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  • The Aditya Birla Group commits to implementing a business Pledge for access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene

    Published on January 27, 2015

    Mumbai : World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)’s Pledge for Access to Safe Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) at the Workplace has been signed by the Aditya Birla Group today. By signing the Pledge they support the WBCSD in their efforts to implement access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene at the workplace at an appropriate level of standard for all employees under direct control within three years.

    Many companies have operations, employees, contractors and customers in regions lacking access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene. Their economic, social and environmental impacts can cause illness or fatalities, impair productivity, and restrict markets for some products and services. This in turn restrains the growth of a country’s economy.

    “Billions of people without safe water and appropriate sanitation is a collective failure, and business shares responsibility to identify solutions to bring to scale at the required pace,” says Joppe Cramwinckel, Director, Water Program WBCSD. “As a start, businesses must ensure that all their employees have access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene at work. Beyond that, they can also seize opportunities that this enormous challenge represents, and take an active part in solving it.”

    Rajiv Dube, Director, Aditya Birla Management Corporation and Group Corporate Services said, “The WASH pledge is aligned with the Aditya Birla Group’s sustainability strategy and philosophy of providing a caring workplace environment for its employees. We believe that we provide good hygiene and sanitation standards at our workplace along with access to clean drinking water and the Pledge gives us an opportunity to show solidarity with the WBCSD on a very elementary yet critical aspect of responsible stewardship.”

    The Aditya Birla Group signing the WASH Pledge is in alignment with the group’s Sustainability Vision statement which stipulates that by 2017, the Group endeavors to become the leading Indian conglomerate for sustainable business practices across its global operations. Sustainability as an ultimate goal would be achieved by increasing the standards and performance of products and operations through the creation of disruptive innovations.

    The Aditya Birla Group has already integrated the WASH Pledge questionnaire into their Sustainability Management IT System – Enablon which would be implemented across the group. Every site belonging to the company will answer the questionnaire and demonstrate their compliance with the WASH Pledge requirements.

    Globally, the Pledge has already been signed by 23 companies (www.wbcsd.org/washatworkplace.aspx). As of January 2015 the other two Indian signatories of the Pledge are Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) and Vedanta. Subsidiaries of global signatories Monsanto, Nestlé and Zuari Cements are also active implementers and champions of the Pledge in India.  Investing in safe WASH for employees’ leads to healthier and more productive workforce as adequate access to safe WASH is associated with decreased absenteeism due to water-related diseases, and thus improved productivity. It also leads increased brand value, lower reputational risks and more secured social license to operate.

    source : Lokesh Shastri


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