Survey: Business Water Management Efforts Are Still a Drop in the Bucket

Ecolab opens Water University to help companies accelerate their progress
Oct 23, 2017 11:15 AM ET

NAPERVILLE, Ill., October 23, 2017 /3BL Media/ - By the year 2030, water demand is expected to exceed sustainable supply by 40 percent, but only 42 percent of respondents from a recent survey conducted by Ecolab and GreenBiz Group cited water management as a strategic corporate initiative. According to the research, 82 percent of the 184 large businesses surveyed say they are not sufficiently using advanced tools and technologies to better manage their water use.

To encourage better water management practices, Nalco Water, Ecolab’s global water management business, has created Water University, a hands-on training facility for Nalco Water clients and associates. The new Water University will be officially dedicated today with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Nalco Water’s Naperville campus. Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti, former U.S. Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen, State Senator Michael Connelly and Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico, as well as leaders from industry and non-governmental organizations and other local representatives, will be part of the opening ceremonies.

Water University will provide the tools and training businesses need to strategically manage water more efficiently. The innovative learning environment showcases water management technologies serving a variety of industries. It also features a training facility with a lab and a range of equipment for hands-on training. Water University is expected to host more than 2,200 global visitors in 2018.

“In partnership with our customers, our goal by 2030 is to help save 300 billion gallons of water annually – equal to the yearly drinking needs of more than one billion people,” said Christophe Beck, executive vice president and president of Nalco Water. “Water University is a state-of-the-art facility where 200 scientists share solutions to conserve our most precious resource – water.” 

Ecolab's 25,000-strong field team serves customers globally, and they have acccess to data from tens of thousands of digitally controlled and remotely monitored IoT devices to ensure immediate problem identification and resolution.

The Ecolab/GreenBiz Group survey further underscores the need for companies to rethink their water management. Key findings of the survey include:

  • Water is an increasing priority – especially in the consumer packaged goods and healthcare industries – but it still is not a key factor in corporate decision making.
  • Most companies have water-related targets (75%) – but the retail and healthcare sectors are lagging in integrating water into corporate decision making.
  • Respondents said the key drivers for managing water are: mitigating business risk (48%); meeting regulatory requirements (33%); saving money (30%); achieving internal goals (28%); protecting local sources of water (28%); and improving company brand (23%).
  • The majority of companies (82%) say they lack the tools and strategies to turn data into actionable insights.

“We need to start thinking about how we can do more with the water we are using,” said Jason Morrison, president of the Pacific Institute and head of CEO Water Mandate, which partnered with Ecolab to evaluate the survey findings. “We all need to help drive this shift from thinking of water as a consumable good to managing water as a reusable asset.”  

For more information about Water University as well as photos, please visit For more information on the survey results or to set up an interview with a water expert from Ecolab, please contact Ecolab Media Relations at 651-250-3273 or

About Ecolab
A trusted partner at more than one million customer locations, Ecolab (ECL) is the global leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies and services that protect people and vital resources. With 2016 sales of $13 billion and 48,000 associates, Ecolab delivers comprehensive solutions and on-site service to promote safe food, maintain clean environments, optimize water and energy use, and improve operational efficiencies for customers in the food, healthcare, energy, hospitality and industrial markets in more than 170 countries around the world. For more Ecolab news and information, visit Follow us on Twitter @ecolab or Facebook at

About GreenBiz Group

GreenBiz Group’s mission is to define and accelerate the business of sustainability. It does this through a wide range of products and services, including its acclaimed website and e-newsletters, GreenBuzz and VERGE; webcasts on topics of importance to sustainability and energy executives; research reports, including the annual State of Green Business; the GreenBiz Executive Network, a membership-based, peer-to-peer learning forum for sustainability executives; and conferences: the annual GreenBiz forum and VERGE.

About the Pacific Institute and CEO Water Mandate

The Pacific Institute is a global water think tank that combines science-based thought leadership with active outreach to influence local, national, and international efforts in developing sustainable water policies.

The UN CEO Water Mandate is a unique public-private initiative - established by the UN Global Compact in 2007 and endorsed by global companies from a variety of industry sectors - designed to assist companies in the development, implementation, and disclosure of corporate water stewardship practices and policies. 


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