Almost 80% of all our INDEX: Award Winners are sustaining their enormous life-improving impact and growing as successful businesses. Celebrating 10 years this year, we’d like to share all the prosperous journeys of our past INDEX: Award Winners as they continue to make this world a better place, year after year.

Kicking off this new series we look back to 2005 at one of our first – and most accomplished – INDEX: Award Winners, the LifeStraw® water filter, designed by Danish company Vestergaard. Since commercially launching the LifeStraw® in 2005, the Vestergaard team have come up with an array of products over the past decade, vastly broadening their scope of bringing fresh water to all corners of the globe. To date, the team have introduced the LifeStraw® Go, LifeStraw® Family 1.0, LifeStraw® Mission, and LifeStraw® Carbon Credits, which all use the same breakthrough water purifying technology.

Most recently, the team established the ‘Follow the Liters’ programme late last year – an initiative that will provide safe drinking water to thousands of students across Kenya’s Western Province through distributing LifeStraw® Community purifiers to schools.

The programme will expand this year with a second distribution round set to take place from November 2 – 6. The team will provide over 2,500 additional purifiers to over 300 primary schools in Western Kenya.

“By the end of November 2015 the reach of this programme will more than double, providing approximately 360,000 primary school students with safe drinking water at school.” – Vestergaard.

From manufacturing work uniforms in the 1950’s to becoming a leading humanitarian business, Vestergaard has a long and successful history of design to improve life. Aside from LifeStraw® related initiatives, Vestergaard are dedicated to addressing a wide range of global challenges through design. In fact, the organisation was also named an INDEX: Award 2015 Finalist for their simple, yet innovative product, ZeroFly Storage Bag.

Overall, Vestergaard’s solutions are contributing to healthier, more sustainable lives for millions by fighting diarrheal diseases, neglected tropical diseases, HIV/AIDS, and malaria. Additionally, the company also focusses on initiatives to mitigate climate change and enhance food security.

“It’s the opportunity to invent the next life changing health innovation that makes the humanitarian entrepreneurship model so important to collective efforts to improve public health.” – VESTERGAARD

Through research-based design and high-impact partnerships, the Vestergaard team have made a tremendous impact in improving people’s lives through innovation. Today, more than one billion people benefit from using Vestergaard products, and we couldn’t be prouder to call them former INDEX: Award Winners.

The learn more about the LifeStraw® ‘Follow the Liters’ initiative check out the video below, and make sure to follow their journey on social media!

Video and Photographs: Vestergaard Frandsen.

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