- Summarize existing learnings and literature from across the WASH4Work membership assessing the evolution of WASH actions of companies as a part of corporate water stewardship commitments
- Review the current debate to raise the global ambition to resilient WASH actions that will withstand the shocks of climate change and health risks such as COVID-19
The growing awareness of the climate change risks to providing and maintaining access WASH has opened up a new narrative for WASH resilience. The increasing frequency of extreme droughts and flooding are putting already fragile water and sanitation infrastructure at risk, especially for the most vulnerable. Taking a more systemic view of WASH (in light of climate and health risks) we find new value creation opportunities and multiple co-benefits for business and society—such as the opportunity for the replenishment of water and nutrients through circular water and sanitation approaches, improving water quantity and quality; the ability to generate renewable energy from ensuring WASH access; and new data about human health and behaviour to support public health decision-making.
Business has a key role to play, working in partnership with experts and communities, to leverage best in class expertise on water, sanitation and hygiene, new technologies and innovation, and full systems thinking. Ensuring WASH access is the first step in the journey. Resilient WASH systems is the goal.
HOW COMPANIES ARE TAKING ACTION ON WASH:
- Established the business case for investment in WASH in the workplace and are measuring, monitoring and reporting on the benefits of WASH actions (Section 1)
- Established best practice for the implementation of WASH in business operations, supply chains and communities for businesses at each point of the WASH action journey (Section 2)
- Catalysed new innovations and new business models to enable sustainable WASH systems (Section 2)
- Contributed to the development of standards for WASH in corporate water stewardship and disclosure (Section 2)
- Taken steps to assess the impacts of climate change and health risks, such as COVID 19, on WASH resilience in the workplace (Section 3)