Water is our business. Pure, healthy water especially so. Something we are committed to delivering every single day. Yet millions of people around the world, including children, die every year from diseases associated with inadequate water supply, sanitation and hygiene. And so we have partnered up with Water Access Rwanda to deliver safe drinking water to people in rural areas. This partnership is just one of the ways in which we compensate our overall environmental footprint and contribute to a healthier world for all.
Becoming 100% carbon neutral is one of the main drivers behind the Source of Change®. To help us meet our carbon neutrality targets we have set up a strong carbon reduction plan combined with a carbon compensation programme. This includes bringing clean water to developing countries in a win-win partnership. Because this water does not need to be boiled over a fire before it is safe to drink, we can avoid greenhouse gas emissions from wood fires and deforestation. It also means people don’t need to spend their money on firewood or medicine for avoidable diseases, helping alleviate poverty.
Together with Water Access Rwanda, Spadel is rehabilitating about 40 boreholes around the country. Some of these boreholes were broken, others had been contaminated by bacteria such as E-coli. By fixing them and protecting the soil around the boreholes, we are making them safe again. Thanks to these boreholes, more than 570 million litres of clean drinking water will be delivered to 250,000 people through hand pumps and water networks. This will help save an estimated 3,000,000 trees and 400,000 tonnes of CO2 in just ten years.
The rehabilitation of these boreholes is an ongoing project for Spadel that began in 2017. Over the next fifteen years we will not only rehabilitate broken and contaminated boreholes, but we will also organise WASH trainings in local Rwandan communities. UNICEF’s Water Sanitation and Hygiene – or WASH – programme teaches people about diseases, effective hand washing and how to keep water, food and utensils safe and clean. Each community then sets up a WASH committee to ensure boreholes are kept clean and are protected against animals or vandalism.
Programmes such as these are crucial in the fight against climate change. They develop climate proof infrastructures, prepare communities for disasters, and empower children to advocate for their future. Floods and droughts are becoming more frequent, which is why clean water and sanitation is one of the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals.
Spadel strongly believes in sustainable development. As we work towards achieving full carbon neutrality by the end of 2020, more projects that protect biodiversity, natural resources or renewable energy will follow. We are responsible for safeguarding the future of our planet. Step by step – and in line with the Science Based Targets Initiative and our Source of Change® commitment – we will continue to reduce our environmental impact at every turn.
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