In late 2013, Coca Cola in partnership with several global and local organizations, began deploying so-called Ekocenters, which are primarily mobile clean water sources. These Ekocenters are build out of shipping containers and their main aim is purifying water and delivering it to developing communities across the world with a special focus on groups within the Bottom of the Pyramid (BoP), which is the largest, and also poorest socio-economic group in the world, comprised of about 4 billion people living on less than $2 a day.
Ekocenters are off-the-grid, modularly designed stations, constructed out of standard 20-foot shipping containers. Each Ekocenter is equipped with a Slingshot water purification unit, a power source and a commercial space. The Slingshot units use vapor compression distillation technology, which can turn nearly any source of dirty water into safe drinking water. The technology was developed by DEKA R&D. The Ekocenters can also serve as a retail outlet and provide utilities, services and other commercial products aimed at people in need, though their main purpose is providing safe drinking water. However, the Ekocenters also help empower the people they serve, giving them connectivity, offering jobs, skills and services, while also promoting environmental incentives, such as recycling.
More specifically, through the Ekocenter project hundreds of liters of clean, safe drinking water can be delivered. They also give mobile and Internet access that will reach 45,000 people in some of the most remote places of the globe. The project will also create 300 direct jobs, most of them for women entrepreneurs, and 750 indirect jobs. It also facilitates 150 recycling or waste management programs. The units will also offer refrigerated vaccination storage and health education to the communities.
By 2015, Coca-Cola and partners aim to place between 1,500 and 2,000 of these types of units in the poorest regions of Africa, Latin America, Asia, and North America. They aim to deliver 500 million liters of safe drinking water to these areas in need.