PepsiCo will launch a partnership on Tuesday with the Earth Institute at Columbia University and Matt Damon, the Hollywood actor, to bring clean water to communities in Africa, China, India and Brazil.
The announcement is being made on the eve of the World Economic Forum in Davos as an example of the event’s theme of "collaborative innovation". It will see the US soft drinks and snacks group inject management expertise and $8m (€5.5m, £4.1m) in cash into two long-term water projects.
The Earth Institute will receive much of the funding, from PepsiCo’s charitable foundation, while Mr Damon’s H20 Africa charity will receive $2.5m from PepsiCo’s corporate budget. The funds will be used to improve sanitation, access to drinking water and crop yields through irrigation.
Jeffrey Sachs, the director of the Earth Institute, said the initiative reflected a new approach to corporate social responsibility, moving beyond the charitable donations of the past.
"Pepsi is dwarfing all our efforts in the last two years [but] it’s not just a cheque," said Mr Damon, whose charity had raised "a couple of million dollars" since its launch in 2006. "I’m hoping this is a beacon everyone else succumbs to by irresistible example."
Mr Damon, whose charity helps provide wells on farms and sanitation in countries from Mali to Uganda, said the support of a large corporate partner meant that "suddenly the whole morass looks like an equation that has a solution".
The involvement of the film star would help spread the message about the urgency of providing clean supplies to the estimated 1.1bn people currently without access to safe drinking water, Ms Nooyi said.
"If Indra Nooyi says this is important it means squat, but if Matt Damon [endorses it] all of a sudden it reaches a much larger group of people in a more cost-effective way," she said.
Mr Damon agreed, saying: "You get a certain amount of celebrity capital and you can choose to spend it however you want. You can sell shampoo or try and enrich yourself. You can do a lot of things, but this is a great way to spend that capital."
Casey Affleck received a nomination for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Amy Ryan received a nomination for Gone Baby Gone and George Clooney was nominated for Michael Clayton (with Bourne screenwriter Tony Gilroy receiving nominations for Directing and Original Screenplay for Michael Clayton). The Ultimatum nominations:
Achievement in film editing
"The Bourne Ultimatum" (Universal): Christopher Rouse
Achievement in sound editing
"The Bourne Ultimatum" (Universal): Karen Baker Landers and Per Hallberg
Achievement in sound mixing
"The Bourne Ultimatum" (Universal) Scott Millan, David Parker and Kirk Francis
CHEN: OK. Now, for Best Actor, the person getting a lot of buzz is Daniel Day-Lewis for his role in "There Will Be Blood."
Mr. CAGLE: "There Will Be Blood." He is amazing in that. But I think somebody who will be overlooked this year is Matt Damon for "The Bourne Ultimatum." It's a big action movie, not the kind of movie people get nominated for, but he was amazing in that and he's been amazing in all of those Bourne movies.
CHEN: He really was. And not to mention, all those movies made so much money for the studio.
Mr. CAGLE: You know what, I don't feel bad for Matt Damon. He'll be fine.
CHEN: He's also the Sexiest Man Alive according to People magazine.
Mr. CAGLE: Exactly. And rich as Croesus.