ABB: Providing "Access to Electricity"|Business Ethics|Case Study|Case Studies

ABB: Providing "Access to Electricity"

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Case Details:

Case Code : BECG052
Case Length : 11 Pages
Period : 1992-2005
Pub. Date : 2005
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : ABB Group
Industry : Electric Equipment industry
Countries : Switzerland

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Access to Electricity Program

According to a study conducted by the International Energy Agency, in 2002, 1.6 billion people, equivalent to one in every four people on the earth, did not have access to electricity. Of these 1.6 billion people, half a billion lived in sub-Saharan Africa.

It was also estimated that by 2030, 1.4 billion people worldwide would still not have access to electricity. The ATE program was conceived as ABB's response to the United Nations 'Global Compact'. ABB joined hands with UN organizations, governments, NGOs and industry partners as part of the ATE initiative. "Access to electricity is of key importance in the fight against poverty. It is a key enabler and precursor for sustainable development," explained Christian Kornevall (Kornevall), Senior Vice President, Sustainability Affairs, ABB. ABB commenced its ATE program in the village of Ngarambe in Tanzania, a country where only five to ten percent of the population had access to power...

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Beyond Ngarambe

ABB assessed the impact of the project in Ngarambe by measuring the number of electricity connections given to the village, and also looking at the development as village after the village was electrified.

The development activities in the region contributed to the sustainable use of natural resources around the village. Electricity brought in tangible benefits to the village. The power generated was used to light up the school, dispensary, local government office, mosque, small businesses and a number of homes in the village. The local school stay opened at night, providing access to education for working students. The number of pupils increased from 250 to 350 after the arrival of electricity. The local dispensary also started operating at night and the doctor in the dispensary planned to install a refrigerator for medicines. This was expected to eliminate the 70-km journey that patients were earlier required to make in order to access medical help...

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