Shaper: Duncan Goose

Show aired on 27th December 2014


Duncan Goose

Duncan Goose is the founder of Global Ethics and the One Water brand. He has a background in advertising and marketing and was formerly a board director of a WPP subsidiary which he saw through a buy-out, and subsequent merger into the J Water Thompson Group.

In 2004 he left the business to form a not-for-profit organisation called Global Ethics whose primary remit is to raise funds for humanitarian projects in developing countries by harnessing the power of everyday consumerism – rather than focusing on charitable models. By connecting products with human needs – on a like-for-like basis, he hopes to change the way we view our everyday purchases.

The first initiative was to launch a bottled water brand, called One Water, which donates all its profits to fund sustainable water solutions for communities in Africa. One Water was the official water for both Live8 and Make Poverty History and continues to change the way in which people consider buying water. Global Ethics and The One Brand have ambitious plans for the future with developing other like-for-like initiatives in the area of fmcg, financial services and technology. One Water has also become the water brand of choice for Virgin Atlantic and Starbucks across the UK.

Duncan launched The One Foundation in 2007. The One Foundation is a sustainable charity that creates partnerships between brands, corporate organisations, retailers and recipient charities. The Co-operative was the first organisation to partner with The One Foundation with the launch of the UK’s first own-label ethical water, the Co-Operative’s Fairbourne Springs brand. In May of this year, Samantha Cameron hosted a reception for The One Foundation at No.10 Downing Street, to mark reaching the milestone of £10 million raised for water projects.

Duncan has won numerous prestigious awards including the European Entrepreneur of the Year Award, a Great Briton award, the Chairman’s Award at the Institute of Directors Awards and has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate. During his career he has also been on the board of the John Lewis Foundation, Coventry University and Malaria No More.

He says one of his proudest achievements was to put £1m on the ground in East Africa four days after the worst drought for 60 years had been declared. It kept 250,000 alive long enough for governments and aid agencies to intervene.

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“The issue of water scarcity affects over three quarters of a billion people…”

“We sell bottle water under the brand name One here in the UK and we give one hundred per cent of the profits to funding water projects in developing countries.”

“…when I was growing up, I wanted to be a doctor. My dad was a surgeon and later became a GP and as a young boy…you look up to your father. Unfortunately I was too thick to become a doctor.”

“…the lives that we impact on a daily basis are truly transformed by simple things like having access to clean water.”

“I think when one door closes, another one opens and its fascinating to see where life will take you.”

“…lots of crazy stuff happened; I was shot at, I was rescued by the police on the Afghan border, I was in an earthquake…”

“You don’t need a lot of money, you just need a little bit, and you need to deploy it in the right way.”

“…this was always going to be a kind of hobby project for me, and then it has just taken off in a way that has become incredible…we’ve given away over ten million pounds and changed over 2.8million people’s lives, I mean that is phenomenal.”

“Every time I see the brand somewhere or in somebody’s hands I really want to go up and thank them.”

“If we could take everybody on a plane over to Africa, the world would change overnight because people would just understand how easy it is to change people’s lives.”