Ecolab Is Working to Solve the World’s Water Challenges

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Ecolab Is Working to Solve the World’s Water Challenges

We're addressing today's water challenges by helping customers do more with less

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Friday, September 2, 2016 - 1:00pm

CAMPAIGN: Sustainability Reporting

CONTENT: Article

Fresh water is the world’s most precious natural resource. Water is critical for survival and to the production of the food we consume and products we use every day, but increasing demand is putting unprecedented pressure on the world’s limited supplies.

The World Economic Forum’s 2016 Global Risks Report ranked water scarcity as the top global concern for the next ten years. Today, one in ten people lack access to clean water, and by 2030, global water demand will outpace supply by 40 percent. 

The daunting world water outlook has implications for businesses, communities and individuals around the world and calls for immediate and strategic action. That’s why Ecolab’s commitment to water stewardship starts within our own operations and extends to helping customers rethink their operations and partnering with organizations to protect water sources around the world. We support responsible use of the world’s limited freshwater resources to the benefit of nature, communities and our customers.

HELPING CUSTOMERS DO MORE WITH LESS WATER

Ecolab operates at the center of the water-energy-food nexus, helping companies in more than 40 industries throughout the world grow and succeed while minimizing environmental impact. We help food and beverage processors produce safe products, hotels and hospitals ensure clean and safe environments, and energy companies access harder-to-reach resources more efficiently. While supporting our customers’ operations, we also help them reduce water, energy use and waste. Our impact is significant: in 2015, Ecolab helped customers conserve more than 142 billion gallons of water.

WATER RISK MONETIZER BRINGS THE FULL VALUE OF WATER TO THE SURFACE

Ecolab, in partnership with Trucost, the natural capital experts, developed the Water Risk Monetizer to help all water users better understand and quantify water-related business risks. The tool provides a risk-adjusted water price that represents the full value of water to a business based on local-level demands and scarcity, enabling businesses to evaluate potential revenue at risk due to water scarcity. By leveraging the information provided by the Water Risk Monetizer, businesses can take action to reduce water use and use the information to factor water scarcity into decisions to support business growth.

WATER CONSERVATION STARTS INTERNALLY: ECOLAB’S CORPORATE SUSTAINABILITY GOALS

At our more than 115 manufacturing plants, our corporate centers and research facilities, and across our team of 47,000 associates, we imbed sustainable practices into our operations to reduce environmental impact. Looking forward, Ecolab aims to reduce internal water withdrawal by 25 percent by the year 2020.

In September 2015, Ecolab’s Taicang manufacturing plant was the first site in the world to receive the Alliance for Water Stewardship’s (AWS) International Water Stewardship Standard certification.  As Ecolab engineers, plant operations managers and associates systematically worked through the Standard’s six-step continual improvement framework, relationships improved with local government and businesses, and system burdens on the Yangtze River were reduced, paving the way for other facilities to also pursue water stewardship projects.

ECOLAB PARTNERS WITH THE NATURE CONSERVANCY

Solutions for Life, Ecolab’s global giving program, expands the company’s 25-year partnership with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) with a $2 million investment over three years in support of TNC’s “Securing and Restoring Water Sources Around the Globe” initiative. The commitment is accelerating strategic efforts to conserve and restore irreplaceable sources of clean water in Minnesota and in water-stressed regions of China and Mexico.

For more information on Ecolab’s sustainable impact including customer highlights, see Ecolab’s 2015 Sustainablity Report