The end use of Xylem products is to promote sustainable water management, but we’re equally committed to optimizing the operations that enable manufacturing of our products. To help us manage and continuously improve the sustainability of our own environmental footprint, we have set five-year goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, water and waste to landfill.
We’re making good progress toward these goals with the help of our proprietary Eco-Efficiency Easy Tool, which enables our global sites to evaluate and select best practices to reduce energy and water use, and minimize waste. Using this web-based tool, sites can choose actions that are most relevant for implementation at their location, identify individuals responsible for those actions and set dates for completion. Introduced in 2015, the Eco-Efficiency Easy Tool is now in use at Xylem operations in all regions of the world. We no longer track percentage of sites using the Eco-Efficiency Tool because this program is fully integrated throughout our day-to-day operational activities.
During 2016, we migrated our environmental data collection and reporting systems to a different platform. This process resulted in restatements of some prior year data. These restatements are noted in the section where they appear.
Xylem also holds itself to the high standards required for ISO certification; several of our global manufacturing sites meet ISO 14001 standards for environmental management. We are proud of this achievement as it demonstrates our commitment to transparency in our operations.
Certified sites include:
Xylem investigates all significant incidents occurring at our sites and completes root cause analysis to identify and prevent recurrence of the causes of the incidents. In addition, we discuss incidents in a variety of forums, including town halls and operational reviews, and all incidents are reviewed with site teams, which includes plant managers, general managers, supervisors and EHS globally. These reviews provide the site teams with additional prevention and response education.
One of our sustainability goals is to record zero regulatory compliance notices of violation at manufacturing and service sites. Achieving this goal will enable us to meet our compliance obligation, while also minimizing any reputational or financial risk associated with permit violations at our sites.
In 2016, Xylem had two environmental notices of non-compliance. The first occurred at our Auburn, New York facility, and was corrected immediately and did not result in any fines. The second occurred at our Montecchio, Italy facility. It was not directly caused by Xylem operations, and did not result in any fines. Additionally, we experienced three minor spills at our facilities, and one transportation spill. These four incidents, all of which were reported to local authorities and did not result in any notices of non-compliance or fines, amounted to a collective 108 gallons of fluid spilled.
We believe that we have a responsibility to help mitigate the effects of climate change, which is why we adhere to the precautionary principle. This means that even in the absence of scientific consensus, we will avoid actions or policies that we believe could cause harm to the health of people or the planet.