Accelerating corporate action on WASH: role and opportunity for business

Tuesday 25 August | 14.00-15.30 | Room: NL 357

Safe water, improved sanitation, and good hygiene (WASH) are essential to healthy and productive lives, eradicating poverty and sustainable development and it is unacceptable that 2.5bn people still live without basic sanitation and 750m people are without safe water to drink.

The private sector has a clear role to play

To fulfill the minimum expectations to respect the human right to water and sanitation and ensure employees have access to safe WASH within the workplace.
To go beyond their own operations and contribute to universal access to WASH.  

There is a compelling business case for taking action; a healthier and more productive workforce, increased brand value, lower reputational risks and a more secure licence to operate, and expanded and more vibrant markets. Leading companies are making great strides, others are beginning to look at internal operations but too many are yet to follow. This learning focussed seminar will share challenges and practical solutions to accelerate action so that access to WASH in the work place and respecting the HRWS must become the ‘new norm’ and corporates and NGOs need to find more innovative ways to work together to meet the ambition of SDG goal 6.


Accelerating Corporate Action on WASH: role and opportunity for business

14.00: Introductions and Overview of the Session

Cecilia Chatterjee-Martinsen, CEO, WaterAid Sweden

14.05: Setting the Stage: The Business Case for WASH, Available Guidance and Resources

Hannah Greig, Private Sector Advisor, WaterAid
Tatiana Fedotova, Manager, Water, World Business Council for Sustainable Development
Mai-Lan Ha, Advisor, CEO Water Mandate; Senior Research Associate, The  Pacific Institute

14.20: A Dialogue: Company Experiences

This session will focus on a dialogue amongst a number of companies who will share their experiences in implementing the rights to water and sanitation and upscaling WASH in their factories and communities within which the operate. It will touch upon making the case internally, actions companies have taken, the challenges they faced, as well as lessons learned from these cases.

14.45: Small Group Discussions

Participants at each table will discuss amongst themselves the following questions:

What are the biggest barriers/challenges (either internally or externally) for companies to take action on WASH, and can these be overcome?

How do you get senior management buy-in for programs on WASH? Which departments/individuals need to be involved?
What are some key learnings/lessons?
What kind of guidance, support is still needed?
How can these actions help fulfil the sustainable development goals?

15.10: Feedback and Facilitated Discussion

15.25: Next Steps and Concluding Remarks

Cecilia Chatterjee-Martinsen, CEO, WaterAid Sweden