In 1984, Torgny Rogert and Peter Håkansson saw a striking documentary about the ongoing drought in Peru and the harsh living conditions that followed. After seeing the country’s hardships, they decided to take action. Rogert and Håkansson successfully engaged their Atlas Copco co-workers to contribute with voluntary donations to support a project giving drought-stricken areas of Peru access to clean drinking water.
The project was so impactful that Atlas Copco joined the cause and promised to match its employees’ contribution. The first Water for All project was not only a success for Peruvian people, it also meant Atlas Copco had a large group of engaged employees who wanted to continue doing good in other countries.
More than 30 years later, what once was a one-time project, grew into a worldwide initiative with projects implemented all over the world. All projects are funded, and driven, by voluntary Atlas Copco employees acting on their commitment to global sustainability. Water for All has the full support of Atlas Copco. As of 2011, the company still matches all employee donations.
Over the past three decades, Atlas Copco’s employee-run Water For All organization has helped more than 1.5 million people gain access to clean drinking water. The initiative has helped more than 10,000 people gain access to safe, clean water and sanitation and has donated more than $500,000 to 15 projects around the world in just the past four years.
In honor of Water for All’s 30th anniversary, Atlas Copco USA recently held a membership drive that resulted in a 10 percent increase in employee participation. Participants also voted for the next project the program will fund: a $50,000 project in the Tigray region of Ethiopia that will bring clean water to 2,500 people through the building of five community-drilled wells.
For more information, visit water4all.org.