The Struggle for Safe Drinking Water, Better Sanitation, and Lasting Change.
Horst Wasel, Vice President of Atlas Copco in Southeast Asia Holding, has worked with the company for over 35 years and has been a major force in bringing about positive change there. Wasel is a shining example of the company's dedication to ethical business practises and community outreach, having held a number of managerial roles in different nations. He has championed several noteworthy initiatives, including the Water for All project, which aims to improve sanitation and access to clean water in underserved areas.
Atlas Copco Malaysia's commitment to sustainability is more than just lip service. Wasel stresses that long-term thinking and sustainability are intrinsic to the company's culture. Atlas Copco Malaysia aspires to be a beneficial force for people and the earth by recognising the interdependence of their corporate operations, natural resources, and social well-being. Realising the importance of clean water as a human right is a key part of this dedication.
“No community can thrive without clean water.” says Wasel. He states that the idea for the Water for All project was born out of the realisation that no society can prosper without ready access to potable water.
Since its inception in 1984, this effort has helped more than 2 million people access safe drinking water, modern toilets, and latrines. According to Wasel, the project's success is due to the employees' willingness to voluntarily offer their time and money to aid development projects, especially those that work to increase the independence of women and children.
Water for All targeted the impoverished Orang Asli populations of Kampung Sungai Gayung and Kampung Gantung Geriang in the Malaysian state of Pahang. These populations previously used unclean, muddy water for their everyday requirements, leading to poor health and a lack of sanitation infrastructure. Water for All set up new water sources, erected solar-powered water pumps, laid water pipes, and provided water storage tanks for each housing cluster to solve these problems. The quality of life in these areas has greatly improved as a result of these changes, which have led to more reliable supplies of potable water and better sanitation and hygiene practises.
One of Water for All's main goals is to make it possible for everyone to have constant access to clean water. It stresses the need for local participation in all phases of construction and upkeep. The goal of the project is to build a self-sufficient system whereby communities may aid themselves. Water for All works in tandem with local, expert organisations to target aid where it will do the most good and to get residents invested in the process.
In the fight against water pollution in Orang Asli communities, non-profits and community groups play a crucial role. They've made a big difference by supplying clean water through solar-powered and filtration systems. In addition, clean water access has been promoted alongside water conservation through educational campaigns. These groups work together to ensure that underserved populations have a brighter future.
Maintaining market competitiveness while working towards sustainability goals might be difficult. Wasel understands that incorporating sustainability into business practises can influence profitability. But he also sees the benefits of doing so, such as attracting eco-conscious clients, workers, investors, and vendors.
Atlas Copco Malaysia strives to maintain this fine balancing act by constantly minimising its environmental effect through measures including cutting energy use, switching to greener transportation options, and working with suppliers to boost their environmental performance.
The importance of access to clean water for indigenous populations in Malaysia and other Southeast Asian countries is not lost on Atlas Copco Malaysia, which is dedicated to improving the world for generations to come. Company officials are constantly on the lookout for new projects in Malaysia and elsewhere that would allow them to continue providing funding for much-needed water and sanitation infrastructure.
Wasel considers it not just the responsibility of the company but also a moral imperative to foster an atmosphere of corporate social responsibility (CSR). He encourages his fellow businesspeople to become involved with corporate social responsibility projects so as to develop a spirit of charity and service throughout the organisation. Companies may have a beneficial effect on the communities they serve by fostering employee and community participation and collaboration. Wasel stresses that this is an ongoing effort that calls for full engagement and a commitment to making a difference.
“Take action. Don’t just talk about CSR, but actively participate in building a strong CSR environment. Building a strong CSR environment requires a collaborative effort. It involves all of us, let’s create a culture of giving and volunteering, where everyone is encouraged to participate in community projects.” says Wasel.
“Keep in mind that creating a solid CSR environment is a never-ending task. It calls for dedication, a readiness to pitch in, and active participation. Yet the benefits are worthwhile.” he added.
Sustainable approaches and community involvement are demonstrated through Atlas Copco Malaysia's Water for All project. Those underprivileged in Pahang, Malaysia, have had their lives turned around thanks to their efforts to improve access to clean water, upgrade sanitation infrastructure, and give locals a voice.
They have made great progress in guaranteeing permanent access to clean water by involving local partners, non-profit organisations, and community groups. Expanding their operations around the world, Atlas Copco Malaysia shows they are dedicated to making the world a better place for everyone.
“Consider the advantages for the two Orang Asli Communities. With the access to clean water and the building of washrooms, their lifestyle has improved. Together, we can do more, so let’s get to work on this.” he urges.
Businesses can have a significant social impact while remaining commercially viable if they prioritise sustainability and CSR. Companies who make sustainability and involvement in their communities central to their mission will find inspiration in the Water for All project, which aims to improve the quality of life for people everywhere.