Man and woman inspect facility to ensure sustainable operations - Ecolab

Advancing Water Stewardship

Water is essential to our operations, products and services. The sustainable management of water resources is fundamental to our business. It is also fundamental to helping us build a 100% positive future for people, planet and business health.

Ecolab helps businesses around the world achieve ambitious sustainability goals by reducing freshwater use in critical processes. We also work tirelessly to minimize our own water footprint.

We believe in the importance of water in protecting the environment, human health and economic development in our local communities. Through our stewardship, we identify and support opportunities for our company and customers to use water resources in ways that are socially and culturally equitable, economically beneficial and environmentally sustainable.

Water Stewardship at Ecolab

Ecolab Smart Water Navigator logo

Supporting Smart Water Management Journeys

Ecolab’s Smart Water Navigator helps organizations execute localized corporate water strategies to increase business and community resilience.

Ecolab Water for Climate logo

Smart Water Solutions for Resilient Operations

With unique expertise in water quality and management programs and solutions, we’re driven to help customers advance efficient operations and responsible growth.

Working Together to Protect our World’s Water

Ecolab believes in the power of collective action to address global water challenges, which is why we are a founding member and co-chair of the Water Resilience Coalition, an industry-led initiative of the UN Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate.

At the 2023 UN Water Conference in New York, we participated in the Open Call to Accelerate Action on Water, joining other private sector companies in a commitment to make a collective positive impact in 100 basins supporting over 3 billion people by 2030 – a key contribution to the UN’s Water Action Agenda.

Corporate Sustainability 2019 report

Our Water Goals

Water is a key part of our 2030 Impact Goals, which focus on the impact we can make in our company, communities and world in the next decade.

Driving a Net-Positive Water Approach in Our Own Facilities

Our vision of a water-resilient future relies on tangible action. For Ecolab, that means continuing to drive corporate water management with our customers, while also identifying opportunities to implement water stewardship projects in our own operations.

To continue to make progress toward our 2030 Impact Goal of achieving a net-positive water impact, Ecolab has prioritized water stewardship projects at our sites with the aim of improving the overall health of the local watersheds. Our projects will use a three-pathway strategy to achieve a net-positive water impact by:

  1. Delivering outcomes through the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) Standard
  2. Increasing water-use efficiency, reuse and recycling via Ecolab solutions and digital technologies
  3. Protecting local watersheds
Learn More About Our 2030 Impact Goals

Our Three-Pathway Strategy:

AWS Certification Plant Imagery

1. Delivering Outcomes Through the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) Standard

Ecolab is a founding member of the AWS. The AWS standard empowers sites with a five-step framework to address site-related water challenges and manage risk. Sites are required to reach out to stakeholders to discuss shared water challenges, forming relationships with the communities in which they operate.

As part of our efforts to reach Net Positive Water Impact, we achieved AWS certifications at Ecolab manufacturing facilities in China, Mexico, Brazil and the United States.

Ecolab is currently pursuing AWS certification for the following facilities.

We invite stakeholders to provide comment on the sites undergoing audit as described in the following documents:

 8 Total AWS-Certified Sites
2018 Corporate Sustainability Report safety image, associate in energy facility

2. Increasing Water-Use Efficiency, Reuse and Recycling on Site Using Ecolab Solutions and Digital Technologies

Managing 1 trillion gallons of water annually, Ecolab’s team of experts is skilled in helping customers identify and implement water reduction, reuse and recycling solutions that support watersheds in the locations where we operate.

Through Ecolab solutions such as Ecolab Water for Climate, Water Flow Intelligence, 3D TRASAR™ and digital tools like the Smart Water Navigator, we support smart water management practices to reduce demand and improve water quality while optimizing costs at the facility and organizational level.

2018 Corporate Sustainability Report environmental stewardship outdoors

3. Protecting The Local Watershed

We work with partners to understand the shared water challenges in their local basin and address them with nature-based solutions.

Watersheds face a variety of risks, including water scarcity and water quality, accelerating impacts of climate change and loss of local species.

As a founding member of the Water Resilience Coalition (WRC), we work collectively to achieve Net Positive Water Impact through public-private partnerships, policy, technology and a roadmap to reach the WRC’s goals for 100 priority basins by 2030. Through the work of the WRC, we know that 150 companies can directly impact approximately one-third of the world’s water use, which means that industry has a unique responsibility and opportunity to address the global water crisis.

Our water stewardship plans outline the actions we will take within our plants, as well as the communities in which we operate.

Our Expertise:

Ecolab has a unique understanding of the role water plays in running a business. Our holistic water expertise helps customers across nearly every industry use less water and better manage the water they use, from everyday uses to complex process challenges.

Beyond Volumes:

Exploring the Societal Value of Corporate Water Stewardship Projects

As water challenges grow more pressing, an increasing number of companies are pursuing corporate water stewardship projects. Traditionally, companies have used volumetric water benefit accounting to estimate volumetric water benefits and identify, select and monitor projects. But these projects impact more than volume, generating many co-benefits that improve conditions for society. This whitepaper, released by Ecolab and other partners, aims to show the link between volumetric water benefits and societal value, helping demonstrate for companies the holistic value of corporate water stewardship projects. 

Water Stewardship Project Highlights

The following case studies showcase our Ecolab plants that have received AWS certification:

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