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Our oceans and waters are under great threat. If we want access to clean drinking water in the future, we must protect our waters from hazardous substances and start to see wastewater as a resource.

The Swedish Environmental Institute (IVL) performs a water purification technique transforming sewage water into high quality drinking water. The technique can be used across the globe. However, many preconceptions exist around purified sewage water and few are aware of the existing technology. With no marketing budget, IVL Swedish Environmental Institute needed to:

• Raise awareness about water shortage among the public

• Show that there are existing solutions to recycling water, specifically IVL’s technique

• Challenge preconceptions about drinking purified sewage water


IVL has a unique technique to directly purify sewage water, but the technique itself is not enough to create an interest. So instead of just talking about water shortage and the solutions at hand, an idea of creating a concrete product made from sewage water started to grow. People love beer and have been drinking beer since the beginning of time and to make beer, only the purest of water will do. The idea to make a beer out of raw sewage water was born.


The strategy was to produce the beer locally, but communicate it globally where we could use Sweden’s leading position on sustainability. That the beer was going to be organic was a “no-brainer”. The name also had to be internationally usable.

The beer was named PU:REST – a name which is associated to pure recycled water. The target audience is both the general public, politicians and decision makers. In Sweden, you are not allowed to advertise beer neither in traditional, nor in social media. Therefore we had to work exclusively with earned media, which was also the most cost-efficient strategy to reach the target groups.

In short, the communication strategy was to start communicating the beer in Sweden in order to raise international attention during step two. An extensive press material with pictures, films and information about PU:REST and IVL's cleaning technology was produced before the launch.


PU:REST was produced by the microbrewery “The New Carnegie Brewery" in Stockholm, owned by Carlsberg Sweden. The New Carnegie Brewery were eventually positive to the idea and the project was also in line with Carlsberg Sweden’s ambitious work within sustainability.

PU:REST premiered on May 25th, at a launch party hosted at The New Carnegie Brewery. Scientists from IVL spoke about the purification technique and water issues from a global perspective. Prior to the launch, extensive communicative actions were conducted. Swedish media received the news first, then PU:REST was communicated internationally.

A short while after the launch party, the visitors at ”Smaka på Stockholm” (an annual, world leading food festival in the centre of the city) were given the opportunity to taste PU:REST. During Miljöfesten (The Environmental Party), one of the most popular events in the annual “Politician’s Week” in Almedalen, politicians and opinion makers toasted with PU:REST.


More than 500 articles with a total reach of + 470 million and 0 % negative publicity. The campaign was recognised in more than 20 countries, including China, Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan, India, Nigeria and Sweden.

Politicians, and opinion makers were given the opportunity to taste PU:REST at a number of fairs and conferences.

Two weeks after the launch, PU:REST was sold out (2,400 liters).

As a direct consequence of the campaign, IVL had the opportunity to speak at several national and international events, such as The International Water Associations conference in Tokyo, which led to a better knowledge among the target groups regarding IVL's water purification techniques

In an industry with long lead times, IVL managed to get four new contracts during the campaign period and there are more in the pipeline!