The Aditya Birla Group signed WBCSD Pledge for Access to safe Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) at the workplace in January 2015. The pledge catapulted the Group’s efforts that all their businesses provide access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene to their workforce within the boundaries of their premises, across all operations and geographies. This case study highlights the efforts of Aditya Birla Group for implementation of the WASH Pledge in 243 sites across all geographies.
The WASH at the workplace Pledge (“WASH Pledge”) was launched in September 2013 to address the WBCSD’s Action 2020 Water Must-Have of Significantly Accelerating the progressive realization of the human right to water and sanitation, relative to the 2012 baseline. This is the societal must-have linked to the WBCSD’s Vision 2050 of 9 billion people living well within the boundaries of this planet. According to estimates, 1.8 billion people currently do not have access to safe drinking water, and over 4 billion people do not have access to safe sanitation. In addition, 1 in every 8 people still practices open defecation. This poses an immense cost to society, but also presents an important opportunity. Every US dollar invested in water and sanitation yields a return of USD 4.3 through reduced health care costs for individuals and society, and hygiene behavior change, specifically hand-washing is one of the most cost effective health interventions. The WBCSD is leading the business contribution to address this issue. An important first step is to ensure safe and sustainable access to WASH for employees at the workplace.