As part of its 2025 Signature Goals technology giant Xylem has committed to fully using renewable energy across its major sites.
On the road to a water-secure world
Global water technology company xylem has set out ambitious goals on water recycling and the use of renewable energy as part of the organisation’s wider sustainability goals.
Part of its latest Sustainability Report – Creating a Water-Secure World – the company set out its 2025 Signature Goals.
These included using 100 per cent renewable energy and process water recycling at its “major facilities around the globe”.
Other targets included reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of Xylem’s solutions by over 2.8 million tons and preventing over seven billion cubic metres of polluted water from flooding communities or entering local waterways.
The company said it aims to drive sustainability across three fronts: serving customers leveraging industry-leading technologies; building a sustainable company and empowering communities by delivering social impact.
Renewable energy progress
So what does committing to 100 per cent renewable energy by 2025 look like on paper? The company’s operations are sizeable: 17,000 employees across 350+ locations.
Xylem said: “In regulated environments where the goal is not directly achievable, Xylem is purchasing renewable energy credits to apply as offsets.”
The commitment doesn’t mean using small scale solar or wind power directly at all of the company’s 350 sites. Instead, one of the ways Xylem intends to hit the renewable targets and reduce GHG emissions is by purchasing renewable, or green, energy credits.
To put this into perspective, at the year-end 2018, 67 Xylem manufacturing facilities and sales offices purchased electricity generated from renewable sources — up from 57 in 2017.
Combined, these sites purchased 18,234 CO2-equivalent metric tons in renewable energy, electricity and gas during 2018, a 13 percent increase over the prior year.
In its 2018 Sustainability Report, the company also included an update on progress against its five-year sustainability goals laid out in 2014.
One of the targets was to reduce net GHG emissions intensity by 20 per cent by 2019. Through 2018 the company achieved an 18.4 per cent decrease in GHG intensity, net of renewable energy
Furthermore, the company’s sales office in the Netherlands offsets its natural gas consumption through certified green natural gas credits
An optimistic future
In the opening message to the report, CEO Patrick Decker referenced severe weather patterns from climate change, urbanization, pollution and other factors, as well as global water threats such as affordability and scarcity.
However, he said despite the challenges, the company has never been more “optimistic about the future of water”.
“Bold digital technologies harnessing data and analytics are driving step change in water management, enabling utilities and other water operators to deliver dramatic water and energy efficiencies, while improving impact on local ecosystems and saving water systems — and the communities they serve — billions of dollars,” he said.
The CEO added: “Xylem has a focused strategy to help combat the effects of climate change. We develop mitigation and adaptation solutions that are helping improve the efficiency of the water sector and increasing resilience to the water-related challenges associated with climate change. We have also set ambitious operational targets for our own organization related to climate change.”