Advancing Sustainability: Necessary for the Planet and Smart for Business
By Christophe Beck, President & CEO, Ecolab
When the first draft of history is written, last November’s COP26 climate summit may be viewed as a turning point. Not for its concrete outcomes, but the shift in public sentiment that commitments are no longer enough, and corporations must do more to solve our world’s water and climate challenges. It is increasingly clear that the window for action is limited, and it is time to move from commitments to measurable action and demonstrable progress. This effort will require coordination and collaboration across industry.
We are honored that Ecolab has been named the #3 Most Sustainable Company in the U.S. and recognized for the fifth consecutive year by Barron’s. We believe this continues the trend that acknowledges the collective power of industry to effectively tackle climate solutions while also driving profitability.
As Ecolab’s customers put climate change and net zero commitments front and center, we are energized to help them conserve resources and focus on responsible business growth. In one recent year, Ecolab helped customers save 206 billion gallons of water and avoid 3.5 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, while simultaneously delivering cost savings through operational efficiencies. Across 500 industrial plant assessments, our customers saw an average of $1 million in site level savings from the water and energy efficiency projects we recommended.
Ecolab is also proud to be ranked alongside corporate leaders who are increasingly aware of the vital link between energy, water, and climate. As a critical component of business operations, water is moved, heated, cooled, and treated, all of which requires energy. We can show that reducing water use reduces energy use, which in turn lowers greenhouse gas emissions. Smart water management by industrial facilities can reduce carbon emissions by up to 20%, and Ecolab is uniquely positioned with the expertise and solutions to deliver meaningful positive impact.
We know that businesses simply cannot achieve their decarbonization goals without focusing on water. We also know that addressing water use and advancing ambitious sustainability goals need not come at the expense of growth. For nearly 100 years, Ecolab has led with purpose and focused on making a positive impact, knowing that innovation and growth will follow. That is why our approach links performance outcomes to environmental metrics, social metrics and cost savings to demonstrate the eROI℠ or exponential value of improved performance, operational efficiency and sustainable impact. Like our work advancing productivity for Tata Steel. By optimizing the process of removing ash from coal, Ecolab helped Tata Steel improve operations, reduce waste, save costs, and deliver $500,000 of total value.
Just as climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time, finding the path to net-zero emissions is the corresponding growth opportunity. Climate change must be treated with the urgency it demands, and Ecolab is proud to play our part and support those who are doing the same. We are ready to deliver for those turning net zero commitments into net zero results.