Companies and Water Sanitation and Hygiene

  • Thérèse Rudebeck
Part of the Water Governance - Concepts, Methods, and Practice book series (WGCMP)


This chapter examines CWS in the context of WASH. It puts forth the argument that companies’ engagement in WASH differs from their engagement in water resources management because it is driven by utilisation of opportunities as well as risk mitigation. More specifically, although companies’ engagement is still in its infancy, the chapter shows that there are early signs that companies will engage when they can align engagement with alleviating a risk, utilising an opportunity, or reducing inefficiency. To make this argument, the chapter first revisits the ‘business-society relationship’, and assesses how a redefined role for companies as ‘development agents’ has allowed them to take action on issues like WASH. It then analyses the rationale for integrating WASH into the CWS agenda and assesses how various companies take action. Finally, it questions the assumption that companies’ engagements in WASH lead to win-win outcomes for business and society. Critically, the findings suggest that the evidence points to a need for caution in assuming mutual public and private benefits.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thérèse Rudebeck
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Geography & Sustainable DevelopmentUniversity of St AndrewsSt AndrewsUK

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