WaterAid Publishes Company Guide to Assessing Business Case for WASH
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Launching the guide, WaterAid cited estimates that every US$1 invested in sanitation returns US$5.5 in increased productivity, and every US$1 invested in drinking water supply returns US$2.

Progressive companies now view WASH as a “core business” priority, rather than considering it a part of their corporate social responsibility or philanthropic action.

30 August 2018: WaterAid and partners have launched a guide to help companies establish the business case for investing in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) as part of their operations in developing countries. The step-by-step guide titled, ‘Strengthening the Business Case for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene: How to Measure Value for Your Business,’ enables companies to calculate the business value of WASH interventions and estimate their financial return on investment (ROI).

Launching the guide, WaterAid cited estimates that every US$1 invested in sanitation returns US$5.5 in increased productivity, and every US$1 invested in drinking water supply returns US$2.

The non-governmental organization (NGO) stated that progressive companies now view WASH as a “core business” priority, rather than considering it a part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) or philanthropic action. For example, ensuring better WASH services results in fewer worker sick days and greater efficiency of operations. The guide seeks to meet the need of companies to provide robust evidence of the financial value of investing in WASH.

WASH interventions can result in health and productivity benefits for people, and greater efficiency and resilience of supply chains.

Previous research conducted by WaterAid showed that, while many multi-national companies did have WASH policies in the workplace, there was typically less attention given to WASH in the supply chain and in workers’ homes.

The guide proposes six steps for measuring the business value of WASH interventions: 1) understanding the “impact pathway” in terms of the anticipated outcomes and impacts for people, communities and businesses; 2) identifying what to measure and how; 3) establishing a baseline; 4) implementing and monitoring WASH interventions; 5) analyzing data and measuring benefits; and 6) communicating the results.

The agency notes that WASH interventions can result in health and productivity benefits for people, greater efficiency and resilience of supply chains, and better stakeholder relationships for companies.

The guide was created and published in partnership with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI). Many other companies and international organizations contributed to developing the guide, including Diageo, Coca-Cola, Nestle, Sainsbury’s, UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and CARE International, among others.

WaterAid and partners launched the guide on 30 August at World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden. [Publication: Strengthening the Business Case for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene: How to Measure Value for Your Business] [WaterAid Press Release]


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