Commercial joins initiative to flush away poverty
Commercial is supporting a water and sanitation programme run by charity Tearfund, twinning each of its 23 toilets with a toilet in Malawi.
Funds generated by the Toilet Twinning initiative are used to address the sanitation crisis that impacts a third of the global population. Around 2.3 billion people don't have somewhere safe and clean to go to the toilet. This results in serious illnesses associated with dirty water and poor sanitation and, in many developing countries, girls often drop out of school at puberty because of inadequate facilities.
Commercial chose to twin with Malawian toilets to build on existing links with the country. Some of its suppliers source raw materials in Malawi, and Commercial has previously donated refurbished IT equipment via IT Schools Africa. It is one of the least developed countries in the world, with 62% of the population living below the poverty line.
The 23 toilet cubicles across Commercial's Cheltenham and London premises now sport a framed photo of their twin and its geographical coordinates. Simone Hindmarch-Bye, co-founder of Commercial, says this has raised awareness of the issue with staff and visitors alike.
“Having somewhere clean and safe to go to the loo should be a basic human right, but many people don’t have proper access to a toilet,” she explains. “Toilet Twinning makes a tangible difference to communities suffering from the consequences of poor sanitation. A primary goal of our sustainability strategy is to support programmes delivering social benefits in countries where our goods originate. Twinning with toilets in Malawi is a simple but effective way to achieve this, while reminding ourselves of the things we take for granted.”
Toilet Twinning CEO Lorraine Kingsley says that even a simple pit latrine can change lives dramatically in poor communities. “When people are restored to full health, their capacity to work and to earn increases and they can start to take their first big steps out of poverty. And because we train communities to build their own toilets, toilets can restore dignity and confidence too. So, we are hugely grateful for Commercial’s generous support.”
More information about Toilet Twinning is available here.
Commercial will be hosting its tenth CSR Day on 28 June 2018. Speakers include designer and social responsibility champion Wayne Hemingway and environmental entrepreneur Ed Gillespie. More information is available at www.csrday.co.uk
“When people are restored to full health, their capacity to work and to earn increases and they can start to take their first big steps out of poverty. And because we train communities to build their own toilets, toilets can restore dignity and confidence too. So, we are hugely grateful for Commercial's generous support."