2017 Sustainability Report


Corporate Citizenship

When we talk about a sustainable future, we embrace the proposition that everyone should have access to their fair share of food, shelter, health care and water. Across the globe, 2.1 billion people lack clean drinking water at home, and approximately 4.5 billion people lack safely managed sanitation.

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.

These statistics underscore the need to address the sixth UN Sustainable Development Goal, which 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 2017, 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.

$1.5 million
in natural disaster support relief across the globe
Xylem employee volunteer hours pledged from 2016-2018 with more than 56,000+ completed through the end of 2017
Xylem Watermark-sponsored events

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 in their own communities. In 2017, Xylem Watermark was honored by Engage for Good with the Gold Halo Award in the Employee Engagement category.

2017 was an especially tough year across the globe due to some of the worst natural disasters on record: Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and the severe flooding in South Asia. In addition to monetary donations through Watermark, hundreds of Xylem employees contributed to volunteer activities in the affected areas.

Beyond Watermark, Xylem finds opportunities to lend our support. In 2017, Xylem was a sponsor of the International Junior Science Olympiad (IJSO), where more than 300 students aged 15 years or younger from 50 different countries tested their scientific knowledge and skills on the theme of “Water and Sustainability.” In conjunction with this international competition, which was held for the first time in the Netherlands, Xylem launched the Xylem Water Prize, which invited participating students to produce a video answering the question, “How do you solve water?” All submissions were evaluated by an international judging panel. The panel awarded a group of students from India with the Xylem Water Prize. Team India, comprised of students 15-years-old and younger, won for its video outlining the students’ idea for a floating, solar-powered desalination plant.

We are also the founding sponsor of the International Stockholm Junior Water Prize, the most prestigious student competition for water-related research, and a sponsor of the U.S. Stockholm Junior Water Prize.