PISCATAWAY, N.J. — American Standard Brands is taking a stand for global safe drinking water and basic sanitation for all, by standing up 12 high-efficiency toilets outside the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, March 23, 2010, in a Guinness World Record attempt to create the World’s Longest Toilet Queue.
The event is part of two days of activities to support World Water Day, March 22, with toilet queues being set up in Europe and Asia, as well as North America, to draw attention to WASH, an acronym for water, sanitation and hygiene. Lack of access to fresh clean water, the world’s largest environmental health crisis, kills 4,500 children every day.
The World’s Longest Toilet Queue is one of many happenings taking place in Washington, next Monday and Tuesday, bringing together thousands of campaigners from around the world to identify ways to achieve the United Nations’ 2015 Millennium Development Goal of reducing by half the proportion of people who lack safe drinking water and basic sanitation by the year 2015.
On March 22, a series of high-level roundtables entitled “Paths Forward for the Global Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Sector,” hosted by the Global Water Futures Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, are being held. Their goal — to generate strategies on how to improve the outcome of WASH programs and increase participation of U.S. based public and private sectors in global WASH initiatives. Jim McHale, American Standard Brands vice president, operations and engineering, is an invited participant in the roundtable discussion “Making our Investments Count,” contributing ideas to increase the effectiveness and sustainability of WASH programs. McHale and other American Standard Brands executives will also attend an invitation-only event at the National Geographic Society, expected to feature U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, where the spotlight will be on the expanding commitments of the U.S. government, corporations and non-profit organizations towards worldwide WASH proposals.
“Lack of access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene is a serious global issue,” said McHale, “Nearly 1 billion people around the world still lack access to clean drinking water, and more than 2.5 billion people lack even basic sanitation.
“In our country, we are fortunate that trained plumbers protect our health and safety, a fact American Standard celebrated in the1930s with our iconic advertising campaign, The Plumber Protects the Health of Our Nation,” McHale continued.
World Water Day participation is the latest in a series of initiatives by American Standard Brands to raise awareness of practical water conservation solutions through award-winning product innovations and increased consumer choice. In February, American Standard Brands announced a $1 million, two-year partnership with The Nature Conservancy, the world’s largest conservation organization, in support of its mission in the area of global freshwater conservation.
Organizations supporting World Water Day include Action Against Hunger, Africare, CARE, Catholic Relief Services, InterAction, Global Water Challenge, H2O for Life, ONE, Millennium Water Alliance, NRDC, PATH, PSI, P&G Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program, U.S. Coalition for Child Survival, Water Advocates, WaterAid, Water For People, and Water.org.
“If you are in Washington D.C. next Tuesday, get in line with us,” said Jeannette Long, general manager of e-commerce and marketing initiatives for American Standard Brands. “We’ll be giving away chances to win prizes when the line starts building at 1:00 pm right through the media event at 1:30 pm.” The World’s Longest Toilet Queue, which is open to any supporters and passersby, will take place in the park alongside Constitution Avenue between Union Station and the U.S. Capitol.