​Ecolab Puts The Focus On Water In New Sustainability Report

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - Fresh water is a precious commodity and we are running out of it. Deforestation, climate change, pollution, expanding human activity and population, all these factors are putting great pressure on water resources. The issue is so pressing that 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. By 2030, global water demand will outpace supply by 40 percent.

This scenario will have a huge impact on communities, businesses, agriculture, and individuals across the globe. This is why Ecolab, a global leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies, has put great emphasis on its water-related actions in its newly released 2015 Sustainability Report. Ecolab says its main focus is on the water-energy-food nexus, helping its clients prosper with minimum impact on the planet. Among the industries it services are food and beverage processors, hotels and hospitals and energy companies, helping them rethink their operations. In 2015 alone Ecolab helped clients conserve more than 142 billion gallons of water.

But the company is committed to reducing its own use of water, setting a goal to reduce water withdrawal by 25 percent by 2020. An internal success story comes from Ecolab’s Taicang manufacturing plant, which in September 2015 became the first site in the world to receive the Alliance for Water Stewardship’s (AWS) International Water Stewardship Standard certification. The company worked through the Standard’s six-step continual improvement framework. As a consequence, its relationships improved with local government and businesses while system burdens on the Yangtze River were reduced, paving the way for other facilities to also pursue water stewardship projects.

Besides it works with water conservation organizations across the globe as part of its community outreach. One example of that is the expansion of Ecolab’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 support to this project is given through the company’s Solutions for Living global giving program and it will help accelerate strategic efforts to conserve and restore irreplaceable sources of clean water in Minnesota and in water-stressed regions of China and Mexico.

Also in 2015, in collaboration with Trucost, the natural capital specialists, Ecolab developed a tool called the Water Risk Monetizer to make water risk assessment easier. The tool provides a risk-adjusted water price that represents the full value of water to a business based o​​n localized demands and scarcity. This way, businesses can evaluate potential revenue at risk due to water scarcity and factor it into decisions to support business growth.

Image credit: Ecolab