WaterAid research presents the business case for investing in water on tea estates


Clean water, decent toilets and hand-washing facilities are vital for business success and often drive a steep return on investment, according to WaterAid’s latest research.

The report argues that by investing in these facilities, tea estates can boost productivity, reduce absenteeism and cut medical and sick pay costs. Businesses can also strengthen their brand value, build employee resilience, and reduce supply chain and climate-related risks.

WaterAid carried out the project and research between 2018 and 2022 in collaboration with Diageo, Twinings and ekaterra, Gap Inc. and HSBC. It took place in ten workplaces and communities across four countries and sectors, including tea.

Some of the key findings from the report include:

  • Absenteeism dropped 21 per cent in the tea estate study in Kenya as a result of the project.
  • Workplace medical incidents dropped – the clinics on the tea estates in India saw a five percent drop and the tea estate in Kenya saw a 22 percent decrease.
  • Productivity increased – the tea estates in India saw a 27 per cent boost in productivity after the intervention.

Read the full report here.