way to make an appointment to have the quality of their home water supply tested, and discount coupons for Truliva filters.

Clean water is one of the most important foundations of people's health. And we believe that should start from babyhood. With good health, there is a good future.

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