New Delhi: Due to lack of sanitation and water-borne diseases, 73 million working days are lost each year, Secretary in the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation Parameswaran Iyer said here Sunday.
Addressing a session on ‘Corporate Sustainability and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)’ in the run up to World Environment Day, organised by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change and FICCI, he highlighted the importance of water and sanitation.
Iyer said, “Seventy-three million working days are lost each year due to lack of sanitation and water-borne diseases. Swachh Bharat Mission goal of achieving Open Defecation Free (ODF) India by October 2019 is on track as 13 States and three Union Territories had already achieved ODF status.”
He also said that corporates can adopt villages and wards near their facilities and help them become ODF, improve solid and liquid resource management and last-mile drinking water infrastructure.
Also, corporate entities can assist the local administration in sustaining ODF, organise and sponsor training for collective behaviour change, train workers and staff to be agents of sanitation and water stewardship in the community, sponsor the creation of infrastructure for water conservation and groundwater recharge, solid and liquid resource management, maintenance of institutional and community toilets in the neighbourhood, he said.
On the occasion, Helena Molin Valdes, the head of the Secretariat, Climate and Clean Air Coalition, UNEP, underlined the need to understand the impact of corporate sustainability on business models, align corporate sustainability efforts with SDGs and apply analytical tools to access financing.
FICCI secretary general Dilip Chenoy emphasised on corporate sustainability said it had become imperative today due to its importance in the context of SDGs, environmental concerns and threats that are increasingly becoming a risk to the business community and the need to embed sustainability in corporate goals and strategies to build business resilience.