One thousand Honeywell employees work in a state-of-the-art global technology development center on a 10-acre campus in Hyderabad, the capital of the state of Telangana, India, home to 35 million people. It is also the site of a water crisis: More than 75% of the surface water is contaminated by waste, while groundwater contains high levels of fluoride and salt, forcing the population to rely on unclean water sources. Honeywell’s efforts to solve the problem with its employees’ help has won first place in the “Cause Advocacy Campaign” category of PR Daily’s Corporate Social Responsibility Awards.
Honeywell set three objectives: partnering with the NGO Safe Water Network to mobilize a safe water delivery strategy, engaging employee volunteers and building visibility for Honeywell’s commitment to communities in India.
The employee volunteer effort covered several bases, including visiting villages serviced by safe water stations to spread awareness and teach the importance of safe drinking water, health and hygiene. The company also identified skills-based opportunities for volunteerism—some employees worked on developing communication collateral while others provided technical input to enhance service delivery.
Volunteers also educated people in the communities serviced by the stations on how to make e-payments for the water. Community engagement was research-based, with intervention targeting village heads, health care providers, medical practitioners, nurses and teachers.
The program also provided employment opportunities for women and girls; more than 75 women are now operating water stations and leading self-help groups that teach the benefits of safe, accessible water.
The effort has brought safe water to nearly 500,000 people; Honeywell India has donated $4.62 million to the Safe Water Network, which built 150 water stations in 17 districts.
Congratulations to Sangita Ghalay and Deborah Fonteix.
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