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  3. 2017 Sustainability Report
  4. Change from Within
  5. Sustainability Goals and Performance

Sustainability Goals And Performance

From our plants to our partnerships, we strive to do all we can to enhance our sustainability performance and results. This includes ambitious goals for reducing water and energy use.

In 2017, we helped our customers save more than 171 billion gallons of water. By 2030, we aim to conserve 300 billion gallons of water annually by reducing water consumption within our own and our customers’ operations. This equals the annual drinking water needs of more than 1 billion people. 

In our own operations in 2017, water withdrawal reduction was flat and the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions was 4.3 percent, as compared to a 2015 baseline.* By 2020 we seek to reduce water withdrawal by 25 percent and greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent. 

Also in 2017, we moved to our new Ecolab Global Headquarters in St. Paul, Minnesota. Through capital upgrades, electricity use was reduced by nearly 40 percent, or almost 3 million kWh, as compared to the annualized use during the period from 2012–2016. In addition, recycling and upcycling during the renovation greatly minimized construction waste, leading to the diversion of more than 700 tons of material from landfills, equivalent to the yearly waste of 1,600 people. 

But that is not all that we are doing. With an outcome-based approach to product design, we are moving beyond compliance. And through our partnerships and our support of the United Nations  Sustainable Development Goals we are working to ensure access to safe and clean water for everyone. It’s all part of our effort to drive continuous improvement inside and out.

* Measured by intensity per million dollars in sales

Our Sustainability Goals

* Measured by intensity per million dollars in sales
Our Commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

We are dedicated to supporting partnerships and programs that fulfill the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. While we support several goals, our efforts are primarily devoted to Goal 6 — to ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all — where we believe we can have the greatest impact.

Our technologies help customers save billions of gallons of water each year. Our Water Risk Monetizer, a publicly available tool, helps businesses determine the true value of water so they can make the business case for water stewardship. And our In the Blue diagnostic tool helps customers assess where they are on a four-stage water maturity curve, so they can adopt smart water management 
strategies and get to a truly circular water model.

Our partnerships are aligned with these goals. We have close relationships with a range of NGOs, other organizations and programs that support water stewardship and access to safe, clean water, including the Alliance for Water Stewardship, Project WET, the CEO Water Mandate, The Nature Conservancy and the Minnesota Headwaters Fund.

Ecolab sponsored the China Urban Water Blueprint, a report from The Nature Conservancy that analyzes the state of water resources in China’s 30 largest and fastest growing cities and offers science-based recommendations for natural solutions. Ecolab’s funding also supported The Nature Conservancy’s efforts to protect key lands and waters in Minnesota, Shanghai, and Monterrey, Mexico.

Our Approach to Product Stewardship

We recognize the need to better understand the impacts of our products and to document and clearly communicate these impacts to key stakeholders. Through a range of programs and initiatives, we continuously work to identify opportunities for improvement.