Peter Schulte
Pacific Institute
Margaret Fenwick
United Nations Global Compact


Pacific Institute

The Pacific Institute is one of the world’s leading nonprofit research and policy organizations working to create a healthier planet and sustainable communities. Based in Oakland, California, it conducts interdisciplinary research and partners with stakeholders to produce real-world solutions that advance environmental protection, economic development, and social equity—in California, nationally, and internationally. Since its founding in 1987, the Pacific Institute has become a locus for independent, innovative thinking that cuts across traditional areas of study, helping make connections and bring opposing groups together. The result is effective, actionable solutions addressing issues in the fields of freshwater resources, climate change, environmental justice, and globalization.www.pacinst.org

UN Global Compact

The UN Global Compact works with business to transform our world, aiming to create a sustainable and inclusive global economy that delivers lasting benefits to all people, communities and markets.www.unglobalcompact.org


Project background

Recognizing that progress on sanitation is essential and achievable prior to the expiration of the MDGs in 2015, UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson has initiated a renewed effort to drive progress on sanitation through his Call to Action. In particular, Mr. Eliasson has called on all actors, including business, to commit to measurable action and to mobilize the necessary resources to rapidly increase access to basic sanitation. This white paper responds to this call to action by exploring why action on sanitation is a moral imperative for companies around the world, and why there is also a good business case for doing so. It discusses not only the business risks resulting from a lack of sanitation, but also the business opportunities and benefits offered by sanitation interventions. The UN Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate believes that articulating this business case is an essential step in encouraging the private sector to act as champions and facilitators of improving access to sanitation worldwide. The paper focuses on unpacking the business drivers for action on sanitation as well as on presenting a framework for how companies can support sanitation objectives.

The findings and suggestions in this paper are based on a review of existing corporate disclosure documents, academic studies, UN and WHO statistics, a series of interviews conducted with representatives from a range of businesses and civil society organizations,and in-depth consultations with subject area experts at WaterAid. Some findings are based on suggestive evidence and thus will benefit from further academic and field research and ground-truthing. This exploratory paper captures ideas and concepts being discussed and implemented by some companies and their stakeholders.



The authors, the Pacific Institute, and UN Global Compact would like to thank Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson for the insights offered in his foreword. We would also like to thank WaterAid, and Kate Holme, Tom Slaymaker, Andrés Hueso, Dave Hillyard, Scott McCready in particular, for their invaluable expertise and resources that helped shaped this paper. We would like to recognize and thank The Coca-Cola Company, Diageo, H&M, Hindustan Construction Company, and PepsiCo for providing their perspectives and examples of actual corporate sanitation actions and the various business and civil society representatives interviewed as part of the research phase of this paper. A list of these representatives who offered critical input can be found below.

We would also like to acknowledge and thank CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) for providing the majority of the data and examples of existing corporate sanitation efforts described in Appendix A. Finally, the authors would like to thank our colleagues Gavin Power, Jason Morrison, and Nancy Ross for their ongoing support and critical contributions to this effort.



All of the views expressed in this publication are those of the CEO Water Mandate and do not necessarily reflect those of the organizations, companies, and individuals who provided support for this effort.


List of Company and NGO representatives interviewed

A variety of company representatives as well as a few NGO representatives were interviewed on questions regarding business and sanitation. This occurred both as interviews related to the CEO Water Mandate’s upcoming Guide to Aligning Business Practices with the Human Right to Water and Sanitation, as well as interviews conducted largely with this project in mind. The table below lists the company and NGOs representatives that have provided us feedback with respect to business and sanitation.

Name Organization Type
Hugh Share Anheuser-Busch InBev Company
Ken Caplan Building Partnerships for Development in Water and Sanitation NGO
Greg Koch The Coca-Cola Company Company
Nicky Black De Beers Company
Roberta Barbieri Diageo Company
Melissa Fifield Gap Inc. Company
Michael Glade MolsonCoors Company
Jorge Arango Grupo Nutresa Company
Felix Ockborn H&M Company
Manoj Chaturvedi Hindustan Construction Company Company
Krishna Chaitanya Rao International Water Management Institute NGO
Christian Frutiger Nestlé Company
Dan Bena PepsiCo Company
Nicol Gagstetter Rio Tinto Company
Neha Bhandari Tata Chemicals Company
Alka Talwar Tata Chemicals Company
Rebecca Marmot Unilever Company
Danielle Morley Twenty50 Sustainability NGO
Dave Hillyard WaterAid NGO
Kate Holme WaterAid NGO
Andrés Hueso WaterAid NGO
Scott McCready WaterAid NGO
Tom Slaymaker WaterAid NGO
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