- Learn how the WASH Pledge for Access to safe Water, Sanitation and Hygiene at the Workplace was implemented to improve employee WASH access and associated challenges and lessons, using Nestlé Cameroon, Central America and India as an example.
Nestlé is a founding member of the WBCSD Pledge for Access to safe Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) at the workplace, and was one of the first companies to join the initiative in September 2014. As co-chairs of the WASH Pledge, the company also provides strategic input and support to the WBCSD’s work program on access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), including through a World Toilet Day CEO Call to Action by Paul Bulcke, CEO of Nestlé, in November 2015. The WASH Pledge has been rolled out globally within Nestlé, and this case study sheds light on the implementation of the WASH Pledge in Nestlé Central America, India and Cameroon, three markets that have been particularly active on WASH.
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 handwashing 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.
Nestlé’s Corporate Safety, Health & Environment Department distributed the WBCSD WASH Pledge Self-assessment tool to the factories, which were asked to complete the self-assessment by end of 2015. The Water Resource Reviews that the company conducts to examine all water-related activities within and around the factory helped to reinforce usage of the selfassessment tool. Following the completion of the selfassessments, by end 2016, last gaps will be closed to fully comply with the WASH Pledge. Corporate Operations, and more specifically, Corporate Safety, Health & Environment and Corporate Water departments were involved in the roll-out of the WASH Pledge.