Aliaxis is changing directions with its CSR strategy. Ursula Saint Léger, Chief HR & Communications Officer, explains the new approach: “In the past years our CSR initiatives were mostly based on philanthropy, supporting projects which did not always have a connection to our business or to the communities in which we operate. With our updated strategy we want to take a new turn and support projects that benefit local communities while at the same time supporting our company’s objectives.”
“Everything we do has to help us move forward,” she clarifies. “A good CSR policy is to practise sustainability while also mirroring the company’s values and business activities. When it comes to initiatives, for us this translates into a focus on connecting people with water and energy. That way we can create a long-term sustainable impact that will be beneficial to the future of our planet.”
Addressing global challenges
Thanks to the efforts of the Aliaxis team and the consequent continuous development “our products contribute to a better life for everyone on this planet,” says Ursula. “It has been proven that plastic piping systems have fundamental advantages in terms of sustainability: they are recyclable and reusable and have a long life-cycle. By aiming high and continuously improving our product lines, we try to address the global challenges as best as we can.”
Access to water for everyone
To reinforce its sustainability objectives, Aliaxis has demonstrated its engagement to fully support the worldwide UN target of supplying everyone with clean water and sanitation by 2030.
When asked how Aliaxis is able to embed this approach in tangible examples, the education of future generations is at the top of Ursula Saint Léger’s mind. “In some parts of the world, women and children have to walk for hours a day just to bring home a few jerrycans of water. They cannot use this time to go to school. To educate the generations of tomorrow, we need to bring the water closer to their homes and that’s where Aliaxis can be of practical help. If we manage to give these children and their families easy access to clean water, we can improve their lives thanks to the knowledge we already have today. That would make our jobs even more rewarding.”
In 2018 Aliaxis again participated in several projects in Latin America to connect people to water. We provided access to clean potable water for several rural communities in El Salvador, Chile and Honduras. “In Honduras, for example, 64 families in the rural village Los Hatillos now have permanent access to drinking water. A very meaningful project,” says Ursula.
Brand ambassadors in training
Another good example of giving back to the community is the development of the plumbing school concept in India. “I find it most encouraging to see that the positive impact of the Ashirvad Plumbing School is felt in both CSR results and business results. While its students are being trained to become professional plumbers, they are also developing familiarity with the Aliaxis products. In the future, these plumbers will be installing and even recommending our very own products. Moreover, they will be training others in their turn, which makes them true ambassadors for our brand. If this model works well, it would be worth building a series of similar schools all over India and even in other countries.”
The Indian case is only one small example of how a well-thought-out CSR strategy can boost the company’s business development while supporting community development. “CSR provides an incredible opportunity to give meaning to the company’s core activities.”
Laying the foundations for an integrated approach
Aliaxis is now laying the foundations for its adapted CSR strategy by embedding this mindset in the global business strategy. Ursula confirms: “The CEO, the Global Leadership Team, the shareholders and the other stakeholders are all convinced that this is the way to go. I like how we all share a common vision, because it is the only way for this newly defined strategy to be embraced throughout the company.”