Drawing upon leadership perspectives from Diageo, IBM, Marks and
Spencer, Coca-Cola , and Unilever, this discussion paper demonstrates
the diverse ways in which multinational companies are striving to create
business value and development impact in the water, sanitation and
hygiene (WASH) sector. The paper is informed by a review of more than 20
company initiatives in total, seen to fall within three broad
categories: increasing operational and agricultural water use
efficiency; expanding consumer access to WASH; and improving water
resources management at the watershed level.
Four core observations are made: the WASH sector is a source of business
value and development impact that reaches across industries; the
rationale for companies to take action is usually multidimensional;
financial returns vary and can be difficult to quantify; other
stakeholders play key roles.
Given the potential for simultaneous business value creation and
development impact offered by the WASH sector, WSUP and Business Fights
Poverty would like to see the types of initiative included in this paper
succeed at scale and inspire widespread replication. We conclude by
outlining four priority areas that will be key to making this happen:
results measurement, collaboration, cost-sharing and intrapreneurship.
Jenkins, B.; Modak, N. Creating business value and development impact in the WASH sector. WSUP, (2015) 16 pp.
Creating business value and development impact in the WASH sector