In 2016, Xylem made a few big announcements about our own sustainable development efforts:
donated to support Everglades Foundation and the George Barley Water Prize
When we talk about a sustainable future, we embrace the proposition that everyone should have access to their fair share of food, shelter, healthcare and water. This is much easier said than done. Across the globe, 1 in 10 people lacks clean drinking water, and more people have access to a mobile phone than a toilet. These conditions have serious consequences for community development. Women and children spend more than 200 million hours collecting water daily, often preventing or drastically limiting time for more productive endeavors such as taking care of their families or attending school. The long-term consequences are significant. Every year, 443 million school days are lost worldwide due to water-related illnesses.
The UN’s Sustainable Development Goal number 6 calls for the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030. A big part of the solution is for companies like Xylem to help drive sustainable development. This means growing our business and carrying out our mission of helping to enable a water-secure future. In 2016, Xylem and our employees demonstrated continued commitment by introducing more efficient products, engaging young people in the search for innovative solutions, and embracing the importance of water on a personal level through volunteer activities and contributions to Xylem Watermark, our corporate citizenship and social investment program.
The mission of Xylem Watermark is to provide and protect safe water resources for communities in need around the world and educate people about water issues. We do this in two main ways: We work with nonprofit partners on sustainable development projects that provide and protect safe water resources for communities in need around the world. And we engage our employees to volunteer their time and money to support water solutions.
Beyond Watermark, Xylem finds opportunities to voice our support. For example, to commemorate World Water Day 2016, we participated in the White House Water Summit, an event to raise awareness of water issues and potential solutions for a secure water future. We are also a sponsor of the U.S. Stockholm Junior Water Prize and a founder of the International Stockholm Junior Water Prize, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2016. The prize represents the most prestigious student competition for water-related research.