“Grundfos’ founder, Poul Due Jensen, developed his first pump to help Danish farmers improve their business in the post-WWII era. 75 years later, it is very moving to see how Grundfos Philippines reaches out to poor farming communities in a bid to help them improve their livelihood.”
Those were the words from the Grundfos Foundation’s Executive Director, Kim Nøhr Skibsted, to the employees of Grundfos Pumps Philippines at the award ceremony held on 30 September to honour the project team behind the SOLution project.
Staff engagement in poor communities
The project reaches out to three farming communities in Norzagaray, Bulacan, Philippines. In an elegant way, it combines social and environmental impact with the technical knowhow of Grundfos’ employees in the Philippines.
“Over the last year, we’ve provided 100 small farmers with access to solar-powered irrigation solutions that save them fuel costs and CO2 emissions. Our project also promotes best practices in small scale irrigation in collaboration with irrigation specialists from Municipal Agricultural Office and Department of Agriculture and agriculture students from universities in Bulacan and nearby provinces,” explains Jerrald Santos, Sales Engineer in Grundfos Philippines.
Jerrald Santos and Gilbert Ednnan Luna are the key persons behind Grundfos Philippines’ engagement, conducting site inspections and providing trainings and seminars, and Callum Peck who brought the project into the sales company.
“Our project has suffered some delays due to the COVID-19 restrictions over the last 6 months, but this week, we were finally able to go back to the community and deliver training to the farmers, and that felt really good”, adds Gilbert Luna, who works in Internal Sales Support.
Fighting poverty – and pollution
SOLution is a Public-Private Partnership between Grundfos Pumps Philippines and Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST) and other partners under the DeveloPPP program of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
General Manager of Grundfos Pumps Philippines, Jonathan Breton, is proud of the positive impact of the project:
“It’s not just 100 farmers, it’s also the quality of life of their families and improved opportunities of future generations. I’m proud of our engagement to help some of the poorest people in this country. But I’m also proud of our quest to introduce environmentally friendly farming solutions,” he says.
According to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), Asia Pacific is the fastest-growing region in the world. The economic boom has lifted many out of poverty, but it has also caused significant environmental degradation, and it is a challenge to maintain and build on the growth of the past two decades, but to do so in a more sustainable way.
20,000 EUR for ASSIST Asia
Grundfos Philippines is awarded a diploma and a statuette for their engagement, but the award also comes with a 20,000 EUR donation to the project partner, ASSIST Asia. The donation will add an extra layer of education to the project, further benefiting the community
“With this funding, we are planning to establish a fourth solar irrigation system which will double as a training facility at the local Higher Education Institution, thus increasing the reach of the project and helping future generations get familiar with sustainable solutions”, said Aru David, Regional Director, ASSIST Asia.
Find out more about the Poul Due Jensen Social Responsibility Award.