A key area of growth and significant opportunity for business impact on WASH access lies within corporate supply chains, extending business actions on WASH to new geographies, industry sectors, and to small and medium-sized businesses. In the wake of growing business interest and understanding of the importance of WASH access, for business continuity and human rights, there are new expectations for companies to demonstrate concretely their exposure and actions on risks from lack of access to WASH across supply chains.

In 2022 WASH4Work conducted a consultation amongst its members to understand how companies are evolving their leading practice on WASH requirements in their supply chains, and to discuss how WASH4Work might support members’ suppliers on their WASH implementation journeys through collective action


Customers are increasingly expecting large companies and their suppliers to demonstrate that they are providing access to WASH, per United Nations international human rights standards. By signing the WASH Pledge commitment, companies commit to providing access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene in the workplace for all their employees in all premises under direct company control. Companies and suppliers who commit to the WASH Pledge are considered WASH Pledge signatories.  

To help WASH Pledge signatories fulfill their commitments, WASH4Work has developed (1) a WASH in the supply chain work group for companies and (2) a support program for their suppliers. The work group and support program are helping companies and suppliers: define a leading practice for the implementation of WASH actions within supply chains, share learnings about supplier engagement and support mechanisms, and develop support materials for suppliers’ WASH Pledge implementation journey. 

The working group aims to:   

    • Define leading practices on how to implement WASH actions across supply chains via the WASH Pledge mechanism
    • Share learnings on how to engage suppliers via the WASH Pledge mechanism
    • Develop support materials for suppliers’ WASH Pledge implementation journey.