Xylem recently announced an ambitious set of goals that advances the company’s sustainability commitment across three fronts: serving its customers, building a sustainable company, and empowering communities through social impact initiatives. The new goals were published in Xylem’s 2018 Sustainability Report: "Creating a Water-Secure World”.
“Sustainability is core to everything we do at Xylem,” said Patrick Decker, President and CEO of Xylem. “We have a unique opportunity and responsibility to advance sustainability through our commercial and humanitarian efforts to solve water for communities around the world, and through our work to raise public awareness and engagement.”
Decker continued: “Water is one of the most direct and universal ways to advance sustainability, because everyone depends on it. Building upon our foundation as a sustainable and financially strong company, we will accelerate our work with water stakeholders and communities to drive innovation and change, inspire the next generation of water stewards, and create a more water-secure world.”
With over 2 billion people across the globe living in water-stressed countries, Xylem recognizes its role in converging water and digital technologies to solve water challenges, safeguard our environment and drive social change. The Report and 2025 Goals reinforce the Company’s commitment to pioneering new approaches and partnerships to help solve the major water challenges of our time, with a focus on water scarcity, affordability and resilience, and to create a more water-secure world.
“In recent years, Xylem has taken a leadership role in driving the digital transformation of water, helping utility, industrial and other users of water advance their efforts to be responsible stewards of the planet’s most essential resource. With our global reach across the water cycle, we are strongly positioned to drive change and promote water sustainability,” said Claudia Toussaint, Senior Vice President and General Counsel and executive sponsor for Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) at Xylem.
She continued: “In developing our 2025 Signature Goals, we focused on moving the needle in areas relating to the world’s most urgent water challenges. We are also redoubling our efforts to be a company that leads by example and makes a difference by creating social impact for millions of people around the globe.”
Highlights of Xylem’s signature and other goals to achieve by 2025 follow:
Helping solve water affordability and scarcity issues
Addressing the planet’s resilience against climate change
- Save over 16.5 billion mł of water by partnering with our customers to utilize technologies that reuse water to advance the circular economy or reduce water losses due to aging infrastructure or faulty water meters. This is the equivalent of creating new sources of water to meet the annual domestic water use of 250 million people. These water and cost efficiencies will allow utilities to improve water affordability and redirect resources for the public good. (cumulative goal)
- Develop water solutions for those living at the base of the global economic pyramid, positively impacting the lives of at least 20 million people. (cumulative goal)
Building a sustainable company
- Reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of Xylem’s solutions by over 2.8 million tons, the equivalent to planting and growing 46 million trees for 10 years. (cumulative goal)
- Use 100 percent renewable energy and process water recycling at all of Xylem’s major facilities around the globe.
- Prevent over 7 billion m3 of polluted water from flooding communities or entering local waterways, equivalent to filling 2.8 million Olympic-sized swimming pools. (cumulative goal)
- Commit to establishing science-based targets for reducing GHG emissions.
- Ensure 100 percent of Xylem employees have access to clean water and sanitation at work and home, as well as support during humanitarian disasters and engage suppliers to do the same to advance supply chain resiliency.
- Achieve parity in leadership for women and eliminate pay differences based on gender, race or ethnicity, and engage stakeholders in the water industry to advance diversity and inclusion.
- Provide all employees with rich learning and developmental opportunities to build Xylem’s ability to solve water for decades to come.
- Give 1 percent of Xylem employees’ time and 1 percent of company profits to humanitarian efforts, such as disaster relief to improve access to clean water and healthy waterways and to mobilize the next generation of water stewards.
- Invite key stakeholders, including customers, channel partners, suppliers and investors to join this shared goal.
In its 2018 Sustainability Report, Xylem details its specific 2025 goals as well as the company’s progress against its five-year sustainability goals laid out in 2014, some of which the Company surpassed a year ahead of plan. Highlights include: Reduced GHG emissions intensity by 18.4 percent, driven in large part by energy reduction efforts and the growing number of Xylem sites utilizing renewable energy, and decreased water intensity by nearly 17 percent predominantly through water reuse at its facilities. Xylem Watermark, the Company’s corporate citizenship program, surpassed its three-year program goals in 2018, reaching 125 percent of its employee volunteer hours goal and 100 percent of its employee participation goal. In total, over 15,500 volunteer participants across the globe made a difference in their own communities by volunteering more than 110,000 hours in water-related activities.
Among recent sustainability milestones, Xylem announced the first sustainable improvement loan in the General Industrial Sector in the U.S., tying the Company’s lending rates to its overall sustainability performance as rated by Sustainalytics. With a score of 78, Xylem is currently rated in the 98th percentile in its overall ESG score and has a relative position as a Leader compared to industry peers. Xylem is also rated AA by MSCI and has a CDP score of A- in Climate Change. Xylem has signed the UN Global Compact, the CEO Water Mandate, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Global Business Coalition, the World Business Council WASH pledge and the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles.
Picture: The new goals were published in Xylem’s 2018 Sustainability Report: "Creating a Water-Secure World”. (Image: Xylem, Inc.)