DAVOS, Switzerland The Belgian beer brand Stella Artois is increasing its financial commitments to the water charity co-founded by actor Matt Damon, at a time that its owner, Anheuser-Busch InBev, moves into Africa, where access to clean water can be limited.
The brewer’s support for Damon’s Water.org precedes Anheuser-Busch InBev’s $100 billion-plus acquisition of SABMiller that closed in October, extending its reach in Africa and several Latin American countries.
“We’ve been able to see tangible results and a tangible impact,” Christina Choi, global brand vice president, Stella Artois, said of its initial involvement with Water.org.
“Our support of some of the new markets that we now operate in was there even before, but certainly now it has even more meaning to us as we move forward,” she told Reuters.
Stella Artois said on Tuesday it would donate $4.8 million over the next four years to Water.org, which uses microfinancing to fund projects like water wells and taps.
In addition, Stella would continue its “Buy a Lady a Drink” campaign, in which proceeds from each sale of a limited-edition beer glass gets donated to the charity, providing the equivalent funding for five years of clean drinking water for one person.
Lack of access to water disproportionately affects women and children, as they often spend hours per day collecting it instead of going to school or working.
In the two years since the project was launched, Stella said it has sold over 225,000 glasses and has donated over $3 million to Water.org. The brewer said it would also donate money for each six-pack and 12-pack of beer purchased in the United States and Britain.